Meeting today’s demand for more substance
It has been said that, “Education is the ability to meet life’s situations.” (Dr John G. Hibben) And for decades, MBA graduates from top-tier schools set the standard for cuttingedge business knowledge and skills to prepare themselves for such situations.
Nowadays, the business world is seeing ever-changing situations multiply. Students therefore need more than the conventional way of teaching to grasp these new skill sets. Increasingly, managers and recruiters are questioning conventional business education. Their concerns? Among other things, MBA programmes aren’t giving students the heightened cultural awareness and global perspectives they need. Newly minted MBAs lack essential leadership skills. Creative and critical thinking demand far more attention.
This is why more and more students have now chosen international accreditations and exchange programmes that offer more substance than just the traditional curricula. One example of how leading universities have begun reinventing themselves is International University in Geneva, also known as IUG.
A hub of excellence
Switzerland prides itself on its high standard in education. As a country with few natural resources, its prosperity depends to a large extent on its brain power. Most people continue studying after the years of compulsory education and many take further courses throughout their lives. So where are many of these studious individuals going? Simply put, IUG.
Founded in 1997 and nestled in the heart of Europe amid a hub for numerous international organizations, NGOs and multinational companies, and a centre for dialogue on important current global issues, lies a Swiss nonprofit foundation of higher education which welcomes some 300 students every morning.
Now ranked as one of the five best business schools in Switzerland, IUG offers dual accreditation with the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) and the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE), as well as 20 exchange programmes with universities in 13 countries around the world. Its professors have extensive knowledge both from the academic world and their work experience in the public and private sectors. With a 30 students-per-classroom rule, students are able to benefit from an interactive instruction with direct feedback from the professors through highly practical case studies – something that this University takes great pride in.
IUG also prides itself in its accommodations for students, since as we all know, the housing situation in Geneva is not, say, within the average student’s budget. The University has recently acquired new housing facilities to meet the increasing demand for student housing through a long-term lease of a building that can accommodate approximately 25 students. Located near the Cornavin train station, the building is an historic landmark which has been completely renovated into a modern living complex. With this addition, students now have a wider choice of housing to choose from in the Geneva area.
New Master’s programme
As part of its constantly keeping a keen eye on the demands of transferring skills and qualifications, IUG began offering a new Master’s in International Relations programme in September this year. Following a year of research and consultation, a new curriculum was developed to reflect today’s required skills and knowledge at a global spectrum. Students enrolled in this programme will take some courses with other majors and then register for specialized courses that include governance and politics, information society, geopolitics and European Union and international relations strategies.
One of the major advantages of this particular programme is that students attend conferences and seminars that touch upon topical issues with speakers chosen from today’s prominent leaders. Recently, for instance, IUG students majoring in international relations (led by Dr G. Jovanovic) attended a joint UN/ UNITAR lecture series dealing with the topic “Resetting the Nuclear Disarmament Agenda”. The keynote speaker was Mikhail Gorbachev, former President of the Soviet Union, with an introduction statement by Ban Ki-moon, Secretary- General of the United Nations. Students appreciated the opportunity to learn from world leaders the challenges facing the world powers in containing and reducing the danger of nuclear proliferation and nuclear conflict.
A programme of continuing improvement
Due to ongoing reinventions with the programme directors, a strong international exposure and an integration of current topics within its curricula, as well as providing students the opportunity to attain a better understanding by attending conferences with influential leaders, IUG offers its students a continuing source of improvement and education to meet the demands of today’s world.
There seems little doubt that IUG has certainly met Dr Hibben’s expectations of what is now defined as “education”. The University will continue in its efforts to provide the best environment to facilitate its students to achieve their hopes of pursuing a career in today’s ever-changing world, whether in the public or private sector. And, perhaps more importantly, as a result of its dedication of constant reinvention of its programmes, IUG is proud of its excellent graduate employment record – something that no doubt Dr Hibben would also take pride in.
For further information about IUG’s programmes, visit the University in Geneva at ICC 20, Rte de Pré-Bois or contact the General Secretariat (tel: +41(0)22 710 71; web: www.iun.ch).
Article by Laura Romanin