Nordic business schools should create MBAs ‘for rent’

Scandinavian executive education also told that it needs to look beyond profit

May 23, 2018
Source: istock
The Nordic business model puts protecting the planet up there with people and profit

Nordic business schools have been urged to embrace the challenges of sustainability and lifelong models of learning.

These were the central themes of an “insight panel” held in Stockholm, Sweden, earlier this month for Nordic institutions accredited by the Association of MBAs (AMBA) to explore the opportunities and challenges facing business educators in the region.

If Nordic business schools truly wanted to embrace the future, AMBA chair Bodo Schlegelmilch told them, they needed to consider the new model of “MBAs for rent” whereby students kept returning to learn about the latest developments in their industry and top up their knowledge. “Imagine if, in three or five years, degrees were for rent and an MBA wouldn’t last a lifetime,” said Professor Schlegelmilch, head of the Institute for International Marketing Management at Vienna University of Economics and Business.

Hanna-Riikka Myllymäki, business area director for executive education at Aalto University in Finland, stressed that, as well as business schools keeping their degrees up-to-date, they must convince students of the need to renew their skills in order to remain competitive.

The event also highlighted the commitment of Nordic business schools to the “triple bottom line” model of people, planet and profit. “We do focus beyond profit,” said Håkan Ericson, director of the School of Executive Education at the University of Gothenburg, adding that sustainability was another way of staying relevant in a constantly changing environment.

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