International Study: Why not do it in Slovenia?
The IEDC - Bled School of Management (www.iedc.si) has started to deal systematically with a holistic approach to management education and has included subjects relating to art, philosophy, science and sustainable development in its MBA programmes. The school offers various programmes, both at the graduate and executive-development level, which are structured in such a way that they allow for short, intensive sessions by their international faculty members. The three most popular programmes are the one- and two-year International Executive MBA programmes and the school's flagship three-year Presidents' MBA programme, all these programmes are modular which allows participants to keep their jobs while studying and to put their newly-acquired skills into practice. Another important programme, the five-week General Management Programme (GMP), is run twice a year in two modules that are linked by a project selected by each participant after they develop a take-home action plan. Many young people study at IEDC during the summer in order to spend part of their holidays in Bled while broadening their management know-how and meeting new friends from all over the world: they participate in either the two-week Young Managers Programme (YMP), which is intended for young managers and professionals who have already begun their careers, or in the nine-day Discover Management Programme (DMP) that targets young graduates who are about to finish their studies and have not yet acquired any work experience. Within the framework of the innovative concept of building bridges between management and the arts, a worldwide trend in the field of business education that the IEDC - Bled School of Management actively embraces, the school has started to deal systematically with the holistic approach to management education and included subjects relating to the arts, philosophy, science and sustainable development in its MBA programmes. It has attracted some of the best innovators in management education to help create a new body of knowledge and concepts to help inspire leadership qualities. A series of interdisciplinary lectures was organized for the IEDC's postgraduate students in 2005; they were led by world's foremost leadership gurus and art world celebrities, including Nancy Adler, Charles Handy, Peter Hanke, Miha Pogacnik, Otto Scharmer and Margaret Wheatley. Since opening its doors, more than 32,000 executives from over 50 countries have participated in IEDC programmes, more than half of whom came from abroad. The major attributes of the IEDC that encourage large corporations and individuals to come to Bled rather than elsewhere are its innovative programmes, its top-class professors who come from the best business schools from around the globe, its strong international orientation, the excellent networking opportunities it affords, the opportunity to put into practical use the knowledge and skills gained in the IEDC courses almost immediately and, of course, the stunningly beautiful environment. The IEDC's professors are all world class and were educated at institutions such as Harvard, Stanford, the Kellogg Business School, IMD, INSEAD and the London School of Economics. There are also more than 50 renowned visiting professors, many of them from the best European and North American business schools and other management development institutions from over 30 countries. Working with professors of different nationalities affords participants the opportunity to experience different cultures and perceptions in the classroom, while the close cooperation with the numerous local and international management consultants also contributes to the successful mix of contemporary management theories and practices from different parts of the world. The IEDC takes pride in being compared with the best schools in Europe. In 2002, a British parliamentarian, Mr Hein, was quoted in the Independent (a British newspaper) as saying that Bled in Slovenia had the best small business school in Europe. The IEDC goes to great lengths to provide a creative environment: the school is also an art gallery (even its garage recently housed an exhibition) and invites artists and other creative professionals (architects, designers, orchestra conductors, musicians, painters, thinkers) to inspire the managers and leaders to become more open, creative, responsible and reflective. Last, but not least, the IEDC has a wealth of experience organizing innovative programmes for international leaders and international study trips - bringing the heads of BAE Systems, the largest multinational company in the UK, to Bosnia Herzegovina and Slovenia so that they could experience and reflect upon the different cultural and integration challenges facing corporations in those countries being just one recent example. In 2006, the IEDC - Bled School of Management will mark its 20th anniversary: twenty years will have passed since the establishment of the first management development institution in central and eastern Europe. While the school will celebrate its anniversary throughout the year, the international conference Leadership for a Better World, which will be held on 20th October, 2006, will undoubtedly be one of the highlights. New Entrepreneurial Culture The GEA College of Entrepreneurship (www.gea-college.si) sees as its mission the research and development of a new culture of entrepreneurship. The Slovene college, located in the coastal town of Piran, is a pioneer in its field and the first college to offer an international bachelor programme focused on entrepreneurship in Slovenia and the additional courses it offers through its network of affiliated colleges throughout Europe. GEA is where East meets West and where the New Europe is being built. The college began to offer a second version of its International Bachelor Study of Entrepreneurship programme this year. The programme, which focuses on stimulating the growth of small business, also aims to develop a new entrepreneurial culture. The college is also hopeful of being able to reduce some of its tuition fees from next year. The three-year (six-semester) programme is intended for students who have little or no experience in management and/or entrepreneurship; an additional semester is available for those preparing their thesis. All courses are ECTS certified and the degree is an accredited bachelor degree in economic entrepreneurship. One of the main competitive advantages of the GEA College is that it is focused on a target group - entrepreneurs who come from family businesses or large corporations as corporate entrepreneurs - and can stimulate them into starting their own companies. There is also a system of tutorship on offer. The tutors are personal mentors who have direct contact with the students and guide them through their study careers, monitor their progress and growth, motivate them to advance in their field of expertise and advise them when they are faced with potential difficulties, worries and/or problems that might prevent them from achieving their goals during their undergraduate studies. The Humanities and Social Sciences The ISH - Ljubljana Graduate School of the Humanities (www.ish.si) fosters the interconnection of the study and research interests of its students. ISH is an autonomous institution of higher education in the fields of the humanities and social sciences. Having attained state recognition of its academic credentials, the school is authorized to confer MA and Ph.D. degrees for its accredited study programmes: Anthropology of Ancient Worlds, Historical Anthropology, Anthropology of Everyday Life, Anthropology of Gender, Linguistics of Speech and Theory of Social Communication, Social Anthropology as well as two study courses - Historical Anthropology of Art and Media Studies. Applicants for either Master's or unified Doctor's degrees must have a Bachelor diploma and an active knowledge of the English language or another world language. For the Anthropology of Ancient Worlds applicants are expected to have a working knowledge of Latin, Greek and French. French is also required for those wanting to join the Historical Anthropology study programme. Applicants for Doctor's degrees must have a Masters degree and an excellent knowledge of English or another world language. ISH fosters the interconnection of the study and research interests of its students, while it creates research opportunities in those fields that are poorly represented in Slovenia. The graduate school also promotes inter-institutional and international networking in order to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and information that would otherwise remain inaccessible to students. ISH students are welcome to do their individual research work and any research projects and programmes in any of the ISH's six research centres: the Centre for Ideological Studies, the Centre for Discourse Studies, the Centre for Mediterranean Studies, the Centre for Media Studies, the Centre for Historical Anthropology and the Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, as well as in any other public research institute that the ISH has reciprocal agreements with. New At The Faculty Of Economics The Faculty of Economics at the University of Ljubljana was one of the first faculties in Slovenia to establish new internationally comparable programmes at both undergraduate and graduate levels accredited under the 3+2 system. Students can thus choose to complete an undergraduate degree in three years, which may be a higher professional degree (a programme in the Business School) or a university degree (a programme in the School of Business and Economics). After finishing the three-year undergraduate programme, students can automatically directly enrol in one of the 12 two-year master's programmes. The programmes are distinguished by the following new features: a large selection of course content; modern and effective practice-oriented work methods; a similarity to the best international business schools (including the European Credit Transfer System: 'ECTS'); a large number of courses taught in English; opportunities for international student exchanges; a shorter period of study; and competitiveness with other graduates in the EU labour market. Students can also choose from among the professors offering lectures. The four years of preparation for the programmes involved the instructors at Ljubljana's Faculty of Economics and many experts from the business world, who are the actual employers of future graduates. Master's (second-cycle) programmes offer graduates of the undergraduate (first-cycle) programmes the possibility to study any of the main areas of business and economics in greater depth. Within an individual programme, students can select a specialised programme to better adjust the content to their interests and needs. Each of the four programmes comprises four semesters (or two years), and the fourth semester is entirely dedicated to completing the master's thesis. The programme includes 15 classes and is worth 120 ECTS credits; that is, 60 credits per year or 30 credits per semester, with 30 ECTS credits for the master's thesis. The programme requirements are structured so that students can also acquire knowledge in a selected area of study, as well as basic and methodological knowledge. Many electives are also available for students to fill through courses at other faculties or universities in Slovenia and abroad. The new programmes make it possible to realise a more in-depth study of business and economics, and receive greater professional and academic qualifications. Sustainable Development and Economy Over the last decade, economists to politicians have begun to stress the urgent need for sustainable development on the one hand and for increased economic competitiveness on the other. They have much the same vision, which is prosperity both for the current generations and for those of the future. However, as Paul Z. Pilzer said: ''Prosperity belongs to those who learn new things the fastest.'' This has several implications for postgraduate studies. We have to offer access to the most up-to-the-minute knowledge pools - this is only possible in a research-based university or postgraduate school. Time has become an essential component of educational quality - we have to learn quickly. The quickest way to learn at the graduate level is through science. Knowledge is only a potential source of prosperity. It has to be transferred into practice and applied to bear fruit. The J. Stefan International Postgraduate School in Ljubljana (www.mps.si) is educating postgraduates by integrating study with basic research and innovation, while developing knowledge transfer through joint projects in direct cooperation with employers. Established in 2004 by the Jozef Stefan Institute with support from major industry, it currently has 15 industrial partners. It offers master's and doctoral studies in nanoscience and nanotechnology, new media and e-science and as well as eco-technology. Students from all countries are welcome - at present 96 students are enrolled. The study programme is custom made for each student and each student is involved in a research project. The faculty is international and 18 visiting professors and lecturers from leading European and American universities including a Nobel prizewinner taught at the school during 2004/2005. The staff of the school also published 519 research papers in leading international journals during the same period.