Vlerick consolidates its position as the number 1 provider of executive education in the Benelux

Financial Times Executive Education Ranking 2020

  • Ranked 1st in the Benelux for the ninth year in a row 
  • Ranked 16th in Europe – up 2 places 
  • Ranked 27th worldwide – up 4 places 
  • Significant jump for open enrolment programmes – up 8 places worldwide and up 3 places in Europe

According to the 2020 Financial Times Executive Education Ranking, Vlerick Business School remains for the ninth year in a row the #1 ranked provider of executive education in the Benelux. We are also the only Belgian business school to be ranked in the combined ranking of 50 business schools worldwide, offering both open and customised programmes. On a European level, we maintain our top 20 position, rising from 18 to 16. And finally, on a global level we rise 4 places, going from 31 to 27.

Patrick De Greve, General Director of Vlerick Business School, says: “It makes us very proud to see that Vlerick Business School remains for almost 10 years in a row the number one partner for training programmes for entrepreneurs, managers and executives. On top, we are strengthening our European and global position in an extremely competitive market. Furthermore, it is remarkable to see that the top 5 in the world in this year’s ranking is composed of European schools only, thereby outperforming Asian and American schools.”

The Executive Education Ranking is issued annually by the Financial Times and takes into account both open programmes (for executives and entrepreneurs) and customised programmes (internal training programmes targeting specific groups within an organisation).

As far as the open programmes are concerned, Vlerick Business School has made a huge improvement, going up 8 places worldwide (31) and 3 within Europe (17). When looking at the specific criteria that the ranking is composed of, we score exceptionally well and are making progress on:

  • New skills & learning – ranked 25 out of 75 schools
  • Aims achieved – ranked 36 out of 75 schools
  • Course design – ranked 38 out of 75 schools

Maaike Van Ameijde, Business Unit Manager Open Programmes, elaborates on these criteria:
"In our programmes we focus very much on learning new skills and attitudes. We do this as tangible as possible. For example, in the programme 'Negotiating to create value' we use our NQ Scan, a tool that maps out the negotiation skills of our participants. Then, together with an NQ coach, we get to work with their personal report. In addition, we also invite professional actors for role-plays based on real-life cases from our participants".

"When embarking on a learning journey, you have certain objectives in mind. That too, we make very tangible by, for example, letting participants work on their personal development in small groups and guided by a Vlerick coach. We translate the outcome into a 'letter for the future', a letter to their future selves in which they formulate concrete actions and think about where they want to stand in the future. When we send this letter to them six months after the programme, it again provides a powerful and action-oriented learning momentum".

"Finally, in terms of the programme design, we have worked very hard in recent years to expand our online offering. Nice examples are Take The Lead or the Scale-Up Master Class. We also put a lot of effort into translating theory into practice. We do this both in the courses through simulations and games as well as outside of the course, through a buddy system where participants try to apply the learned insights to their own business context together with a buddy. Of course, our professors are always available for advice or consultation".

After last year’s big jump forward, we have consolidated our position for our customised programmes at 16 in Europe. Globally, we are even going up one place to 28 in the world. When looking at the specific criteria that the ranking is composed of, we score exceptionally well and are making progress on:

  • Future use – ranked 18 out of 85 schools
  • Teaching methods & materials – ranked 21 out of 85 schools
  • Programme design – ranked 23 out of 85 schools

Alexandre Segers, Business Unit Manager Customised Programmes, comments on these good results:
"Customer orientation comes first, not only during the programme, but also afterwards. Our customers know that we always go the extra mile, putting their needs in a central position. We also integrate touch points beyond the actual programme, such as the Vlerick Learning Festival aimed at L&D managers".

"As far as teaching methods are concerned, we can truly say that we are a fully-fledged partner for online learning. Between 2016 and 2018 we were able to further refine our digital learning methodology and approach through a number of online programmes for Barco, Hager and DSM, among others. The highlight of this evolution was undoubtedly the creation of our Digital Studio in 2019, as a result of which we took the step from stand-alone, entrepreneurial initiatives to a structurally integrated team that collects and further operationalises all our best practices on online learning".

"Finally, co-creation is central to the way we design our programmes. Based on workshops, interviews and company visits, we determine the objectives and training needs together with the customer. Before we design a programme, it is important not only to know the customer through and through, but also to understand the broader context and history of the company. That allows us to weave all these aspects into the programme design. For example, our professors went on a construction site visit at Besix and at FrieslandCampina, we collected good and inspiring in-house cases and incorporated them into the programme. So, we're really taking our time to design our customised programmes". 

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