INSEAD began in the forests of Fontainebleau more than 50 years ago. Our expansion into Asia came in 1999 with the opening of our Singapore campus, followed by Abu Dhabi in 2007. This fall, we have expanded our reach further with the opening of another campus – and this time it’s online.
Part of a new joint initiative between INSEAD and the INSEAD Alumni Association (IAA), Lifelong Learning seeks to harness INSEAD’s online learning programme capabilities, while providing further reinforcement of the unique benefits available to alumni as members of the INSEAD community. This “fourth campus” was officially launched in September with an online beta programme available exclusively to alumni members of the IAA.
The last several years have seen growing activity in online education. Rather than joining public platforms for MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), INSEAD has been pioneering highly impactful customised courses for leading corporate clients. The school’s online courses are composed of bite-sized videos filmed on campus, with interactive modules including discussions, reflections and quizzes, along with periodic faculty interaction and close guidance from a learning coach. Most importantly, by completing an action learning project as part of the course, students can apply their learning back to their own sector and organisation in a supportive and risk-free environment.
Over the last two years of its online development, INSEAD has focused on digital business topics and clients, with six courses created for Microsoft and Accenture Strategy, for whom the school has now educated more than 10,000 employees. With strong results in terms of completion rates, participant assessment of content relevance and measured business impact, INSEAD has won numerous awards for learning innovation in 2015 and 2016.
Deputy Dean and Eli Lilly Chaired Professor of Strategy & Innovation, Peter Zemsky, who is leading the initiative with the assistance of Learning Coach Swapnil Chugh, MBA’11D, says that digital has become both a leading challenge and opportunity for more and more sectors and organisations.
“True to our entrepreneurial heritage, INSEAD has moved enthusiastically to address this fundamental shift in business and society. We have both deepened our expertise in the digital transformation of organisations and developed cutting edge capabilities in online learning. These new capabilities create a wonderful opportunity in partnership with the IAA to expand the life-long learning offering to our global alumni community,” he said.
INSEAD is now in the process of rolling out its online courses to the wider global business executive community, starting with the course ‘Strategy in an Age of Digital Disruption’ in January.
When the beta version was launched to the IAA in September, it was heavily oversubscribed. Typical of all things INSEAD, the group of alumni pioneers is a varied one, with participants coming from more than 20 countries and representing over 20 different industries, ensuring that INSEAD’s reputation for quality and diversity will be maintained on our newest campus. The school and the National Alumni Associations are also partnering to create events focused on digital disruption around the globe that will be held in conjunction with the programme.
The aim is that the beta period will lead to a range of initiatives in conjunction with the IAA to provide complementary learning opportunities on our online campus, thereby supporting INSEAD alumni wherever they may be in their career, or indeed the world.
As Dean Zemsky says, “Times are changing for all of us and management education is no exception. As tech opens up wonderful new possibilities for online education and knowledge sharing, it is increasingly clear that INSEAD’s next campus needs to be digital. The school and our alumni network working together is a unique and tremendously formidable partnership to co-create this new experience and shape the future of lifelong business education.”