The prestige element of Spanish education that attracts global talent



Our educational system never fares very well in the rankings produced by PISA, the Program for the International Assessment of Students of the
. Nor is it common for Spanish universities to sneak into the global lists of the best valued. However, in our country we have an element of prestige that has been consolidated for years. Some of our business schools enjoy a great international recognition which attracts thousands of foreign students year after year. There are numerous rankings that evaluate the quality of these centers, following a series of criteria. In many of these classifications it is common to find schools such as IE, IESE, EAE, ESADE or ESIC. They are a reference, they are at the forefront at the international level.

"In Spain we have schools of recognized national and international prestige, both large and small, that can look calmly into the eyes of those who are outside," he says. Miguel Portillo, CEO of PageGroup. "Students from abroad come to these schools, many stay to work in Spain and help increase talent," he adds. These postgraduate studies are a necessary requirement to qualify for most of the selection processes for qualified profiles. «Our clients value positively that candidates have the initiative to train continuously, not just at one point in your life. Like everything else, the seal, the brand, the reputation of the organizations in which they study does have an influence, ”acknowledges Portillo. Hence the importance of knowing how to choose the training and the school based on the moment in which the candidate is and its purpose. “There are many well-known schools, but not all programs are equally recommended. You have to analyze everything, "he advises.

Solid reputation

The reputation of these schools has not been achieved overnight. «It is like a brand, it is built in the long term, and in the case of a business school it is given by the performance and professional quality of the students you have trained. In other words, to the extent that you train students who then have excellent performance and career progression, you will build and consolidate your reputation in the market in the long term, ”explains Ignacio Gafo, Vice Dean of IE Business School at IE University. In the case of IE Business School This has been its strategic vision and what has guided the institution over the years: "Give the necessary training to our students so that they are prepared to exercise sustainable leadership and have a successful professional career."

From IE they recall that the world of Higher Education and that of Business Schools "is tremendously dynamic and competitive." Every year new schools burst in, from different parts of the world, with new approaches, business models and value proposals that make "staying among the best requires continuous reinvention, evolution and adaptation to stay competitive", Gafo emphasizes. Hence, this school encourages and maintains the spirit of nonconformity, 'the growth mentality', which is what "leads you to question, rethink and improve the educational experience at the institution."

Born in our country, «in his internationalization process, IE has opened and developed international markets, evidencing the quality of Spanish Higher Education. This has served to create a positive image around the Spain brand, which has facilitated the internationalization (in the vast majority of cases in other market segments) of other Spanish business schools ”, highlights the vice-dean.

From France to Spain

There are more cases that confirm that Spain is a reference in this type of training. For example, the landing of ESCP Business School. This organization opened its Madrid campus in 1988, the fourth being established outside of France. They began offering the Executive MBA and later expanded the portfolio with Specialized Masters and consolidated programs that were taught in other campuses of the ESCP network. «Our growth in recent years has been exponential, based on pillars such as educational excellence and personalized attention to our students. We also have a wonderful city like Madrid, where students from all over the world want to come to study, both for life off campus and for the cost of living, which is very accessible for most of our students ”, he highlights Francisco Egaña, Director of Admissions and Development of the Madrid campus.

The Madrid campus has been a pioneer in developing online programs since 2014 that have acted as catalysts for the digitization of ESCP. «It was the first campus to launch a 100% online Executive Master, the Executive Master in International Business (EMIB), based on tailor-made programs created for companies in 'blended' or mixed formats, in which participants received training both in online format (asynchronously or synchronously) as face-to-face ”, explains the person in charge. This experience in non-face-to-face training allowed them from the beginning of the pandemic to respond effectively and quickly by launching their methodology called: AMBL Adaptative Model Blended Learning, a hybrid proposal, highly flexible which has allowed them to change their delivery from online to face-to-face –and vice versa– depending on the circumstances.

In these highly prestigious schools, the international network formed by all their students is important. In the case of IESE, for example, there are already more than 50,000 former students that comprise it. "We train leaders who aspire to have a deep, positive and lasting impact on people, companies and society through professional excellence, integrity and a spirit of service", they affirm from IESE Business School, in which they aspire to be a world reference business school in purpose, inspiring leaders who think that everyone is important.

Another of the characteristics that stand out at IESE are the new professional opportunities and salary after completing the MBA. According to the standards of the MBA CSEA, the body that defines the rules of employment data for MBA students around the world, 96% of the IESE MBA class of 2019 received a job offer three months after graduation. This data reflects the work of the Career Development Center department, which organizes numerous activities, fairs, conferences, etc., for its alumni every year.

The Covid does not set limits

In the most prestigious Spanish schools, the high number of international students stands out, which not even the pandemic has slowed down. In the case of the IESE MBA, it is 82%. «The MBA 2022 class is made up of 355 students, 82% of whom are internationals from 50 different countries. 36% come from Europe, 25% from Asia, 19% from South America, 14% from North America, 5% from the Middle East and 1% from the rest of the world. 32% of the class are women and the average age is 29.7 years ”, highlights the school. In the last year there has been an increase in the number of applications. In September 2020, 438 new MBA and MiM students began at the Barcelona and Madrid campuses, while a year earlier 415 students did.

On IE University there are 80% international students from 140 countries. "We are committed to being a global and diverse school, where people from all over the world have a place, with academic excellence and social commitment and with different perspectives," he highlights. Ignacio Gafoby IE. At ESCP Businnes School, 90% of its students are foreigners, of which 70% come from Western Europe, which translates into classes with at least 20 different nationalities among the students and the same among the teachers. There is no doubt, Spanish business schools are breaking borders.

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