Warm Memories of the Winter School

Nadine Burquel

Director of the Winter School for Senior Administrators at Director at BCS sàrl
She has worked on higher education developments in Europe for the last 20 years and has directed the Winter School since its launch in 2003.

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Humane_logoThe EFMD(ESMU) HUMANE Winter School is designed to develop the leadership potential of senior administrators in business schools and universities. Nadine Burquel looks back at its first 12 years.

When the European Centre for Strategic Management of Universities (ESMU) and the Heads of University Management and Administration Network in Europe (HUMANE) launched their Winter School in 2003 they were eager to train the next generation of European university senior administrators. The aim was also to develop a cadre of professional senior university administrators and encourage them to network across Europe.

The belief was that senior leaders and managers must be able to understand the global challenges facing their institutions; and acquire the necessary skills to lead their institutions through complex developments.

The HUMANE network was launched in the mid-1990s to promote the professional development and networking of university heads of administration in Europe. Through the integration of the activities of ESMU into EFMD in 2013, the Winter School is now undergoing exciting new developments in the global context of EFMD’s activities.

Business schools and universities have seen tremendous changes in the last few years. Global competition for talent has risen significantly while public funding has decreased and new information technology offers opportunities to address new markets. It has more than ever become vital to face complex changes and establish a strong brand and reputation.

The Winter School is a major international leadership development programme in higher education management which is unique at the European level. It brings together senior administrators from business schools and universities from all over Europe.

Participants are supported by their heads of administration or heads of school. They submit a detailed application to their school or institution outlining their interest and their reasons for wanting to attend the Winter School. This often follows an internal selection procedure.

A Steering Committee of EFMD and HUMANE representatives selects the best candidates out of each year’s applications and accepted 40 applicants (a record number) for the 2014 session.

The Winter School will expand as demand grows and is now considering offering multiple editions in different parts of the world.

The programme is delivered over five days, currently at the Continuing Education Centre of the Universitat Politecnica de Valencia in Spain, a dynamic university that has had a significant impact on regional innovation.

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