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2016 saw the launch of the first English-taught Bachelor’s programme at VUB, and the success of the programme surpassed everyone’s expectations.
The initial intake for the Bachelor in Social Sciences was set at a break-even of 60 students; in the end, 136 registered. The following year, in September 2017, the intake number stood at 224, an impressive 65% increase and clearly a massive success.
The students are from across the world. In all there are currently 334 students covering 70 different nationalities in the Bachelor of Social Sciences programme: international students from across Europe (28%), from outside Europe (34%), and quite a few students living in Belgium (38%).
The new Bachelor in Business Economics will start in October 2018, and looks set to emulate the Bachelor in Social Sciences programme’s success, with the same target audience in terms of intake.
The launch of the 2nd English-taught bachelor programme is part of a larger, longer term plan to bolster the VUB’s Solvay Business School, accompanied by a brand new logo, and a soon to be launched marketing plan to increase awareness about the school, improve recruitment, and get alumni more involved.
The latter works by means of the LinkedIn page, which has proved very popular, and is gaining followers fast: https://www.linkedin.com/school/vub-solvay-business-school/
Ultimately the aim is to present students with a continuous sequence of study at the Solvay Business School. By setting up the Bachelor in Business Economics programme, a seamless flow is possible from bachelor’s to master’s degree in business. The programme will propose two concentrations, one in international business, and one in business and technology. All students who complete the Bachelor in Business Economics will be admitted to the Master in International Business. Equally, students who complete the concentration in business & technology will be admitted to the Master in Business & Technology. That’s the plan.
All in all, the aim is to have a cohesive mirrored set-up in both Dutch-taught and English-taught programmes at the VUB. There are no plans to get rid of or diminish the Dutch-language offering. The creation of the English-taught bachelor’s degrees is to match the Dutch-language offering. Both the Dutch-language track and the English-language track will allow for easy transfer from the programmes in one language to the other.
Is there a plan to offer a Master in Business Administration (MBA) degree at the Solvay Business School? Not for now. An MBA has different objectives and a different target audience. The focus now is on ensuring a seamless flow from the bachelor’s to the master’s programmes in both languages.
Meanwhile, the Solvay Business School is ready to launch its new logo, reinvigorate its LinkedIn page, and work hard at promoting its new Bachelor in Business Economics, ready for the new academic year in September.