Slovenia is the first country in the region to have a business school included on the Financial Times business school rankings.
By Maja Dragovic
The latest recognition amongst a number of accolades in recent years, including Equis in 2006 and AACSB in 2010, sets University of Ljubljana Faculty of Economics (FELU) further apart from its competitors in this part of Europe. Ranked 83rdoverall, its masters’ programme is in the top 20 for career progress, while, due to its low tuition fees, it ranked second in the value for money category.
Established in 1946, FELU has been building its reputation in the region and beyond ever since. Since the break-up of former Yugoslavia and Slovenia’s subsequent independence, the faculty has been adapting its programmes and teaching methods that now make it stand out amongst the competition.The result is that more than 15% of FELU’s graduates occupy positions in top management. With average salary of USD 37,000, they are employed in leading national and international companies, such as NLB, Krka, Novartis, Ernst & Young, Telekom Slovenije, Mercator, Sandoz, Petrol etc. A survey amongst FELU’s recent graduates shows that 36% of them had a job before completing studies and 55% land a job within 6 months after graduation.
FELU, however, does not intend to rest on its laurels. Competition is fierce and rapidly changing times demand continuous adaptations to give students cutting edge knowledge.
New courses for future challenges
“The biggest change in the last decade was introduction of new specialisation – Technology Management – that is unique in the region”, say the faculty’s dean Metka Tekavčič. In addition, “the content of Digital Marketing and Finance specialisations is changing on yearly basis. The program itself promotes working on case studies with companies on the content and business issues that are most relevant for business community in that specific period.”
Looking ahead, Tekavčič points out several trends that will dominate the future of business schools.
“Among them are digitalisation and successful digital transformation, which also means a way of finding balance between physical and online teaching and learning and finding innovative digital business solutions.”
“Interdisciplinary and internationalisation are forcing business schools to give their students the environment where they will gain the skills to work in teams from different backgrounds, disciplines and cultures. Moreover, the very high impact of neuroscience will be evident in the future, where business schools will have to adapt their teaching and learning strategies based on the developments in neuroscience.”
Adapting the programmes is just one aspect of keeping ahead of the competition. FELU also works on attracting students from across the world, rather than just focusing on local and regional applicants. In the last three years, students from 74 different countries were enrolled for full-time studies and every semester there are students from between 35 to 40 countries on study exchange programmes. In 2017/2018 academic year, almost 15% of full-time enrolled students were international.
“This enables FELU’s students to develop their intercultural skills more effectively”, says Tekavčič.
In 2017/2018 academic year, the share of full-time foreign students enrolled in programmes taught in English was 22.6%. Hence, about half of the adjunct faculty and about 90% of visiting professors are from abroad.
They come from 23 countries, with the highest number coming from USA. Many come from renowned business schools, including the Pennsylvania State University from the USA, University of Queensland from Australia, and Erasmus University Rotterdam from the Netherlands.