Insurers Role in Sustainable Growth – University of Technology Sydney Business School

Brink-May-insuranceA new resource, launched at the Global Compact LEAD Symposium in Madrid on November 19th, provides an overview of mutually beneficial partnerships between businesses and business schools with the aim to further sustainability strategies. To support this, a number of posts focused on these types of partnerships will be featured in more depth on Primetime over the upcoming months.

One partnership example comes to us from the University of Technology Sydney Business School in Australia. A group of Executive MBA students are engaged in a global project bringing together the UN and business partners to explore specific business practices related to sustainability in the insurance industry. I spoke with James Hutchin, Associate Dean Business Practice, and the project leader about this innovative initiative and its potential global benefits.

Provide a brief overview of the project

Executive MBA candidates at University of Technology Sydney Business School in Australia have been undertaking a study which aims to ensure that ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) risks such as climate change, human rights abuses and corruption are considered in the placement of surety bonds (credit guarantees) for big infrastructure projects. The team is working in collaboration with several of the world’s leading insurers, and the International Finance Corporation, an arm of The World Bank.

How did the project come about?

Carefully led MBA project teams have been a big part of The United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative insurance industry work since 2008, when the foundational research for the Principles for Sustainable Insurance was first conducted. Since that time, several further projects have been undertaken, many of them with the involvement of joint MBA teams working from the University Technology Sydney and The Fox School of Business, Temple University (Philadelphia).

The actual incorporation of environmental, social and governance risks in the underwriting of surety bonds for infrastructure projects is at present highly variable from insurance company to company, and varies by region of the world.   Our study will hopefully do much to establish a good picture of the current “state of play”, as well as identify what might be some useful guidelines that could be more universally adopted.

What is the Insurers Role in Sustainable Growth? Why is this an important project?

Simply put, no other industry has more alignment of interest with good sustainable outcomes than the insurance industry. When sustainability outcomes go badly, for example hurricane frequency and severity increases because of climate change, then more losses occur which in turn the industry pays. This project is critically important in that it takes the guiding principles of the Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI), and then seeks to apply them to a specific line of business (“product”) in a way that is useful and quite pragmatically driven.

How has the project been received by the students? What have been some of the successes?

The project is not yet fully completed and a working group of PSI executives and participating professors is continuing to progress the research. The student work to date has been outstanding, and the learning accomplished really quite remarkable. Many business schools on graduation say to students, “… go forth and change the world…” The project demonstrates our ability to deliver a project, guidance, and process that enables them to do that right now.

What have been some of the results so far?

Preliminary research by the team suggests big differences in how ESG factors are considered in types of projects in different countries. The results will feed into a project involving the United Nations, the World Bank and the world’s largest reinsurer, Munich Re looking at how the insurance industry can strengthen its contribution to sustainable development. They will also inform the development of ESG guiding principles for surety bond underwriting as surety providers are in a position to influence how ESG risks are addressed in big projects.

What advice do you have for others thinking of doing a similar project (perhaps in a different industry?)

Five things:

  • You need deep and specific industry expertise embedded in your project leader.
  • There needs to be a practical focus on actual outcomes – this is applied research, not a search for a new theory of business.
  • You need a time-tested and solid process. Getting to “professional grade” consulting output is difficult in the best of circumstances; in a university setting, working with student teams, it requires great attention to detail, timelines, and quality management.
  • Great students are a must, they will never work harder!
  • The “client” must have an executive sponsor deeply committed to the project and in a position to drive outcomes.

What’s next?

We have been so privileged to work with United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initative (UNEP FI), Munich Re, The IFC and others on this project, and have learned much about how to make the generic goals of the PSI actionable at the line of business level. What we most hope for as next is the opportunity to engage more MBA teams in the process, and complete similar projects in other lines of business, working with multiple universities around the world.

Roadmap for Integrated Sustainability – Visions forward and Ways to Engage

On 19 November, the Global Compact’s 2015 LEAD Symposium brings LEAD companies together to discuss the integration of sustainability into the functional areas of a company, including Research & Development, Human Resources, Marketing, Finance, Supply Chain, etc. and will also serve to launch the Roadmap for Integrated Sustainability – a comprehensive framework for the acceleration of best practice and performance on sustainability integration that will enable companies to lead the way to a sustainable future.

The Student Challenge

In preparation for the event, students of PRME Champions schools were invited to enter the PRME-LEAD Challenge by submitting a short video that captures their vision on the theme of the event: Roadmap for Integrated Sustainability. Students were asked to see themselves as the CEO of a large company and answer the following questions: What is the function that you see as the number one priority for integrating sustainability? Tell us what industry your company is in and specifically why you chose this function.

The Winning Videos

The top videos were shown at the Symposium in Madrid today:

The winning video Roadmap for Integrated Sustainability: Research and Development, the How from students at the University of Guelph College of Business and Economics in Canada focused on the key roles of research and development in developing the how to implement sustainability, as well as marketing to develop strategic engagement plans that represent the companies vision.

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 15.26.06

A runner up, the video from students at the University of Guelph College of Business and Economics in Canada focused on the role of sustainability in human resources, its role in employee engagement and how employee satisfaction builds stronger companies.Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 15.26.38

Sustainability is all around us, a runner up from students at Externado University Management Faculty in Colombia explained how sustainability does not depend on one specific area but rather that all parts of the business need to be engaged and active. Sustainability must be part of the vision and mission statements as well as part of key priorities. Click to see the video.

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 15.26.52

The PRME Secretariat regularly puts out calls for student videos to be shown at Global Compact events. Read the monthly newsletter to stay updated.

Creating Students Passionate about Social Responsibility – Lomonosov Moscow State University (Part 2)

stud_zhizn1-235One of the main requirements for putting in place successful programmes that really engage students in sustainability is a passionate team of enthusiastic individuals. Lomonosov Moscow State University Business School in Moscow, Russia definitely has that. The result has been a range of different programmes that aim to involve students in a number of social projects throughout their undergraduate degrees.

I spoke with Natalia Bukhshtaber, Associate Dean for Academic Programmes and International Affairs, Natalia Sharabarina, Director of Social Education and Nina Koryakina, Supervisor of Social Education Programmes about their initiatives, in particular the Diary for Social Responsibility, and the impact this has had on their students.

What is the Diary of Social Responsibility?

Diary of Social Responsibility is an initiative we started a year ago and it has grown into a more comprehensive project. We realised that there was a need to address social responsibility issues earlier in the programme, during the first and the second years of study, since our Business Ethics and CSR courses are introduced during the third year. Two years ago we started a volunteering project for first year students and the Social Responsibility Diary for second year students.

The Diary of Social Responsibility course focuses on individual social responsibility, the importance of individual values, and corporate philanthropy, aspects that we consider prerequisite to our Business Ethics and CSR courses. Within this initiative, the students learn from and meet with a variety of charity foundations. They complete a number of Small Action projects with these groups to gain experience on implementing social projects. They are then prompted to reflect and discuss the experience in small group and one-on-one setting and to write about them in a Diary.

How did the course come about?

In our initial talks with the students, we encountered a number of stereotypes we wanted to challenge. These included:

  • Social responsibility is for ‘special people’ like social workers, religious workers, etc. I am not one of these; therefore, why should I be involved?
  • Volunteering is for people who have plenty of spare time. I am not one of these; therefore, why should I be involved?
  • Philanthropy is for rich people or celebrities who have plenty of spare money. I am not one of these; therefore, why should I be involved?
  • Social projects mean a personal encounter with dying children or deformed elderly or someone like this. It will clearly be a traumatic experience, and I don’t welcome it.

Most of these stereotypes were due to the fact that, despite media coverage of social initiatives, many of our students had not had any exposure of social projects. We realised that the exposure had to be limited so we came up with Small Actions strategy, providing small groups of students with clear, realistic, measurable tasks, so they would see that, once you become socially responsible (or, you become aware of social responsibility), you can always find ways to practice social responsibility, and even small deeds can make a big difference.

What do the students put in their diary?

The original idea was for them to reflect on every event they participated in. This proved a bit difficult for a number of reasons. Firstly, journaling in general is not common in Russia. This year, in planning our new course (which is now required), we decided to ask the students to make presentations based on their reflections.

Personal discussions proved to be more informative than writing in diaries, either one-on-one or in small groups. During these, we discussed how their perspective on socially meaningful projects, volunteering, philanthropy, and NGOs was changing. We saw that some of their former assumptions were challenged and revisited.

What have been some insights from this initiative?

One of the interesting discoveries was that the students’ attitude toward social responsibility did not correlate with their academic achievement and education background. Some of our students who were not doing well academically became our ‘heroes’ and we saw a totally different side of them. Some of the people who had discipline issues took their Small Actions very seriously.

The biggest outcome of the project, perhaps, was the students’ initiative to do something bigger and on our own. Once they got engaged in Small Actions, the main question they had was “Can we do something bigger?” We ended up organising our very first Charity Gala to benefit one of the foundations we were cooperating with in the project. The second year students who were the core team and they really took charge of the event. At the end of the Gala, we raised over 330,000 RUB (nearly 5,500 Euros) for an elderly home in the Tambov Region. At the end of the year, when we asked for students’ feedback about the academic year (our regular practice), quite a few responses were, “We are incredibly proud that we were part of the Charity Gala and we hope the work will continue.”

What advice do you have for other schools interested in putting in place something similar?

You have to believe in social responsibility and practice it yourself rather than try to reproduce something that worked somewhere else. Every student body is unique and you need to find something that will truly resonate with your student community. However, do not be afraid to try something that is totally new. When we were starting, the core team got together and we said, “We may make all the possible mistakes we can make here but we are going to learn from that and make it better next year.”

Secondly, we saw the benefits of the Small Actions approach. In a situation where students had never participated in anything of the sort, most of them felt insecure and hesitant to try. The point is not to scare them off but suggest something that looks like fun and something they would be willing to try.

Thirdly, keep praising your students. Find ways to let your student body know of the special things that were done by their fellow students and even letting the parents know.

Fourthly, you need to find dedicated people among your faculty and staff who would really take this to heart. Do not ‘assign’ it to someone who does not really grasp the essence of what you are doing or is reluctant to be involved. See who of those supervising the project will be in charge of the ‘PR part’ of it. Proper and effective communication with the student body, other faculty and staff, and the third parties involved is crucial. You don’t want to alienate people or confront them (even if you want to challenge some of their assumptions), you want understanding and cooperation. Find the person on the team who is a good (great would be better) motivational speaker.

What are some initiatives happening at Lomonosov that you are particularly proud of in the area of PRME/Sustainability/Responsible Management?

The Ostafyevo Volunteering Initiative. Ostafyevo is a museum housed in a historical mansion in the suburbs of Moscow. Due to lack of media attention and effective PR practices, the museum had very low visibility, it was known mostly to the people of the local community. Our school started a volunteering project where, once a month, students go to the museum to help with a range of tasks (cleaning, sweeping the park, etc.) and to learn more about the museum. The students organise a special event to promote the museum (a concert, a photo contest, etc.) and at the end of the year student teams present business ideas that would help increase the museum’s visibility and attract sponsors, while not compromising the museum’s values and the mansion’s environment.


For more on Lomonosov Moscow State University Business School’s approach to sustainability and responsible management click here.

Sustainability in the Russian Business and Education Communities – Lomonosov Moscow State University Business School (Part 1)

lomonosovLomonosov Moscow State University Business School is one of the oldest business schools in Russia, founded in 1989. After being impressed by their latest Sharing Information on Progress Report, I spoke with Natalia Bukhshtaber, Associate Dean for Academic Programmes and International Affairs, Natalia Sharabarina, Director of Social Education, and Nina Koryakina, Supervisor of Social Education Programmes about some of their initiatives.

In this two-part post we will look firstly at sustainability in Russia more generally. In the second post we will look specifically at how the business school is creating a more socially responsible leaders in their innovative Diary of a Social Responsibility course.

How is sustainability/responsible management viewed within the business community in Moscow? Russia in general?

While the Russian society at large still seems to be rather poorly informed of the CSR and sustainability efforts of Russian companies (a recent survey found that 62% of respondents claimed there were no socially responsible companies in Russia), the same is not true of the Russian business community. Within the last decade or so, CSR in general and sustainability in particular have become one of the pertinent issues on the agenda. In an article on the background and the current situation with CSR in Russia, Russian-based Economic Strategies Journal provided a rating of the most responsible businesses in the country. The rating was dominated by large corporations or mid-size companies, mostly from the field of resource extraction and processing.

What have been some trends you have seen in this area?

Within the last decade we have witnessed a growing number of initiatives that could be called grassroots business initiatives, where socially responsible businesses and entrepreneurs group together to share ideas and collaborate. Among these is Social Responsibility of Business, a main information hub for news, events, and resources on CSR, sustainability, and corporate philanthropy, as well as the creation of Donors Forum, a non-profit partnership of grant-providing businesses.

The Crisis Barometer is a project that monitors the current situation with CSR and corporate philanthropy/volunteering by polling representatives of about thirty large businesses. Their most recent survey was about corporate volunteering and found that only 2 of the 22 companies surveyed stated that volunteering is not part of their corporate agenda. This is a big change, as compared to some ten or even five years ago. Surveys conducted by the Crisis Barometer also found that, even under the current financial crisis, most companies did not cut their corporate philanthropy and some even doubled their expense budgets, and nearly half of the respondents see corporate volunteering and philanthropy as an ‘anti-crisis’ measure that should ‘secure stability of social investment’.

Briefly describe Lomonosov’s approach to sustainability/responsible management?

MSUBS mission is to be an agent of social change. We do this by educating our students in the values and ethics of business, by challenging unethical practices, enforcing sustainability practices, and introducing our student bodies to a range of real life examples and cases of effective business done responsibly. We were the first among Russian business schools to introduce the courses on business ethics, corporate social responsibility, and counteracting corruption.

We encourage student and faculty initiatives and involvement in academic and practical projects aimed at creating a better, safer environment, offering new services to the community, or prompting further discussion of responsibility and sustainability. In 2013, for example, a team of our students reached the semi-finals in Challenge:Future contest on The Future of Work presenting their idea of Eco Evolution for Eastern Europe. A team of our MBA alumni developed an application for allergy-affected people. Several of our faculty attended the 21st CEEMAN International Conference and presented its concept of educating socially responsible and ethically-minded business leaders.

The State of Sustainability and Management Education – Thoughts from the Community

STateOver the past couple of years, ongoing discussions have been happening between the Global Compact LEAD companies, a group of approximately 50 corporate sustainability leaders from across all regions and sectors, and the PRME Champions. Together they agreed on the importance of supporting the embedding of sustainability within higher education, more specifically in management education. The two groups have been working together over the past year through the Shaping the Future Business Leader project.

Earlier this year a survey was sent to the PRME Champions to request feedback for the project. Signatories from across all continents responded and shared their thoughts on the topic of how business schools and business could further engage and collaborate in order to further advance the integration of sustainability in management education, to create stronger leaders and more relevant research.

Respondents of the survey believe that the role of management education in sustainability is to mould future managers to understand the responsibilities they have towards the world around them and understand the contribution that they play. Business schools play a critical role and are in a unique position to play that role and provide a pool of applicants for companies that are knowledgeable about sustainability issues.

Respondents believe that business schools have really pushed their efforts, in particular over the past five years because of the financial crisis, participation in PRME, engagement of the accreditation bodies and clearer messages coming from companies themselves who are taking sustainability more seriously. The biggest push however has come from the student body.

Half of the respondents say that their schools are taking this seriously and everyone is on board. The other half say that only parts of the school are active with many faculty, in particular in finance and accounting, not as engaged.

When asked what the state of sustainability in management education respondents said that awareness of sustainability and teaching is low, and that there is a need to move from these topics being seen as add-ons to really integrating them. Sustainability is often a buzz word that lacks real substance. Despite this, interest in particular from students is growing rapidly.

The current trends in management education and sustainability include an increase in business schools engaging and signing up to PRME, a growth in sustainability-related courses including interdisciplinary courses as well as courses related to social entrepreneurship, new accreditation standards and increased government involvement, and increased engagement with the business sector and local community. Respondents mention growing interest from students and PhD cadidates as well as the business community itself.

The challenges schools are facing in moving forward in sustainability include (in order of mentions):
– Engaging faculty members in including sustainability
– Resources (financial, time etc.)
– Faculty compensation (tenure, research)
– Management support and engagement
– Tools to measure performance/impact and integration
– Framing the issues more clearly – defining sustainability
– Integrating it into the overall agenda of the university and not just a part
– Administrative buy in
– Missing courses
– Creating a bigger sense of urgency
– Lack of demand from business
– Lack of student participation

A key part of the project is exploring how business schools and business can collaborate together. Respondents said that the following engagement from business would help to overcome the above challenges:
– Funding research and PRME events as well as chairs in sustainability
– Making clear links to recruiting and careers – including sustainability in job specifications
– Developing and participating in curriculum reforms
– Sitting on advisory group and promoting the agenda as alumni, partners etc.
– Funding chairs in sustainability
– Providing internships
– Supporting faculty by sharing best practices
– More dialogue and open communication between the two groups

A full report on the State of Sustainability in Management Education provides an overview of the degree of sustainability integration in business schools and outlines the challenges business schools face in moving forward was launched at the 2015 Global Forum for Responsible Management Education.

Creating a Useful Tool for Communicating Sustainability Efforts – KEDGE Business School

KEDGE SIPOne year after its merger, which brought BEM and Euromed Management together to form KEDGE Business School, the new group ranks amongst the top 30 European business schools. Their latest Sharing Information on Progress (SIP) report, is their first integrated sustainability report as a merged business school, and explores the linkages between the organisation’s strategy, governance and financial performance, and the social, environmental and economic context within which it operates. Their report received a Recognition for Excellence in Reporting at the PRME Global Forum in June in New York City.

I spoke with Jean-Christophe Carteron, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility, and Chloé Pigeon, Marketing & Communication Director at KEDGE, about their report and advice for others working on their SIPs.

Introduce your report, and the approach you took to putting it together.

C. Pigeon: Since signing the Global Compact in 2005, we started to produce COP reports (Communication on Progress, the equivalent of a SIP for PRME). By the time we engaged in PRME in 2008, we decided to start publishing our SIP as a sustainable development (SD) report. Fortunately, a consulting company (UTOPIE in Paris) offered to help us. Three years later, our Dean asked the CSR Department to expand our work and move towards an integrated report (SD report + activity report). The third edition of this report that just came out was put together by our two departments.

Is there a part of your report or the process that you are particularly proud of?

JC Carteron: To be frank, I love the indicators chapter at the end of the report—not because it shows that we are perfect, but because it shows that we are not! In the world of business schools, we too often boast about being perfect and we usually deny recognition of the success of our peers. In a previous edition of our report, I convinced my dean to incorporate in our SIP a double page on “our greatest mistakes” and another on the “best practices of our competitors.” Thanks to that initiative, which I hope to see again in our next version, we have gained credibility and today no one would venture to “traffic figures” to erase bad results. And I hope this will last…

How are you thinking and reporting about indicators and metrics?

JC: A couple of years ago I was lucky enough to be part of the team from the two national associations of higher education in France (CGE for engineering schools and business schools and CPU for public universities), who built the first assessment tool for Higher Education Institutions. The “Green Plan” as it is called, measures a large number of criteria covering research, pedagogy, environmental management of the campus, social and territorial anchoring and governance. It was natural and easy to link the principles of PRME and the Green Plan criteria since they have worked very well for us.

As the Green Plan is de facto linked to the French context, we can recommend to have a look on the platform for sustainability in Higher Education. It brings together organisations which have created sustainability assessment tools designed to support universities and colleges around the world.

What have been some of your successes and challenges in relation to indicators?

CP: The first challenge is finding data. Before starting our report, there was a lot of data that we weren’t collecting regularly, or at all. It took us three years to have more reliable indicators. At this point our school merged (to create KEDGE BS) and after more than a year as a merged business school we are still lacking some of the data we need! The amazing thing though is that looking for this data forces us to work with all the different departments, to ask questions, and to start moving together in the same direction. In a sense, producing the SIP has helped facilitate our merger.

What advice do you have for other schools interested in an integrated report? Could any school do this?

JC: Here are some comments and suggestions based on what we’ve found useful:

1. Do not do a SIP (as integrated report or as a simpler version) simply because PRME requires it. Do it to help advance your own work.

2. The report provides a snapshot of all your actions. Reporting will help you to bring these different initiatives together, as they can often appear highly fragmented. This will highlight the successes of your teams and also allow you to see gaps and weaknesses that need to be worked on.

3. The more you produce the same kind of report as companies, the more you increase your credibility to build partnerships with companies.

4. Given the changes in accreditation criteria, such reports makes it easier during peer review by having required you to collect the info from year to year.

What plans do you have for your next report?

CP: We are hoping to create a report that brings together the PRME Principles, the French Green Plan, Global Reporting criteria (the standard used by many companies) as well as accreditation standards for EQUIS, AACSB and AMBA. We are also planning on doing a new series of stakeholder consultations in order to update to their expectations in terms of reporting. We currently, because of costs, only publish the report in English, which is an issue for French local government or small SMEs who do not master English. We are considering an online bilingual version. Finally we would like to involve students more. The largest student association on campus is focused on sustainability (Unis-Terre), so finding more projects that involve them or even co-writing the report with them would be a great improvement.

What are three initiatives that you are particularly proud of that you are working on at KEDGE that are mentioned in the report?

JC: Of course, the Sustainability Literacy Test we launched a little bit more than one and half year ago. Supported by the UN, this multiple choice questionnaire aims at testing knowledge on Sustainable Development Issues, and can be tailored to different regions. It has been taken by almost 30,000 students from 340 universities. This year will celebrate our tenth session of Model UN. Each year we have more than 300 students that participate. Last year our team came back with the Best Delegation award at the National Model UN event in New York. We are also very proud of our research in the area of CSR. We have a range of strong research collaborations with national businesses. More information can be found in our SIP.


Business School Response to the Refugee Crisis

refugeesSixty million people have been displaced by conflict and over 410,000 people have crossed the Mediterranean from the Middle East so far this year. Although the primary responsibility for peace rests with governments, the urgency of the global refugee crisis is a challenge that requires support from all actors in society on a short-, mid- and long-term basis.

One month ago today the PRME Secretariat, together with AACSB, AABS, ABIS, AMBA, CEEMAN, CLADEA, EFMD, GMAC, GRLI and EAUC issued a call to action to business schools and management-related higher education institutions (HEIs) in response to the refugee crisis. The call was made in response to a similar call made by the UN Global Compact and the UN Refugee Agency for business to take action.

The leaders of the international academic community were called to take action and address the refugee crisis by providing access to scholarships to business and entrepreneurship related classes and knowledge resources to refugees but also by raising awareness and understanding regarding the situation of refugees, and foster social cohesion. By joining forces with business, governments, UN agencies, civil society organisations and/or other HEIs, business schools can forge long-term partnerships for education and sustainable development.

The following are just a few of the many ways that business schools are responding to this crisis.

Through Collaborative Solutions

The Centre for Education on Social Responsibility at the Leeds School of Business, CU Boulder (USA) is taking a leadership role by convening relevant groups (local government, non-profits, businesses, and business schools) to address the topic of the responsibility of business and business schools to help address the refugee crisis. The meetings will consider the economic stability, employment for refugees and benefits to local employers within the Denver and Boulder business and civic communities.

By Engaging Students and Staff

ALBA Graduate Business School (Greece) collected information on how individuals can help the incoming refugees that was sent to all students, alumni, faculty and staff. Among other things, it gave directions on how to collect items and send them to the NGOs. ALBA has already offered an MBA full scholarship to a young refugee from Africa

The French Education & Research Ministry made a recent appeal to universities in France to propose solutions and actions that would facilitate the welcoming and integration of Syrian, Iraqi and Eritrean refugees. Grenoble Ecole de Management (France) has extended their criteria for the school’s volunteer skills-sharing policy to encourage GEM employees to dedicate 1- 5 days a year of their work-time to help welcome and integrate newly arrived refugees in collaboration with local associations and humanitarian organisations. GEM’s annual Geopolitical Festival in March 2016 will also highlight this urgent issue by hosting a range of activities focused that will examine and discuss the causes, the consequences and potential sustainable and human-focused solutions to this global crisis.

Engaging Refugees

Roughly 3000 refugees are accommodated in Leipzig at an emergency camp located next campus. HHL – Leipzig Graduate School of Management (Germany) opened a collecting point for donations, which are allocated to the refugees. Financial donations received via their graduate students will be used to purchase picture dictionaries in order to support language efforts. Fifteen language interpreters from across campus coordinated the matching of language interpreters with activities. One of these activities is “Neighbour meets Neighbour”, where the refugees can introduce their regional food to students and staff on campus and get in touch with the community. Another initiative has also been put in place to host indoor activities for the refugees at campus, such as a seminar room for a Refugee Law Clinic. HHL is currently organising a field project where students will work for three months with refugee support coordination bodies and a PhD thesis is underway focusing on opportunities and challenges of labour market inclusion for Germany is also in progress. The School is also planning trainings and mini courses aimed at supporting the necessary qualifications of the refugees.

Through Coursework

Hanken School of Economics (Finland) hosts the Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Research Institute (HUMLOG Institute), which is a joint research institute founded by Hanken School of Economics and the National Defence University of Finland. The aim of the HUMLOG Institute is to “to research the area of humanitarian logistics in disaster preparedness, response and recovery with the intention of influencing future activities in a way that will provide measurable benefits to persons requiring assistance”. Through this Institute, Hanken offers a course on humanitarian logistics and students in the course have been encouraged to volunteer to help in coping with the current refugee crisis. They are currently exploring the opportunity to have one project on the refugee crisis in the course this year.


  • Alfred Nobel Open Business School (China) will provide five scholarships to their online e-MBA for registered and selected refugees having business background.
  • Euclid University (Gambia) will be announcing specific full and partial scholarship programmes for qualifying displaced persons and refugees.
  • Haaga-Helia University (Finland) has a proposal a special intake for refugees to study entrepreneurship, languages, sales and service skills as well as career planning. After these studies, they could be admitted as regular students.
  • ESAN Graduate School of Business (Peru) will offer three scholarships to refugees.
  • University of Warsaw (Poland) will provide an access to business and entrepreneurship related classes and a number of scholarships will be offered.
  • University of Strathclyde Business School (UK) is developing a scholarship with the Scottish Refugee Council intended to help asylum seekers and those staying in the UK on humanitarian grounds.
  • SDA Bocconi School of Management (Italy) already offers two open courses (strategy and finance) free of charge aimed at increasing the employability of young people. This course will now also be open to refugees.
  • Grenoble Ecole de Management (France) will offer admission to 5-10 qualified student refugees to study in one of the schools’ programmes.


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