The Executive MBA program of the Graduate School of Management of St. Petersburg University (GSOM SPbU) and the Graduate School of Business Almaty Management University (GSB AlmaU) ranked 22nd among the joint programs of the international QS Executive MBA Rankings 2021: Joint Programmes. The educational product of the two leading business schools of the CIS countries was listed in the QS ranking for the first time this year.
Deputy President and Chairman of VTB Bank Management Board, GSOM SPbU Director Olga Dergunova while opening the meeting, noted a number of important achievements of the Business School in the second quarter of 2021, including the of dormitories for the Business School's students at Mikhailovskaya Dacha campus.
“On September 1, a significant event will take place: the Mikhailovskaya Dacha will offer facilities for living 24/7 at the campus. The commissioning of its 600-bed dormitories for Bachelor program's students will be a huge step for the Business School. And we hope that the epidemiological situation will allow us all to meet face-to-face at our dream campus” – noted Olga Dergunova.
Konstantin Krotov, Executive Director of GSOM SPbU, spoke about the preliminary results of the final stage of the accreditation procedure for the AACSB — Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business- Accreditation. For five years, the Business School has been actively preparing for this event. The preparation for the AACSB accreditation of GSOM SPbU ended in early June with a series of interviews with the international accreditation commission: from 6 to 9 Jun:, 21 online meetings were held, in which 60 employees and representatives of GSOM SPbU, 20 students and seven sponsoring companies took part. A formal decision is expected to be announced by the AACSB in the fall of 2021.
“It is difficult to overestimate the importance of obtaining the AACSB. It will make the Business School even more international and global. We have raised the bar of our ambitions to the highest possible level and have tried to show compliance at this level to the accreditation commission. I want to give a huge thank you to our partners and our advisors, they have impressed the commission — with the support and depth of interaction with the Graduate School of Management of St. Petersburg University”, — said Konstantin Krotov, thanking the entire team that took part in the preparation for accreditation.
One of the key strategic initiatives, the implementation of which will allow the Business School to meet the high standards of accreditation commissions, will be the further strengthening of the ESG (Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance) efforts at the Business School.
“We have a serious handicap — GSOM SPbU adopted and began to develop the values of corporate social responsibility and then sustainable development back in the 90s, when few people thought about them. We set the goal of increasing the share of ESG-oriented disciplines in the curricula of basic educational programs to 15%. In particular, the block on ESG in Finance will become part of the Master in Corporate Finance (MCF), and the Master in Smart City Management (MSC) program will help apply these principles in urban planning and development. Our goal is for ESG to become a cross-cutting topic on the agenda of the Business School rather than just one of the elements of our activity”, — Olga Dergunova emphasized.
Further updating of all main educational programs of GSOM SPbU and the creation of a Teaching Excellence Lab methodological center also aim at implementing the strategy.
Irina Mikhailova, Director for EdTech Projects at VTB Bank, a member of the project office of GSOM SPbU, spoke about plans to develop the area of executive education. She recalled that “one of the pillars” of the GSOM SPbU development strategy until 2025 will be online programs. According to her, the average growth rate of the online education market in the world is 20-30% per year, in Russia it is expected to grow 2-4 times over five years.
The GSOM SPbU team plans to enter the market in a format called Essentials. The first-of-the-line programs have been successfully piloted by “Sistema” JSFC, Gazprom, and VTB Bank.
“The Essentials line of programs assumes a step-by-step acquisition of all the knowledge and skills required by a novice manager. We were prompted to create it by the success of the pilot of Management Essentials, which we plan to upscale. The programs will contain functional foundations, which, once received, will enable managers and middle managers to make decisions in a more qualified manner”, — stressed Irina Mikhailova.
Director of the Directorate of Continuing Education Programs at GSOM SPbU Leonid Vasiliev spoke about plans to launch the Leaders of Change MBA program jointly with Skillbox online university.
“The Leaders of Change MBA program is built on AMBA standards and modern digital technologies. Here, the key method of delivering information is also online, which allows executives and owners from remote regions of Russia, Russian-speaking countries of the CIS, and other countries of the world to receive executive education at a high international level. The slogan of the program is "Think about the future, think fundamentally, act systemically. Now there is a great demand for practice-oriented learning, at the same time, we understand that any program must be fundamental. Therefore, the Leaders of Change MBA program will meet the criteria of the highest level, including academic mobility, access to lectures by foreign lecturers, an AMBA certificate, and an SPbU diploma” - emphasized Leonid Vasiliev.
The participants of the meeting highly appreciated the hybrid format of the event and the interactive capabilities of the new "smart" classrooms on the GSOM SPbU Mikhailovskaya Dacha Campus, created by the Business School as part of building a digital educational environment. It is planned to devote one of the next meetings with the advisors of GSOM SPbU to this topic.