Welcome to the Deans' Interviews section,
which aims to gather Deans' opinions on some of the main issues concerning the university experience.
Enjoy your reading!


  • Yasmine Benamour


    Yasmine Benamour

    HEM Business School


    31-07-2017 02:20 AM

    What are currently the biggest pedagogical challenges ?

    The biggest pedagogical challenges”
    Yasmine BENAMOUR, Ph.D.
    Professor, Managing Director of HEM Business School
    As Managing Director of a business school, how do you see the world today? 

    The world is changing and today’s students needs and ways in which students learn are also changing. We live in a world where the largest taxi company owns no vehicles (UBER created in 2009), the largest store in the world has no inventory (Alibaba.com e-commerce site sold the total of 17 billion Euros in 24 hours in the last black Friday of 2016), the largest platform of rental housing owns no houses (airbnb), and the largest social media produces no media content (Facebook, as of the fourth quarter of 2016, Facebook had 1.9 billion monthly active users connecting to the platform to inject media content). Paradigms have changed, which is largely due to the ecosystem that our students will enter. And this is the business ecosystem that our students son to be managers and actors. This brings us to concluding that higher education institutions will have to introduce innovations in every aspect of their business model.


    Did students change themselves? How?

    Yes, they have. We can’t ignore this fact and we have to adapt. The impact of information and communication technologies is evident today, particularly amongst the youth. High School graduates in 2016-2017 and the cohort born in the early 2000s (Generation Z) were born and literally live with the Internet. Early masters of IT tools (computers, smartphones, tablets etc) they are more equipped and have easy access to information. Although today’s generation of students are known for their impatience and low attention spans we forget that this generation is still capable of multitasking effectively.

    With a greater sense of curiosity, students now have a bigger desire to learn and study a particular subject in depth. And above all this, they are also known for valuing quality of life over money.

    So what is the pedagogical impact on business schools?
    A way in which Business Schools can prepare their students for the future, is by redesigning study programs, keeping up with industry trends and develop content that carries not only immediate relevance but also offers lifetime value. What is needed is an exploration of ways in which a curriculum could be redesigned to include management in a global context, leadership development, innovation, critical thinking, and experiential learning. A teaching methodology where the purpose is not just to communicate information but allows students select the right information, analyze, structure, and effectively put it into practise needs to be taught. Acquiring the knowledge is one thing, but learning how to use it and having the ability to transfer this knowledge is an important and valuable skill set.
    What did you do about that in HEM Business School, what pedagogical changes are you making?

    The mission of HEM Business School is to educate this generation destined to be future responsible leaders and provide them the right kind of “knowledge” and “how to act on it”, through the right educational approach, innovative research and a multidisciplinary team. Therefore, a school wide project of rethinking our pedagogical model was undertaken these last two years, which a sound proof that illustrates the sense of innovative state of mind at HEM BS with a willingness to take on different paths to be able to keep up with the new ways of student learning. Through the newly reconfigured HEM's “Grande Ecole Program”, we seek to meet the expectations of the business world, but also to the personal growth needs of our alumni, which are indispensable for any manager of today.

    In order to meet these objectives, the current “Grande Ecole Program” is now based on three complementary and inseparable dimensions: personal growth dimension, academic dimension and employability & entrepreneurship dimension. Each of these three dimensions seeks to achieve objectives based on precise content and differentiated but complementary tools. Beside that, four reinforcement axes have been implemented:

    1. All our “Grande Ecole Program” syllabuses have been reviewed and simplified. Therefore, only important matters have been left for students to able to retain only the essential and since they can find the information everywhere nowadays.

    2. We injected inside the class what we call “crystallization” sessions, a time to pause where the teacher makes sure everything is understood by students. He highlights the purpose of the class, the purpose or studied concepts, their foundations and their application methods. He makes students understand why they are there learning and what for.

    3. We indicated for each class the areas that might be necessary to extend or improve by students themselves. Therefore, they can develop their autonomy.

    4. And last but not least, we integrated some e-learning but not as a substitute of a class but as a complementary tool.


    HEM has also developed a unified approach, based on an essentially participatory and interactive method.

    Participative: we put the student in pedagogical situation of active participation. The training professor then plays the role of more of a facilitator and the go to person.

    Interactive: The pedagogical act is above all an act of communication in which the teacher transmits messages and collects feedback. Associated with his/her classmates, the student escapes the crushing face to face with the "professor"; He/she is inclined to express him/herself, to take initiatives. The spirit of cooperation and teamwork encourages exchanges both in knowledge and in the experience of social relations.


    In sum, HEM being essentially a state of mind rather than just a classic Business School, the success of its pedagogical model depends mainly on a triptych model involving (1) the students, (2) Faculty and (3) administrative staff aiming at same ultimate goal of successfully training future responsible and response-able leaders with a good sense of ethics.  It is based more on the development of skills and competencies rather than simply completing course syllabuses.


  • Challenges

    Andrey Kolyada

    Eurasian Management and Administration School - EMAS Business School


    20-07-2017 06:53 AM

    What are currently the biggest pedagogical challenges ?

    Again, it is digitalization. This revolution will reduce the cost of academic programs and make it available to a wider audience. Consequently, a lot of old fashioned business schools will be forced out of the market. This is a subject that was once discussed as a theoretical challenge, and is now a reality. Face-to-face studies will remain preferable, however mass market education will shift online.


  • Challenges

    Selcan Timur

    Eastern Mediterranean University - Faculty of Business and Economics


    22-06-2017 01:38 AM

    What are currently the biggest pedagogical challenges ?

    Motivation concerning the benefits and contribution of the class lecture to students future life is really a tough job. This may recall some psychological training for lecturers, as this is something they may not be prepared for as a lecturer. Training the trainers kind programs can be useful on this concern.