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INSEAD is a graduate business school with campuses in Europe (Fontainebleau), Asia (Singapore), and the Middle East (Abu Dhabi). The name "INSEAD" originated as an acronym of Institut Européen d'Administration des Affaires (French for "European Institute of Business Administration").

Institut Européen d'Administration des Affaires
Roundel-strap RGB-green.svg
MottoThe Business School for the World
Endowment€239 million[1]
ChairmanAndreas Jacobs[2]
DeanIlian Mihov[3]
Academic staff
(~1,000 in MBA)
(~12,000 EMBA)
(80 in Ph.D.)

INSEAD offers a full-time MBA program, an Executive MBA (EMBA) program, a Master in Finance program, a PhD in management program, a Master in Management[4] program and a variety of executive education programs.


Château de Fontainebleau

INSEAD was founded in 1957 by venture capitalist Georges Doriot (the "father of venture capitalism")[5] along with Claude Janssen and Olivier Giscard d'Estaing. Original seed money was provided by the Paris Chamber of Commerce.[6] The school was originally based in the Château de Fontainebleau, before moving to its current Europe campus in 1967.[7]


  • 1957: INSEAD founded[8]
  • 1959: First MBA intake in Fontainebleau
  • 1960: First MBA class graduates[9]
  • 1967: Opening of the school's first campus on the edge of the Forest of Fontainebleau (now called the 'Europe Campus')
  • 1968: First Executive Education programme
  • 1971: Creation of CEDEP, the European Centre for Continuing Education, on a site next to INSEAD in Fontainebleau
  • 1976: Launch of the INSEAD Alumni Fund
  • 1980: INSEAD Euro-Asia Centre opens in Fontainebleau
  • 1983: MBA programme begins its dual intake (in January and September)
  • 1987: Announcement of the INSEAD-Fundação Dom Cabral Partnership
  • 1989: Launch of the PhD programme
  • 1995: Launch of the first INSEAD Development Campaign,[10] which raised funds for permanently endowed chairs and research
  • 2000: Opening of Asia campus in Singapore[11]
  • 2001: Announcement of the INSEAD-Wharton Alliance[12] and first MBA participant exchanges
  • 2003: Launch of the Executive MBA programme
  • 2004: Opening of the Plessis Mornay Learning Space for Executive Education on Europe Campus
  • 2007: INSEAD Centre opened in Abu Dhabi, primarily for research and executive education; launch of a dual degree Executive MBA with Tsinghua University in China[13]
  • 2010: INSEAD's Abu Dhabi Center attains campus status (Middle East Campus)[8]
  • 2012: Launch of the Master in Finance specialized degree
  • 2013: MBA participant exchange agreement with CEIBS launched[14]
  • 2015: Inauguration of the Leadership Development Center in Singapore[15]
  • 2018: Launch of the Hoffmann Global Institute for Business and Society[16][17]


The original campus (Europe campus) is located in Fontainebleau, near Paris, France. INSEAD's second campus (Asia campus) is in the Buona Vista district of the city-state of Singapore. The third and newest campus (Middle East campus) is located in Abu Dhabi. Although located in Europe and Asia, INSEAD pursues the US model of a business school.[18] INSEAD has been a pioneer in setting up a multi-campus business school as a way to increase the global presence and nature of its faculty and curriculum.[19][20] A Harvard Business School case study, for instance, explores its approach to business education in a global context and how it functions with a multi-campus setting.[21]

Degree programmesEdit

MBA programmeEdit

INSEAD's MBA participants can take the MBA's core courses at either or both of its Europe and Asia campuses[22] (as well as an MBA period at its Middle East campus). They follow the same core courses in parallel regardless of campus, and there are faculty who teach on both the Europe and Asia campuses as well as permanent faculty at each of the three campuses who live and work in the respective regions.[23] Approximately 20% of the class entered the MBA program with other graduate or professional degrees; including medical doctors, lawyers, and Ph.Ds.

INSEAD offers two MBA schedules per year: one starting in September which takes ten months to complete, and a 12-month promotion starting in January for students who want to complete a summer internship.[24]

The INSEAD MBA curriculum comprises required core courses and electives. The core covers traditional management disciplines including finance, economics, organizational behavior, accounting, ethics, marketing, statistics, operations management, international political analysis, supply chain management, leadership and corporate strategy. There are 75 electives on offer[25] in areas such as accounting and control, decision sciences, economics and political science, entrepreneurship and family enterprise, finance, and organisational, strategy, marketing, technology and operations management. Students are required to speak two languages upon entry and a third by graduation.

Executive MBA programmeEdit

INSEAD has two EMBA Executive MBA programmes. The Global Executive MBA (GEMBA),[26] and the Tsinghua INSEAD EMBA (TIEMBA).[27] Both EMBA programmes are master's-level degree programmes that take place on a part-time, modular basis.

The programmes offer experienced business executives an intensive 14–17-month modular course that takes place in modular periods (approximately every six to seven weeks). Each period on campus is between one and two weeks' duration. For the GEMBA programme the physical time on campus represents 12 weeks in total with participants going to all three campuses (Fontainebleau, France, Abu Dhabi, and Singapore). For the TIEMBA programme the physical time on campus represents 12 weeks in total with participants alternating between Tsinghua's campus in Beijing, China,[28] and INSEAD's campus in Singapore.

Both the GEMBA and TIEMBA programmes include a schedule of group coaching, 360-degree assessments and team activities designed to develop a leadership style, called the Leadership Development Programme.[29]

Executive Master in Coaching and Consulting for ChangeEdit

The Executive Master in Coaching and Consulting for Change is a specialized master's degree. It provides a grounding in basic drivers of human behavior and the hidden dynamics of organizations. Integrating business education with a range of psychological disciplines, the programme enables participants to understand themselves and others at a fundamental level, which prepares them to assume roles in organisations, individual and organizational development and change management.[30][31]

PhD programmeEdit

The INSEAD PhD in Management is a doctoral degree in business to prepare students for a career in academia. It requires four to five years of full-time study - the first two years devoted to coursework, while from the third and fourth (or sometimes fifth) years dedicated to research and dissertation.[32] Students have the option to start their studies on either the Asia (Singapore) or Europe (France) campus,[33] and do an exchange in North America (USA) through the INSEAD-Wharton Alliance.[34] There are eight areas of specialization: Accounting, Decision Sciences, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Marketing, Organisational Behavior, Strategy, and Technology and Operations Management.[35] INSEAD offers fellowships, whereby students receive full tuition fee waiver, annual stipend and research support funding.[36]

Master in FinanceEdit

INSEAD's Master in Finance (MFin) teaches participants finance and accounting skills on a par with those taught in an MBA programme, and also offers leadership and management perspectives. The program is offered in a modular format over a 20-month period to allow professionals to study while continuing to work. Participants take time off from work for each of the five modules (2–3 weeks each) to take classes on campus, and continue working in between.[37]

Executive educationEdit

INSEAD holds both company/firm specific and open enrolment executive education programmes at its campuses in Europe and Asia and the Middle East, as well as in partnership with corporate universities. Participants usually come from senior or top management, with many years of experience within their company or industry and younger 'high-potentials' identified as being key in succession strategies within their companies. Approximately 12,000 executives from over 125 countries undertake courses or programmes at INSEAD each year.[38]

In 2011, INSEAD launched an Executive Certificate in Global Management which is a formal recognition awarded to participants who complete at least three INSEAD global management and leadership programmes within a four-year period.[39]

Rankings and reputationEdit

Business school rankings
Worldwide overall
Worldwide MBA
Business Insider[41]3
Financial Times[43]3

INSEAD is consistently ranked among the world's top business schools. Its MBA program has been ranked 1st globally in 2016 and 2017 in the Financial Times Global MBA Ranking, and 2nd in the 2018 ranking.[44] The dual degree Executive MBA with Tsinghua University is ranked 1st globally by the Financial Times. Moreover, INSEAD's standalone Global Executive MBA is ranked 7th in the same ranking.[45] INSEAD is ranked 1st globally in the CEO World Magazine 2017 ranking of the Best Business Schools in the World.

INSEAD has the second highest number of MBA alumni holding Chief Executive Officer positions in 2015 in the Financial Times Global 500, which is composed of the world's largest companies by market capitalization.[46]

In 2015, PitchBook Data ranked INSEAD 1st outside the US and 5th globally for the number of MBA alumni receiving venture capital funding, with over $6.1B raised. And, in 2016, the school's MBA program was ranked 5th worldwide for social and environmental impact by Corporate Knights magazine.[47]

In April 2019, INSEAD was furthermore ranked as best global business school by CEOWORLD magazine.[48]

Partnerships and alliancesEdit

INSEAD has exchange programmes with:


Centres of excellenceEdit

INSEAD has 15 research centres conducting research in different business and geographical areas. These include:

  • Centre for Decision Making and Risk Analysis (CDMRA)[54]
  • Emerging Markets Institute[55]
  • Healthcare Management Initiative[56]
  • INSEAD Africa Initiative[57]
INSEAD - Blue Ocean Strategy Institute
  • INSEAD Blue Ocean Strategy Institute[58]
  • INSEAD Centre for Entrepreneurship (ICE)[59]
  • INSEAD Corporate Governance Initiative[60]
  • INSEAD eLab[61]
  • INSEAD European Competitiveness Initiative[62]
  • INSEAD Global Leadership Centre (IGLC)[63]
  • INSEAD Global Private Equity Initiative (GPEI)[64]
  • INSEAD Innovation and Policy Initiative (IIPI)[65]
  • INSEAD Social Innovation Centre[66]
  • INSEAD Social Science Research Centre (ISSRC)[67]
  • INSEAD-Wharton Center for Global Research and Education[68]
  • Learning Innovation Centre[69]
  • Wendel International Centre for Family Enterprise[70]
  • Women@INSEAD[71]

Teaching methodsEdit

Teaching methods at INSEAD include case studies, lectures, peer-to-peer learning, tutorials, group work, simulations and role-plays.

Case studiesEdit

The case method is largely used in the classroom as a teaching method. Business case studies authored by INSEAD professors are the second most widely used in classrooms by business schools globally, after Harvard Business School's case studies.[72]

The business cases that have been designed at INSEAD have received many awards,[72] are made available in case clearing houses, and are used by many other business schools.

Business simulation gamesEdit

Business simulation games are used by INSEAD. Many of them have been designed by INSEAD faculties, and used in many institutions, including:[73]

  • The EIS simulation[74] (change management)
  • FORAD[75] (finance)
  • INDUSTRAT (marketing)
  • Markstrat (marketing)

Innovation in educationEdit

A number of researches and initiatives are conducted at INSEAD to incorporate innovative learning approaches.

Centers conduct research in learning technologies and approaches such as:

  • INSEAD CALT (the Centre of Advanced Learning Technologies)[76] has been involved in many research projects, and in particular projects funded by the research programmes from the European Commission on approaches such as business simulations, or learning communities.
  • INSEAD Learning Innovation Centre[77] was funded to managing innovation in INSEAD programme design and delivery. For instance, INSEAD Learning Innovation Centre has introduced the use of the Second Life virtual world as an education tool.[78]
  • INSEAD eLab[79] is the INSEAD center that connects research sponsors and external collaborators interested in the area of big data and data analytics with INSEAD's expertise in this broad area. INSEAD eLab conducts research and supports teaching focused on data analytics business solutions, tools, frameworks, and research insights that can help academics and practitioners better capitalise on the vast opportunities the "world of data" creates. To achieve this, the centre involves INSEAD faculty with specific domain expertise (e.g. in marketing, economics, operations, or finance), senior researchers from different fields, engineers and data scientists, and collaborators from other academic institutions as well as the private sector. The centre also uses state-of-the-art data analytics and collaborative software development platforms, which enable both advanced data analytics approaches and seamless collaboration within INSEAD as well as with other institutions and sponsors.

Notable AlumniEdit

INSEAD currently has nine FT500 leaders.[80] The Alumni Association was founded by a group of alumni in 1961, and works in close partnership with INSEAD to provide services to the global INSEAD alumni community of 46,000+ members in 171 countries.[81] Many are members of the INSEAD International Alumni Association, which has 46 national alumni associations.[82]

In addition to the national associations, INSEAD alumni have formed clubs and groups dedicated to specific industries and activities.[83] These include the Hubert Society, Energy Club,[84] INSEAD Healthcare Alumni Network[85] and Salamander Golf Society.[86]

See alsoEdit


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  12. ^ "Wharton-INSEAD Center for Global Research and Education". Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
  13. ^ "Tiemba's Prominent Position". Retrieved 23 January 2015.
  14. ^ "MBA Programmes - Partnerships". Retrieved 23 January 2015.
  15. ^ "INSEAD Launches S$55 Leadership Development Centre". Channel NewsAsia. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
  16. ^ "About The Hoffmann Global Institute for Business and Society". Retrieved 27 October 2019.
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  18. ^ Kaplan, Andreas (2018). "Andreas Kaplan, 2018, A school is "a building that has four walls…with tomorrow inside": Toward the reinvention of the business school, Business Horizons". Business Horizons. 61 (4): 599–608. doi:10.1016/j.bushor.2018.03.010.
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  76. ^ INSEAD CALT (Centre for Advanced Learning Technologies)
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  78. ^ Murray, Sarah (October 27, 2008). "Technology: Networking widens EMBA net". Financial Times.
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  83. ^ "Alumni Interest Groups". Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  84. ^ "Energy Network". INSEAD. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  85. ^ "Health Advicer - Health Article Blog | Conditions and Diseases | Fitness | Nutrition | Yoga | Weight Loss | Health Care". Health Advicer.
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External linksEdit