Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School
University description (as per official university website)
The history of the School goes back to the Marshall plan in 1949, when Professor André Vlerick was appointed General Manager of the Belgian Council for Economic Cooperation. Only 30 years old at that time, Professor Vlerick's task was to assist European businessmen in cooperating with American managers within the scope of the Marshall Plan. He found that European businessmen eagerly adopted the ready-made techniques of their American colleagues. However, the lack of distinctively European methods led him to create a new European management approach in 1953. This approach formed the basis for the Centre for Productivity Studies and Research at Ghent University, the forerunner of today's management school.
Both industry and public authorities recognised the significance of Professor Vlerick’s approach to management training. As a successful banker and scientist, he was able to give theoretically sound, practical advice to a significant number of entrepreneurs, which produced lasting benefits. As Minister of Regional Development and later as Minister of Finance, he also had significant impact on the Belgian economy. Many of his ideas were revolutionary at that time.
The School's historical development can be summarised in four phases:
1. entrepreneurial or pioneer phase
The first phase, which can be called the entrepreneurial or pioneer phase, started with the foundation of the Centre for Productivity Studies and Research in 1953 and lasted until 1980.
The second phase, the consolidation phase, started in 1980. Some of the School's educational activities were grouped into Ghent University's Interfaculty Centre for Management. This consolidated and institutionalised the long-term educational programmes within the university.
The integration phase, which began in 1988, involved the integration of all of Ghent University's advanced managerial education programmes into the Vlerick School for Management.
Meanwhile, the Leuven management school developed in parallel, primarily within the Faculty of Economics and Applied Economics at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. An important initiative was the international MBA programme that was started in 1968. In contrast with the activities in Ghent, which were oriented more towards the business community, the activities in Leuven were more academic in nature. The activities there were never institutionalised separately but remained firmly embedded in the Faculty of Economics and Applied Economics.
The current and fourth phase, which we would call the internationalisation phase, started in 1998. Ghent's Vlerick School for Management became independent from the university, and the Leuven MBA programme was transferred to this new school, which was named Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School. Ghent University and the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (K.U.Leuven) signed a collaborative agreement, and the Flemish parliament granted the new institution university status.
A key component to this "internationalisation phase" is the development of the third Vlerick campus in St. Petersburg, Russia.
History of the campus in St-Petersburg
The history of Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School’s Russian Campus is inseparably linked with reforms and reorganisations. The Russian Campus was established in St. Petersburg in 1990 and was called “LETI-Lovanium”. From 1990-2002, the MBA programme was supported by St. Petersburg Electro-technical University (LETI) and the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (K.U.Leuven).
The first reorganisation of the Campus in 2002 was led by the creation of non-commercial partnerships with: ВСЕ Network, a non-profit organisation representing the interests of the business community and the government of Flanders, the Center for Strategic Research “North-West”, which conducts strategic research and provides expert recommendations on a wide range of social and economic issues, the Russian Venture Capital Association, and LETI.
In 2004, two new members joined the non-commercial partnerships in St. Petersburg: Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School (Belgium) and St. Petersburg State University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics. These organisations have given the St. Petersburg Campus the opportunity to considerably broaden the range of its educational programmes and to obtain accreditation for the MBA programme in Europe and the USA.
At about this same time, the Campus also moved to the Innovation and Technological Center’s premises on Birzhevaya Liniya (Vasiliyevsky Island).
In February 2008, the St. Petersburg MBA programme received the prestigious AMBA accreditation.
Today, over 600 top managers have graduated from our Russian Campus.
Our unique approach
Excellent mix of academic knowledge & business expertise
Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School's unique approach is to use its academic background to provide programmes that are practical and relevant to business life, thus achieving the difficult balance between theory and practice. Moreover, in addition to providing academic knowledge and business expertise, the School seeks to impart attitudes and skills that underpin a management career. The School's slogan captures the essence of this approach: "We don't teach you, we develop what's already inside you."
Continual stimulation of entrepreneurship and innovation
Vlerick is aware that it has a responsibility to society. By influencing the social, political, educational and economic environments that have an impact on professional management and entrepreneurship, the School seeks to stimulate a sense of entrepreneurship and innovation in society at large.
Valuable networking among high-level participants
Vlerick recognises that part of the added value of a management education programme lies in the excellent networking opportunities that the programme affords to current and former participants. The School also actively promotes networking by providing a stimulating forum for the exchange of ideas to alumni from a variety of companies and industries worldwide.
Strong connections with the corporate world
Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School prides itself on its strong connections with the corporate world. Continual close contact with the world of business and industry provides us with the practical, hands-on experience and knowledge that we test our academic theory against and apply our academic solutions to.
The School maintains its corporate connections pro-actively in a variety of ways:
In today's ever-changing world, companies need a solid continuous training platform. Leveraging over 50 years of experience in management development, our deep understanding of business issues, and a talent for transferring knowledge, we partner with organisations to design and deliver learning experiences tailored to their particular needs.
Research for your organisation
As an academic management school, research is central to our mission. Excellence in research is a key factor for our international reputation, giving the School visibility in the academic community and with our stakeholders.
In addition to conducting research that contributes to fundamental academic knowledge, our research approach also encompasses practice-based research, which draws upon the findings of core academic knowledge. Organisations worldwide engage Vlerick to conduct studies and to research topics that are of strategic importance to the organisation.
As an autonomous Management School, we rely on our own income to provide students and managers with innovative research, world-class faculty and services as well as top-level Executive Education Programmes. A portion of this income is derived from Belgian and international companies/organisations in the form of Corporate Partnerships.
In addition, the School has launched a 'Giving Campaign' with a target of 3 million euro. The Giving Campaign aims to secure the necessary funding to pursue our mission and implement our strategy for internationalisation. The campaign has two major objectives: 1) to create 5 new academic chairs to further develop areas of excellence, and 2) to develop the new Leuven Campus with world-class facilities and services.
Alliances with other organisations
Over the years, Vlerick Leuven Gent Managment School has created a number of alliances with organisations to strenghten management in Belgium and throughout Europe.