Business school staff & faculty development: Learning & networking opportunities in the post-pandemic world

Griet Houbrechts, EFMD Director of Professional Development Services, provides an overview of the many professional development opportunities that are being offered in 2021.

The disruption caused by the pandemic laid the ground for a deeper reflection about our purpose and mission, the essence of teaching and learning experience, institutional boundaries, the relevance of research, and the future of internationalisation and collaboration amid the restricted travel options.

The immediate aftermath of the transition to online delivery has enhanced business schools’ focus on students’ and participants’ experience as a whole. The increasing pressure to personalise the learning journey and add value to stakeholders requires business schools to work with and be part of learning ecosystems. It has become clear that these challenges require different skills from faculty and staff. To adapt to the changing skill sets, it is important to consider professional development as a continuous process for the future career of staff and faculty, also to future-proof your school.

At EFMD conferences, speakers and participants provide rich insights, updates on the latest trends and inspiring examples of good practices. The breadth and variety of the content open horizons and often create an appetite for a deeper dive into a focused topic that tackles burning issues on the agenda of many business schools right now.

EFMD programmes and workshops

To complement its conferences, EFMD is therefore offering a variety of focused programmes and workshops to support business schools in developing the professional skills of staff and faculty.

Extended programmes such as the Online Teaching Academy, the Quality Assurance Academy and the Executive Academy (EA) offer an in-depth experience supporting participants in developing operational and leadership skills. Participants are accompanied by facilitators, teaching assistants and/or mentors to reinforce their learning as well as their professional networks. Programmes like the Strategic Leadership Programme for Deans, the Quality Assurance Academy and the Careers Professionals Development Institute focus on developing role-specific skills while other activities might have a broader and more diverse target group.

Shorter activities such as workshops support business schools in rethinking their online, sustainability or international strategies, using various advanced methodologies to accompany the groups in this reexamining process.

Other workshops provide the opportunity to acquire specialised skills, such as gamification of learning or improving students’ well-being and engagement.

Additionally, due to the transition to online activities in the past year and a half, we have temporarily replaced some of our regular professional development activities with shorter online workshops. The second edition of a shorter online programme developed by the EA team, Leading Transformation, just finished last week. Other examples are focused workshops for deans that aim to provide tools and inspiration to tackle issues that are high on the agenda of the business school leadership.

In 2021, all programmes and workshops are taking place virtually but include elements of the EFMD signature networking focus and have limited cohorts. This way, apart from learning from the facilitators and each other, participants also develop their professional networks, and networking is a transversal skill that is indispensable in many industries.

Throughout the years, EFMD is adapting its offer to include relevant and current challenges. For 2022, the professional development activities will provide a mix of formats, lengths and delivery modes and will enable many different groups of members’ staff and faculty to prepare for the future.

We would be interested to hear from you what your ideas are about future challenges and trends that EFMD teams could work on. Don’t hesitate to contact us at