This Member Spotlight highlights Universidad de La Sabana, International School of Economic and Administrative Sciences (EICEA) in Colombia and its focus on developing internationalisation, connections to the world of practice and pedagogical innovation. Thank you to Catherine Pereira Villa, Dean of the International School of Economic and Administrative Sciences, and Daniela Sierra Parra, Head of Internationalization, for their contribution.
The International School of Economic and Administrative Sciences of Universidad de La Sabana aims to train global leaders with social awareness. In the pursuit of its mission, the school has focused on developing internationalisation, extending its links to the world of practice, promoting project-based work along with pedagogical innovation, and fomenting the quality of the ERS learning experience in its programmes.
Recently, the COVID-19 crisis challenged the school but also boosted its culture, potential and agility for digital transformation as well as online and hybrid modalities of teaching and learning. The context provided new opportunities for the engagement and training of faculty and led the school to invest in technological infrastructure and expand Technology Enhanced Learning.
The digital transformation of the University has uplifted internationalisation as a strategy of the school, previously based on traditional mobility, into a more inclusive portfolio that permeates the faculty and student community. Thanks to the university’s technological capabilities, innovative internationalisation at home experiences are designed and delivered in virtual environments, demonstrating that internationalisation goes beyond the idea of crossing physical borders and can be conceived as much closer to internationally inclusive experiences. Participants have been able to develop competencies such as innovation, autonomous work, team collaboration and multicultural awareness through the development of virtual exchanges, COIL projects and challenge experiences, among other activities with partner institutions abroad.
The school permanently reinforces its links with the corporate world with a focus on impact and transformation. The digital expansion of EICEA has promoted new opportunities for experiential learning and for the development of managerial skills that ensure the practical relevance of the school’s programmes. In fact, students are permanently encouraged to transform managerial theories into practice by participating in challenges, simulations, review of case studies, international company visits, corporate conferences simulations, and project-based learning activities delivered in face-to-face, online and hybrid modalities.
The school also emphasises ethics, responsibility, and sustainability (ERS) in its teaching, research, and social outreach strategies. Therefore, ERS is today one of the most distinctive characteristics of the school given the portfolio of courses in ERS, a mandatory social internship for some bachelor programmes, and the awareness of the national and international context provided by the sustainable development goals (SDGs) in our syllabuses. As a result, our students understand their ethical responsibilities and work on their critical thinking and innovation skills during their career paths to contribute to social and sustainable development. Through their experience in social and business internships in more than 572 companies and 60 NGOs all over the world that partner with our bachelor programmes, students add value to businesses by including environmental, economic, and social perspectives as it is recognised by employers.
The main SDGs that EICEA addresses in research and other projects are industry, innovation, and infrastructure; sustainable cities and communities; decent work and economic growth; and peace, justice, and strong institutions. Similarly, in terms of social outreach, the school has a Service Consultancy Office that provides insights to improve service, quality, and strategic innovation in different local organisations. Furthermore, faculty and students consider their impact constantly by participating in a regional observatory of socioeconomic conditions known as “Sustainable Sabana”.
In the coming years, the school will focus on continuing its path towards a third-generation school that can leverage the potential of people and technological resources in teaching and learning strategies that contribute knowledge to corporate and entrepreneurial ecosystems to better serve society.
Visit the school’s campus and hear from its students:
Universidad de La Sabana has been an EFMD member since 2014. The school renewed its EFMD Accredited programme accreditation for its Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), Bachelor of International Business (BIB) Programme Set, Bachelor of International Marketing & Logistics Administration (BIMLA) and Bachelor of Administration & Service (BA&S) Programme Set in 2022. Universidad de La Sabana also received EOCCS certification for its suite of online marketing courses in 2020.