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EBS Vice Rector for International Relations, in Alicante

The EFMD External Relations meeting for 2011 has just finished in Alicante. The subject was Facing the new reality - is collaboration the way forward? EBS' Vice Rector for International Relations, Nicola Hijlkema, is a long-standing member of the Steering Committee which designs these meetings, intended for professionals in marketing, international relations, PR, communication, corporate partnerships, and other external relations activities.

EBS Vice Rector for International Relations, in Alicante

Nicola Hijlkema

The annual EFMD meeting of External Relations professionals - used as shorthand, External Relations covers all possible communication and marketing professionals in business schools today - was held at FUNDESEM Business School in Alicante, Spain on 23rd - 25th March, and brought together 115 participants from 29 countries.  

Three workshop tracks catered to various professional interests, and Nicola Hijlkema, Vice Rector for International Relations at Estonian Business School, moderated two devoted to relations with companies. The first workshop on 'Business school advisory boards, what can they do for us?' saw a presentation by Ilaria Fava from MIP Politecnico di Milano on the organisation and use of their International Advisory Board, of which Nicola Hijlkema is a member.   The discussions were very lively, since many schools have introduced such boards to meet accreditation criteria, but are still struggling with the makeup of the board, and how to use their advice in the university structure.  

The second workshop was entitled Collaboration between a business school and a company and the initial presentation came from Professor Michael Grote, Academic Vice Present of Frankfurt School of Finance and Management in Germany.   He presented a rather different model of company support for a Bachelor's programme, but this provoked a long and interesting discussion on other ways of collaboration, comprising sponsorships, joint teaching, and internships.   The latter concept, as Nicola Hijlkema confirmed for the Baltic Region, is still misunderstood, and it will probably be difficult in the coming years to convince companies of the need to pay students for internships and projects.


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