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The Business School for the World
Fontainebleau, Singapore, and Abu Dhabi
Type Private business school
Established 1957
Chair Andreas Jacobs[1]
Dean Ilian Mihov[2]
Faculty 250+
Endowment $185 million[3]

INSEAD is a graduate business school with campuses in Europe (Fontainebleau, France), Asia (Singapore), and the Middle East (Abu Dhabi). INSEAD offers various academic programs including a full-time Master of Business Administration (MBA) program, Executive MBA (EMBA) program, a Master in Finance program, a PhD in management program, and a variety of executive education programs.


The Château de Fontainebleau

INSEAD was founded in 1957 by venture capitalist and Harvard professor Georges Doriot, along with Claude Janssen and Olivier Giscard d'Estaing. Original seed money was provided by The Paris Chamber of Commerce.[4] The school was originally based in the Château de Fontainebleau, before moving to its current Europe campus in 1967.[5] The name INSEAD was originally an acronym for the French "Institut Européen d'Administration des Affaires" or European Institute of Business Administration.


  • 1957: INSEAD Founded[6]
  • 1959: First MBA intake in Fontainebleau
  • 1960: First MBA class graduates[7]
  • 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 program
  • 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 program begins its dual intake (in January and September)
  • 1987: Announcement of the INSEAD-Fundação Dom Cabral Partnership
  • 1989: Launch of the PhD program
  • 1995: Launch of the first INSEAD Development Campaign,[8] which raised funds for permanently endowed chairs and research
  • 2000: Opening of Asia campus in Singapore[9]
  • 2001: Announcement of the INSEAD-Wharton Alliance[10] and first MBA participant exchanges
  • 2003: Launch of the Executive MBA program
  • 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[11]
  • 2010: INSEAD's Abu Dhabi Center attains campus status (Middle East Campus)[6]
  • 2012: Launch of the Master in Finance specialized degree
  • 2013: MBA participant exchange agreement with CEIBS launched[12]
  • 2015: Inauguration of the Leadership Development Center in Singapore[13]


INSEAD's Asia campus in Singapore

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.

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.[14][15] A Harvard Business School case study, for instance, explores INSEAD's approach to business education in a global context and how it functions with a multi-campus setting.[16]

Degree programs[edit]

MBA Program[edit]

INSEAD is unique in presenting its MBA participants with the opportunity to follow the MBA's core courses at either of or both its Europe and Asia campuses[17] (as well as offering an elective MBA module at its Middle East campus).[18] All MBA participants follow the same core courses in parallel regardless of which campus they begin or end at, 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.[19]

INSEAD offers two MBA promotions per year: one starting in September which takes ten months to complete, and a 12-month promotion starting in January for students who want the opportunity to complete a summer internship.[20]

The INSEAD MBA curriculum comprises a range of required core courses and electives. The core courses cover 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[21] in areas such as accounting and control, decision sciences, economics and political science, entrepreneurship and family enterprise, finance, and organizational, strategy, marketing, technology and operations management. INSEAD emphasizes the global nature of its education and student body, and requires students to speak 2 languages upon entry and a 3rd by graduation.

Executive MBA Program[edit]

INSEAD's Executive MBA is called the Global Executive MBA (GEMBA),[22] and is a Masters-level degree program that takes place on a part-time, modular basis.

INSEAD offers experienced business executives an intensive 14–17-month modular course which can take three routes depending on the starting campus. To allow participants to continue their work, the program takes place in modular periods (approximately every six to seven weeks). To allow participants to optimize their travel, each period on campus is between one and two weeks' duration. The physical time on campus represents 12 weeks in total with participants going to all three campuses.

INSEAD's EMBA program also includes a program-long schedule of group coaching, 360-degree assessments and team activities designed to develop a leadership style, which is called the Leadership Development Program.[23]

Executive Master in Coaching and Consulting for Change[edit]

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 program enables participants to understand themselves and others at a fundamental level, which prepares them to assume significant roles in leading organizations, individual and organizational development and change management.[24][25]

PhD Program[edit]

The INSEAD PhD in Management is a doctoral degree in business to prepare students for a career in academia, as professors in management. It requires four to five years of full-time study - the first two years of the program are devoted to coursework, while from the third and fourth (or sometimes fifth) years are dedicated to research and dissertation.[26] Students admitted to the program have the option to start their studies on either the Asia (Singapore) or Europe (France) campus,[27] and do an exchange in North America (USA) through the INSEAD-Wharton Alliance.[28] In it, students are able to specialise in one of eight areas: Accounting, Decision Sciences, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Marketing, Organisational Behavior, Strategy, and Technology and Operations Management.[29] INSEAD offers fellowships, whereby students receive full tuition fee waiver, annual stipend and research support funding.[30]

Master in Finance[edit]

INSEAD’s Master in Finance (MFin) teaches participants finance and accounting skills on a par with those taught in an MBA program, and also offers leadership and management perspectives not usually found in a traditional finance degree.

INSEAD's MFin 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 5 modules (2–3 weeks each) to take classes on campus, and continue working in between.[31]

Executive education[edit]

INSEAD holds both company/firm specific and open enrolment executive education programs 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 programs at INSEAD each year.[32]

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 programs within a four-year period.[33]

Rankings and reputation[edit]

Business school rankings
Worldwide MBA
América Economía[34] 8
Business Insider[35] 18
CNN Expansion[36] 7
Economist[37] 8
Financial Times[38] 1

INSEAD's MBA program is ranked first globally by the FT in 2016.[39] The dual degree Executive MBA with Tsinghua University is ranked first globally by the FT, and INSEAD's standalone Global Executive MBA is seventh in the same ranking.[40]

INSEAD has the second highest number of MBA alumni who are currently Chief Executives of Fortune Global 500 companies, which are composed of the world’s largest companies by market capitalization [41]

INSEAD has the highest number of entrepreneurs from a non-US Business school according to the 2015 Pitchbook data INSEAD's 185 graduates raised almost 2 billion USD in VC fund.[42]

Partnerships and alliances[edit]

INSEAD has exchange programs with


Centres of excellence[edit]

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

  • Centre for Decision Making and Risk Analysis (CDMRA)[48]
  • Emerging Markets Institute[49]
  • Healthcare Management Initiative[50]
  • INSEAD Africa Initiative[51]
  • INSEAD Blue Ocean Strategy Institute[52]
  • INSEAD Centre for Entrepreneurship (ICE)[53]
  • INSEAD Corporate Governance Initiative;[54]
  • INSEAD eLab[55]
  • INSEAD European Competitiveness Initiative[56]
  • INSEAD Global Leadership Centre (IGLC)[57]
  • INSEAD Global Private Equity Initiative (GPEI)[58]
  • INSEAD Innovation and Policy Initiative (IIPI)[59]
  • INSEAD Social Innovation Centre[60]
  • INSEAD Social Science Research Centre (ISSRC)[61]
  • INSEAD-Wharton Center for Global Research and Education[62]
  • Learning Innovation Centre[63]
  • Wendel International Centre for Family Enterprise[64]
  • Women@INSEAD[65]

Teaching methods[edit]

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

Case studies[edit]

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.[66]

The Business cases that have been designed at INSEAD have received many awards,[66] are made available in Case clearing houses, and used by many other business schools.

Business simulation games[edit]

Business simulation games are largely used by INSEAD. Many of them have been designed by INSEAD faculties

Examples of Business simulation games that have been designed by INSEAD faculties[67] and used in many institutions:

  • The EIS simulation[68] (Change management)
  • FORAD[69] (Finance)
  • INDUSTRAT (Marketing)
  • Markstrat (Marketing)

Innovation in education[edit]

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

In particular centers conduct research in learning technologies and approaches such as:

  • INSEAD CALT (the Centre of Advanced Learning Technologies).[70] INSEAD CALT is and has been involved in many research projects, and in particular projects funded by the research programs from the European Commission on approaches such as business simulations, or learning communities.
  • INSEAD Learning Innovation Centre.[71] INSEAD Learning Innovation Centre was funded to managing innovation in INSEAD program design and delivery. For instance, INSEAD Learning Innovation Centre has introduced the use of Second Life virtual world as an education tool.[72]
  • INSEAD eLab.[73] eLab 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 capitalize on the vast opportunities the "world of data" creates. To achieve this, the center 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 center 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.


Main article: List of INSEAD alumni

INSEAD is the only non-US business school to have more than two MBA alumni as CEOs of top businesses, with nine FT500 leaders currently.[74]

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.[75] Many are members of the INSEAD International Alumni Association, which has 46 national alumni associations.[76]

In addition to the national associations, INSEAD alumni have formed clubs and groups dedicated to specific industries or activities.[77] These include the Hubert Society, Energy Club,[78] the INSEAD Healthcare Alumni Network[79] the Salamander Golf Society,[80]

See also[edit]


  1. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ "Ilian Mihov appointed Dean of INSEAD". MBA Today. 
  3. ^ "INSEAD's Endowment". INSEAD. Retrieved 19 May 2014. 
  4. ^ "INSEAD at 50: The defining years". INSEAD. Retrieved 19 May 2014. 
  5. ^ "Our History". INSEAD. Retrieved 19 May 2014. 
  6. ^ a b "About INSEAD - Our History". Retrieved 23 January 2015. 
  7. ^ "INSEAD AT A GLANCE" (PDF). Retrieved 23 January 2015. 
  8. ^ "The Institutional Development of Business Schools". Oxford University Press. Retrieved 23 January 2015. 
  9. ^ "About INSEAD - Our History". Retrieved 23 January 2015. 
  10. ^ "Wharton-INSEAD Center for Global Research and Education". Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Retrieved 23 January 2015. 
  11. ^ "Tiemba's Prominent Position". Retrieved 23 January 2015. 
  12. ^ "MBA Programmes - Partnerships". []. Retrieved 23 January 2015. 
  13. ^ "INSEAD Launches S$55 Leadership Development Centre". Channel NewsAsia. Retrieved 23 January 2015. 
  14. ^ "A Force for Good - A conversation with INSEAD Dean Ilian Mihov". Developing Leaders, Issue 17 - Autumn/Fall 2014. Retrieved 23 January 2015. 
  15. ^ "INSEAD - Leading Business School in Europe, Asia and Abu Dhabi". Between-Us. Retrieved 23 January 2015. 
  16. ^ Datar, Srikant M.; Garvin, David A.; Knoop, Carin-Isabel (May 2009). "INSEAD". Harvard Business School Case 308-009. 
  17. ^ "MBA Programme - Campus Exchange". Retrieved 23 January 2015.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  18. ^ "MBA Programme - Abu Dhabi Module". Retrieved 23 January 2015.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  19. ^ "MBA Programme - Campus Exchange". Retrieved 23 January 2015.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  20. ^ "Is a summer internship necessary in a one-year MBA?". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 26 January 2015. 
  21. ^ "MBA Programme - Ten reasons to choose the INSEAD MBA". [1]. Retrieved 23 January 2015.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  22. ^ "Welcome to INSEAD’s Executive MBA programme". Retrieved 23 January 2015.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  23. ^ "TOP MBA - INSEAD Executive MBA". Quacquarelli Symonds. Retrieved 23 January 2015. 
  24. ^ "The INSEAD Executive Master in Consulting and Coaching for Change Programme". Retrieved 26 January 2015. 
  25. ^ "Executive Master in Consulting and Coaching for Change - Creating Reflective Change Agents". Retrieved 26 January 2015. 
  26. ^ "INSEAD PhD in Management Overview". Retrieved 31 March 2014. 
  27. ^ "INSEAD PhD in Management Programme Overview". INSEAD. Retrieved 2014-01-31. 
  28. ^ "INSEAD-Wharton Alliance". 
  29. ^ "INSEAD PhD in Management Areas of Specialisation". Retrieved 31 March 2014. 
  30. ^ "INSEAD PhD in Management Fellowship and Financing". 
  31. ^ "The INSEAD MFin - Preparing Financial Leaders". Retrieved 26 January 2015. 
  32. ^ "INSEAD at a Glance" (PDF). INSEAD. Retrieved 19 November 2013. 
  33. ^ "INSEAD at a Glance". INSEAD. October 2013. Retrieved 23 January 2015. 
  34. ^ "MBA Global Ranking". América Economía. 2015. Retrieved 2016-02-06. 
  35. ^ "The 50 best business schools in the world". Business Insider. 2015. Retrieved 2016-02-06. 
  36. ^ "Ranking:Los Mejores MBA en el mundo". CNN Expansion. 2015. Retrieved 2016-02-06. 
  37. ^ "Full time MBA ranking". Economist. 2015. Retrieved 2016-02-06. 
  38. ^ "Global MBA Ranking". Financial Times. 2016. Retrieved 2016-02-06. 
  39. ^ "Global MBA Ranking 2015". Financial Times. Retrieved 26 January 2015. 
  40. ^ "Executive MBA Ranking 2015". []. Retrieved 26 October 2015. 
  41. ^ "From MBA to CEO". Financial Times. Retrieved 23 January 2015. 
  42. ^ "Pitchbook Universities Report" (PDF). Value Walk. Retrieved 28 December 2015. 
  43. ^ "Wharton–INSEAD Alliance". Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Retrieved 2014-01-31. 
  44. ^ "The INSEAD-Wharton Alliance". INSEAD. Retrieved 2014-01-31. 
  45. ^ "INSEAD Wharton Exchange". INSEAD. Retrieved 2012-06-25. 
  46. ^ "INSEAD Kellogg Exchange". INSEAD. Retrieved 2012-06-25. 
  47. ^ "About INSEAD - Sorbonne University Partnership". Retrieved 23 January 2015.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  48. ^ Centre for Decision Making and Risk Analysis (CDMRA)
  49. ^ Emerging Markets Institute
  50. ^ Healthcare Management Initiative
  51. ^ INSEAD Africa Initiative
  52. ^ INSEAD Blue Ocean Strategy Institute
  53. ^ INSEAD Centre for Entrepreneurship (ICE)
  54. ^ INSEAD Corporate Governance Initiative
  55. ^ INSEAD eLab
  56. ^ INSEAD European Competitiveness Initiative
  57. ^ INSEAD Global Leadership Centre (IGLC)
  58. ^ INSEAD Global Private Equity Initiative (GPEI)
  59. ^ INSEAD Innovation and Policy Initiative (IIPI)
  60. ^ INSEAD Social Innovation Centre
  61. ^ INSEAD Social Science Research Centre (ISSRC)
  62. ^ INSEAD-Wharton Center for Global Research and Education
  63. ^ Learning Innovation Centre
  64. ^ Wendel International Centre for Family Enterprise
  65. ^ Women@INSEAD
  66. ^ a b European Case Awards
  67. ^ "INSEAD Simulations". INSEAD. Retrieved 2012-06-25. 
  68. ^ "EIS Simulation"
  69. ^ "FORAD"
  70. ^ INSEAD CALT (Centre for Advanced Learning Technologies)
  71. ^ "INSEAD Learning Innovation Centre". INSEAD. Retrieved 2012-06-25. 
  72. ^ Murray, Sarah (October 27, 2008). "Technology: Networking widens EMBA net". Financial Times. 
  73. ^ "INSEAD elab". INSEAD. Retrieved 2013-11-18. 
  74. ^ "From MBA to CEO". []. Retrieved 26 January 2015. 
  75. ^ "INSEAD - Alumni - Global Alumni Network". INSEAD. Retrieved 2012-06-25. 
  76. ^ "Welcome to the INSEAD Alumni Community". Retrieved 19 November 2013. 
  77. ^ "Alumni Interest Groups". Retrieved 19 November 2013. 
  78. ^ "Energy Network". INSEAD. Retrieved 19 November 2013. 
  79. ^ "INSEAD Alumni Health Network". 
  80. ^ "Salamander Golf Society". Retrieved 19 November 2013. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 48°24′19″N 2°41′07″E / 48.4054°N 2.6853°E / 48.4054; 2.6853