Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management

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Solvay Brussels
School of Economics and Management
Solvay Brussels School logo.svg
Motto in English
The School's regime is severe
Type Private business school
Established 1899: ULB Department of Economics [1]
1903: Solvay Business School [1]
2008: Merger to SBS-EM
Dean Bruno van Pottelsberghe
Academic staff
Students 3,700 [2]
Undergraduates 1,950
Location Brussels, Belgium
50°48′50″N 4°22′44″E / 50.813815°N 4.378907°E / 50.813815; 4.378907Coordinates: 50°48′50″N 4°22′44″E / 50.813815°N 4.378907°E / 50.813815; 4.378907
Campus Urban: Solbosch, ULB
Affiliations Université libre de Bruxelles, EQUIS, AMBA

The Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management (abbreviated as SBS-EM and also known as the Solvay Business School, or simply Solvay) is a business school and a Faculty of the Université libre de Bruxelles, a French-speaking private research university located in Brussels, Belgium. Business education started in 1899 and Solvay was established in 1903 through a donation from Ernest Solvay.[3]


Ernest Solvay, the school's founder and namesake

The roots of the Solvay School stretch back to the founding of the Department of Economics of the Université libre de Bruxelles in 1899 and the founding of the Solvay Business School in 1903.[4] Ernest Solvay founded and funded a business-oriented institution under the name of École de Commerce Solvay, as a private initiative established with the support of the Brussels business community. The Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management was established in 2008 as a result of the merger of the Department of Economics and the Solvay Business School.[5]

More than 3,700 students attend some thirty programmes at the School today. Its current Dean is Bruno van Pottelsberghe.[6]


The school's flagship campus is located in the Ixelles neighborhood of Brussels on the Campus du Solbosch, the central and largest campus of the Université libre de Bruxelles. The main building is situated on the corner of Avenue Franklin Roosevelt and Avenue Jeanne near the Bois de la Cambre and was built in 2010.



The school grants academic undergraduate degrees (Bachelor of Science), academic master's degrees (Master of Science), advanced master's degrees (pre-experience) and professional/executive master's degrees (post-experience), including the MBA with École des Ponts ParisTech and more than thirty Executive Education programmes.

Undergraduate B.Sc. programmes[edit]

  • B.Sc. in Business Engineering (French only)
  • B.Sc. in Economics (French only)

Graduate M.Sc. programmes[edit]

Solvay currently offers six separate Master's of Science degrees in:

  • M.Sc. in Business Engineering (Partly French and English)
  • M.Sc. in Management Science (English only)
  • M.Sc. in Economics: Business Economics (Partly French and English)
  • M.Sc. in Economics: Economic Analysis and European Policy (Partly French and English)
  • M.Sc. in Economics: Economic Research (English only)
  • M.Sc. in Economics: Didactics – Teaching

Solvay also offers two complementary Master's of Science degrees (MCC: Master complémentaire conjoint) in:

  • M.Sc. in Management
  • M.Sc. in Microfinance

Postgraduate programmes (pre-experience)[edit]

  • Masters in Finance:
    • Advanced Master in Financial Markets and Investments
    • Advanced Master in Quantitative Finance
  • Masters in Management:
    • Advanced Master in Innovation and Entrepreneurship (in partnership with MIP Politecnico di Milano)
    • Advanced Master in Innovation and Strategic Management
  • Masters in Marketing:
    • Advanced Master in Creativity and Marketing

Professional/Executive programmes(post-experience)[edit]

  • MBA: Solvay offers three types of MBA programs in collaboration with École des Ponts Business School, the business school of École des Ponts ParisTech (the oldest civil engineering school in the world):
    • Solvay Ponts Full-time MBA
    • Solvay Ponts Part-time MBA
  • Executive master's programmes
    • Solvay Ponts Global Executive MBA (with the Fox School of Business of Temple University in Philadelphia, United States)
    • Executive Master in Finance
    • Executive Mastère en Gestion Fiscale (French-only)
    • Executive Master in Management
    • Executive Master in Marketing, in a digital world
    • Executive Master in IT Management
    • Executive Master in Information Risk and Cybersecurity
    • Executive Mastère en Management des Institutions de Santé et de Soins (French-only)
    • Executive Master in International Association Management
    • Executive Master in Knowledge and Technology Transfer
  • Executive education programmes

Doctoral programmes[edit]

  • PhD in Economics (Economics and Statistics & Quantitative Economics)
  • PhD in Management (Management & Applied Economics)


The Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management has developed a network of more than 70 partners in 32 countries, with whom some 160 student exchanges are organised each year. The School is the only in Belgium that requires students to undertake a six-month exchange programme in a university abroad. Such exchanges take place principally in Europe, within the framework of the SOCRATES and ERASMUS programmes, but also in the United States, Canada, Turkmenistan, Mexico, Peru, Argentina, Egypt, Israel, South Africa, India (IIM Ahmedabad), Korea, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, China, Taiwan and Singapore.

Rankings and accreditations[edit]

  • Financial Times 2014: 2nd Business School (Belgium)
  • Financial Times 2014: 47th Business School (Europe)
  • Financial Times 2014: 39st MSc in Management (Europe)[9]


The Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management is a research-based institution, in two respects. First, the duty of all core faculty members includes the production of scientific output (e.g. publications in peer-review international journals and scientific conferences) and the supervision of PhD candidates. Second, the SBS-EM provides an infrastructure for research, through its three main research centres, the CEB (Centre Emile Bernheim),[10] DULBEA (Department in Applied Economics of ULB),[11] and ECARES (European Centre for Advanced Research in Economics and Statistics),[12] and their doctoral schools. Over the past 5 years, many publications have been produced, including 241 articles in international scientific journals and 41 books.

As one of the ULB and SBS-EM flagships, the scientific research in economics and management benefits from an important investment by the School and the university and enjoys a truly international reputation. Research at ULB is a key activity for the full-time teaching staff and their teams. Research also makes an ongoing contribution to improving the quality of teaching.

The CEB, ECARES and DULBEA are the main, 'broad-based', research centers affiliated to the SBS-EM. The two additional thematic research centers are CERMi (Centre Européen de Recherche en Microfinance / Center for European Research in Microfinance),[13] and the Centre for Knowledge Economics (Centre de l'économie de la connaissance).[14]

Affiliated to the SBS-EM, CEB is its research institute in management sciences. It aims to develop and promote advanced scientific research in management sciences. The centre hosts more than 75 (full-time and part-time) professors and researchers in key management disciplines. The CEB's teaching and research staff is currently active in the following management fields: accounting, marketing, business strategy, financial markets, corporate management, industrial economics, management of innovation and international trade.

DULBEA was founded by Etienne Sadi Kirschen in the 1950s, based on the new developments taking place in economics and the theory of econometrics. The DULBEA also gives prominence to recommendations in the field of economic policy.

ECARES, founded in 1991, began as a joint political initiative of the ULB Institute of European Studies and the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR), a network of some 500 researchers in Europe. Its mission is to develop high quality economic and statistics research and to provide a meeting place for researchers and professional economists. It has one of the best Doctoral Schools of Europe as witnessed by the placement of the job market candidates. The mission of the Doctoral School is to enable our graduates to do quantitative research of highest quality in economics and statistics.

CERMi (Centre Européen de Recherche en Microfinance / Center for European Research in Microfinance), draws together researchers, involved in microfinance activities in developing countries, from CEB and from the Research Centre Warocque (Université Mons-Hainaut). The CERMi also collabores with the European Microfinance Programme.

Centre for Knowledge Economics research centre allows the School to bring together all its researchers on a topic. Founded and chaired by Professor Francoise Thys-Clément and Professor of Public Economics.

Student life[edit]

The Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management has an active student life, complementary to the student societies of the Université Libre de Bruxelles:

Solvay Finance Club[edit]

One of the youngest organisations is the Solvay Brussels School Student Finance Club, created in 2010. It is a student run organization that aims to offer its members a wide variety of finance related activities, whether it is Investment Banking, Investment Management, Venture Capital/Private Equity, or Corporate Finance. The founders’ idea is to create a club that prepares its members for careers in the financial field by fostering an environment that helps them to translate their theoretical knowledge into practice, and that stimulates continuous learning and awareness of recent trends and developments. The club offers those pursuing careers in finance a professional and social network. It constitutes an interface between the finance industry and its members.[18]

Solvay Consulting Club[edit]

In 2011, the SBS Student Consulting Club (SCC in short)[19] was created. Its mission statement is the following "The SCC conducts customized consulting services to deliver hands on solutions. It believes in cultivating integer people who drive entrepreneurship in all businesses and strive to functionally develop committed students." The organization is growing rapidly, both in terms of members and in terms of consulting projects conducted. It has won the JADE Belgium Junior Enterprise Challenge end of 2012.[20] The club aims at becoming a Junior Enterprise, which is a certified label by JADE.[21]


Besides the programs developed by the school, students also have the opportunity to take part in ESTIEM activities via the Local Group Brussels, part of Cercle Solvay. ESTIEM is the organisation for European Students of Industrial Engineering and Management, whose goal is to establish and foster relations between students across Europe and to support them in their personal and professional development, with a network consisting of 74 Local Groups in 28 countries, reaching out to 60 000 students.[22]




The alumni network currently has a community of more than 20,000 members in more than 65 countries worldwide. The Solvay Alumni[23] is the association that represents all graduates from the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management or one of its satellite institutions. Within the particular context of Belgium, a country marked in the past by religious and ideological rifts, alumni associations play an extremely important role, especially for the universities.

Some of the more notable alumni include the following:

Banking and financial services[edit]

General management[edit]

Government / public service / non-profit[edit]





External links[edit]