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PRESENTED BY ESCP BUSINESS SCHOOL

International study: how to become an ethical leader

The environmental and societal challenges of the 21st century demand big choices – from individuals, governments and businesses. Global uncertainty may be growing during 2020 – but many young people are clear about the future they want to create.

International study: how to become an ethical leader
Photos: Nathalia Rocha/Laurent Högl-Roy

That includes students on ESCP Business School's Bachelor in Management (BSc) programme. ESCP focuses on educating and inspiring tomorrow’s leaders with the principles of ethics, responsibility and sustainability. 

We spoke with two student ambassadors on the Bachelor in Management (BSc) about what we should expect from their generation: Nathalia Rocha, 21, originally from Brazil, and Laurent Högl-Roy, 23, who is half-French and half-German and grew up in Switzerland. 

Leading in a changing world: are you ready to get a head start with ESCP's Bachelor in Management (BSc)? Get more information now.

Ethics and responsibility

“Everything I do needs to be in accordance with my moral values,” says Nathalia, who will soon start an internship at a social impact company in Helsinki whose partners include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “Being responsible means you’re accountable – and if I’m going to be held to account for something, it needs to reflect my values.”

Sounds simple. As the international representative for an NGO supporting children in Brazil and having previously worked on social projects in South Africa, Nathalia is very much living by her values.

But in the complex and pressurised business world, consistent value-based decision-making can become less straightforward. ESCP actively challenges its students to deal with business dilemmas and the final year of the Bachelor in Management (BSc) programme includes a ‘CSR & Business Ethics’ course to prepare them for what lies ahead using real case studies.

“In the past, big corporations have not always been honest and have had some negative impacts for years to come,” says Laurent.

Photo: Laurent Högl-Roy (furthest right) with fellow students at ESCP's London campus

His year group was only the third to start the Bachelor programme and he values its innovative approach. “This Bachelor has a very contemporary point of view, covering these crucial issues to give us the best head start for the future,” he says. “We have classic business classes but we’re also educated, like our slogan says, for ‘Leading in a changing world’.”

Next generation values: find out about the benefits of taking ESCP's Bachelor in Management – which begins for first year students in 2020/21 on September 14th.

Sustainability becomes second nature

You may think the meaning of sustainability is obvious by now. Think again. For the next generation, the concept goes far beyond just trying to be ‘green’ or thinking about the environment. 

Sustainability also encompasses human, social and economic dimensions. The circular economy and ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) investing are just two of the more visible aspects.

ESCP's Bachelor promotes sustainable development as fundamental to transforming business – a transformation Laurent says will benefit all parties. “We’ve learned that resources are not endless,” he says. “But it feels like there’s too much questionable ‘greenwashing’. Efficiency will be key to making corporations more sustainable.”

To help its BSc students develop informed views, ESCP invites guest speakers, who have included Kurt Morriesen, Head of Europe, Sustainable Finance & Impact Investing at the United Nations Development Programme.

ESCP's Madrid campus also launched a Green Scholarship for the BSc; prospective students were invited to apply by setting out in PowerPoint how their school could introduce or improve sustainability initiatives.

“Sustainability is about creating something that will last,” says Nathalia. “Why would I want to be part of something that doesn’t leave a legacy?”

Cross-cultural understanding

Whether the meetings of the future take place face-to-face or via video, the ability to relate to different cultures is becoming crucial. Nor is this only about seeking new clients. Diversity is also a huge topic for organisations looking to enhance their own team dynamics.

Students on ESCP’s BSc programme represent more than 50 nationalities. They have the opportunity to study at three different European campuses and to learn languages in addition to their main courses.

“Through languages you learn how to live with different cultures,” says Laurent, who grew up bilingual in French and German and has studied Spanish and Mandarin at ESCP.

“We work on group projects with people from completely different cultures and this teaches us to understand them better. This flexibility is especially precious. Every situation will look somehow familiar and won’t be intimidating.”

Cross-cultural education: find out how you could start an exciting personal journey on ESCP's Bachelor in Management (BSc) this September

Learning to think local

Familiarity with different cultures does not mean dismissing anything local as parochial. Far from it. The pros and cons of globalisation remain a hot topic. But Laurent and Nathalia believe businesses that look for local solutions have a vital role.

“You can already see it with younger CEOs coming in or start-ups showing they can slow down globalisation a little,” says Laurent, who will do an internship in rail logistics at Deutsche Bahn this summer. “The pandemic shows we might be a bit too interdependent with certain necessary goods, like medication. We need to balance the local and the global.”

Nathalia points to food miles as an example of how more localisation could drive wider progress. “People go to the supermarket and want to buy foods that are not in season,” she says. “I hope people will become more aware of where products come from, as well as the effects on people in supply chains. Unless this changes, businesses will not change – they’ll give people what they want.”

Both students are impressed with how strongly their courses at ESCP focus on sustainability, which encourages open-mindedness about local solutions. “ESCP really focuses on it a lot, which is great,” says Nathalia.

Photos: Nathalia Rocha/Laurent Högl-Roy

Optimism in a long-term outlook 

“On the face of it, shareholder value is the dumbest idea in the world.” It’s just over a decade since Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric, made this shock declaration about corporate excess.

In 2020, is the trend finally turning away from short-term strategies that seek to maximize profits at all costs? It may be too early to say. But ESCP’s Bachelor in Management (BSc) aims to support a more long-term perspective on prosperity.

Nathalia hopes to see changes in the clothing industry. “With fast fashion, they usually don’t give a living wage to people making the clothes,” she says. “The quality is poor, so people buy things and throw them away.”

“Business should be done for the good of society,” adds Laurent. “Without society there are no customers. My generation can see and build on what has been successful until now but we can also focus on what has been going wrong. I think we have a very interesting future and I'm rather optimistic.”

With its emphasis on ethics and sustainable solutions, ESCP's BSc is giving a new wave of decision-makers the tools to turn their visions today into tomorrow's reality.

Ready to be a next generation decision-maker? Find out more about ESCP's Bachelor in Management (BSc), which starts on September 14th for first year students in the 2020/21 intake – with classes on campus and/or online in accordance with national government recommendations. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 

EDUCATION

Why ETH Zurich has been ranked the ‘best university in continental Europe’

A new international survey of universities has ranked Zurich’s Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH) the highest in the world outside the US and the UK. How does this school excel?

Why ETH Zurich has been ranked the 'best university in continental Europe'
ETH's main hall. Photo by Zurich.ch

The Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2022 have placed ETH in the 15th place (out of 1,600 surveyed worldwide). The school dropped from the 14th-place ranking the previous year.

Universities in the United Kingdom and the United States hold all of the top rankings ahead of ETH Zurich.

But as the top 14 are not in continental Europe, this means ETH has the unofficial title of the of best in Europe.

What is ETH and what does it do?

It is a public research university focusing exclusively on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics

It has a “sister” school located in Lausanne, the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), which specialises in natural sciences and engineering. 

The EPFL ranked in the 40th place in the survey.

Why has ETH scored so high in the study?

“Our strategy is derived from our federal mandate to conduct fundamental research, train specialists and transfer new knowledge to the economy and society,” said ETH President Joël Mesot.

University ranking methodology is based on scores for high-​level indicators relating to teaching, research, international perspective, and collaboration with industry.

“ETH’s overall scores show improvement in teaching, research, and publication citations”, the university’s rankings expert Paul Cross said.

However, it dropped slightly in terms of industry income and international outlook.

“Competition is fierce at the top tier of the rankings”, Cross noted. 

Here are some interesting facts about ETH:

  • It was founded in 1855 by the Swiss government to train engineers and scientists.
  • Today 18,000 students from over 100 different countries study at ETZ, 3,800 of whom are doctoral students.
  • So far, 21 Nobel Prizes have been awarded to researchers who have or had a connection with ETH Zurich.
  • While tuition in the top-ranking schools in the UK — Oxford and Cambridge — costs well over 10,000 francs each year, and in the in the US universities, such as Yale, Harvard, Stanford and Caltech, the annual tuition exceeds 50,000 a year, at ETH it is 1,460 francs.

In all, Switzerland is home to seven of the world’s top universities. Aside from ETH and EPFL, they are University of Zurich (75th place), University of Bern (101st), Universities of Basel and Geneva (103rd), University of Lausanne (176th).

Complete ranking can be seen here.

READ MORE: Why Switzerland leads the world in innovation (Partner content)

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