Some of our readers may have noticed that several issues of our From Solvay Magazine are almost entirely in English (as opposed to the usual “French and English”). Indeed, the previous issue (on “Innovation”), the current issue on “Internationalisation” and the two forthcoming issues on “Corporate Social Responsibility” and on “Regulation” will be published in English; this is for three main reasons.
The firstly is that the EQUIS Accreditation Peer Review Teams (three international deans and a business expert who will be evaluating the School over three days in mid-March 2016), and the AACSB Accreditation team (a similar team evaluating us in late 2016 or early 2017) are truly international teams; it is therefore natural that we should present our mainstream communication tool with our Alumni in English.
Secondly, and on the subject of Alumni… the fact that an increasing proportion – and overall number – of Alumni are essentially English speaking (from the Master in Management Science, the whole Advanced Masters series, the MBA programmes, the Ph.D. programmes and several executive Education programmes), makes it seem natural and appropriate to consider communicating more extensively in English. As all our undergraduate programmes include English and Dutch in their curriculum, it should not be too difficult for our Frenchspeaking Alumni to understand our “news from the school”.
Thirdly, we are currently revamping the School’s website, and this issue – as well as all previous issues – will be available online to a wider audience, especially from abroad. As the School aims to become more internationalized – ie, attract more students from abroad – it is important that we provide information in English.
So, should we be concerned about our culture and our “langue française”? The School’s vision – towards which our executive team has been working hard over the past four years – is to become a top European school, a school that stakeholders from all over the world (students, researchers, staff and professors) would consider joining. In fact, many top schools in Europe are already communicating extensively in English (eg, Insead, Institute de Empresa, BI Norway, IMD, Toulouse School of Economics and others). So there is no real cause for concern. Indeed, in today’s world the best way to disseminate and share our values is probably less through delivering programmes in French than through welcoming international participants in a cosmopolitan context, who will then enjoy implicit and intense exposure to our regional culture, ULB values and the French language.
Bruno van Pottelsberghe