Insead and Wharton Renew Alliance

Posted on December 1, 2008 | Filed in MBA

Earlier 2008, Thomas Robertson, dean of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and Frank Brown, dean of INSEAD, announced a four-year renewal of the two business schools’ alliance initiated seven years ago in 2001, which they mutually consider has been a great success.


The impetus for the alliance is to promote the internationalization of both schools’ programs in terms of MBA student exchange, faculty exchange, executive education, research collaboration, developing joint PhD curricula, and joint alumni initiatives. With INSEAD’s campuses in France and Singapore and Wharton’s campuses in Philadelphia and San Francisco, students and faculty are able to derive experience from three continents, all of which are vital players in international business.

Joint MBA Program – Size & More

Since its inception, the alliance has educated 800 MBAs, 50-75 from each school per year, through two-month exchanges giving students access to a broader and deeper selection of coursework led by regional faculty and assistance by local career coordinators.

Nearly the same number of executives have taken advantage of the exchange, enrolling in executive education programs like “Strategic R&D Management” and “Leading an Effective Sales Force”, which are taught by faculty of both schools at all the campus locations. The executive training offered by the partnership also makes company-specific curricula available for its multinational clients.

The networking potential for alumni is also immense with 82,000 Wharton alumni spread over 148 countries and 37,000 INSEAD alumni in even more locations.

Research Program

The research opportunities created by the partnership have been substantial as well. Through the creation of the jointly governed and funded INSEAD-Wharton Center for Global Research and Education over 60 faculty members have taken long-term teaching or research positions ranging from six months to two years at one of the partner schools.


What will the next four years bring to the partnership? Robertson says he would like to continue developing a pool of multinational clients looking for global solutions, which he believes the alliance is uniquely situated to provide. Both deans remark that further development of PhDs is desirable given the constant need for excellent faculty. “The more quality academics we can produce, the better off both institutions are going to be and the better off the academic community in general will be,” says Brown.

Near-Term Initiatives

  • A plan to distribute proprietary case studies developed at INSEAD to Wharton;
  • Workshops for staff across campuses that will focus on ideal practice in diverse elements of business ranging from training to diversity management;
  • Continued joint alumni events;
  • Opportunities for peer reviews of alumni work by both alumni populations.

More information regarding the partnership can be found here:

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