Instituto de Empresa, the Madrid based business school, has bought an 80 per cent stake in a local, private university for an undisclosed sum. SEK University, in Segovia near Madrid, was set up 10 years ago and teaches non-business subjects such as architecture and art history.
From next year all SEK programmes will include an element of business management and there will be a whole raft of new undergraduate and graduate programmes including bio-technology and life sciences, sports industries, telecommunications and digital business, banking and finance, and international economic and trade law. Programmes will be taught in Spanish and English.
SEK University currently has 1,400 students and 220 professors teaching degree programmes. This compares to IE which has fewer than 100 faculty members.
Examples of business schools acquiring universities are rare indeed - usually it is the university that wants to establish a business school. But IE believes its acquisition will place it in a position to meet the upcoming challenges of the Bologna accord, intended to foster the creation of a single university education platform in Europe, enabling the free movement of students and professors.
The IE and SEK agreement is subject to the approval of the regional authorities of Castilla y Leon. The remaining 20 per cent of the university will be retained by its current owner, IISEK, which also owns universities in South America and South Africa.