The Stockholm School of Economics has appointed Lars Strannegård as its next president. Prof Strannegård will take up the role on June 1.
The appointment follows more than a year in which the school has had an interim president following the departure of Rolf Wolff, who left his position in May 2013 following concerns about one of Prof Wolff’s appointments to the school.
At 44 years old, Prof Strannegård is one of the youngest deans at a top European business school, and says he will focus on improving the funding of SSE and on internationalisation. “It [SSE] has truly been a national school since its inauguration in 1909, even though it was set up to train managers to be international,” he says. “We need to internationalise everything otherwise we will not be relevant to Swedish companies.”
At masters level, where programmes are taught in English, 50 per cent of SSE’s students are from outside Sweden. “The international students are marinated in the Swedish environment,” as the new president puts it. On graduation, 40 per cent of students work overseas. But at undergraduate level, where the first two years of the degree are taught in Swedish, the student body is local.
International partnerships are also part of the internalisation plan. The school already teaches double degree programmes with Bocconi in Italy and St Gällen in Switzerland, and will soon announce a double degree programme with Sciences Po in Paris.
Because all undergraduate and masters level programmes at SSE are free of charge to students from the European Union, and because only 20 per cent of funds come from government, the school has to earn revenues through its executive short courses and its Executive MBA – an MBA for working managers. (SSE does not run a full-time MBA programme.) Prof Strannegård also plans to increase corporate support for targeted programmes.
The new president also has a special interest in arts, and plans to introduce more arts and humanities teaching in the SSE curriculum. He is vice-chairman of the board of the Swedish Arts Council and on the board of the Bergman Estate on Fårö island, where Swedish film director Ingmar Bergman lived.
Prof Strannegård has been vice-president of SSE since 2012 and acting chief executive of IFL, the school’s executive education arm, since 2013. He has also taught at Uppsala University in Sweden.
This article has been amended since initial publication