Since mid-August 2014, some 50 young professionals from Angola have been attending a customized continuing education course at the ZHAW School of Management and Law (SML) in Winterthur. This six-month scholarship course is sponsored by the sovereign wealth fund of Angola. Focus areas include banking and finance, business development, international business, and aspects of business ethics. The course is jointly run by two SML departments, International Business and Banking & Finance.
Students took part in a selection procedure back in Luanda involving assessments and personal interviews. They are between 25 and 35 years old and have a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in economics, law, public finance, accounting, or banking. Their proficiency in English and their work experience helped them win out over some 650 competitors. About a third of the participants are female.
Over the next six months, they will follow a program of lectures, case studies and simulations, and company visits, as well as a varied extra-curricular program. To enable them to adapt quickly to campus life in Switzerland, participants received cultural coaching. They are staying at student dormitories together with other students and will take part in the official orientation week for our incoming exchange students. The final four weeks of the diploma course is taking place in Angola in February 2015. This is where SML instructors will administer the final exams and participate in the graduation ceremony.
The course aims to qualify participants to assume challenging leadership roles in Angola. When it was first introduced, the pilot project attracted a great deal of media attention both in Switzerland and on the African continent. It enhances our reputation as a business school with international reach and expertise in banking and finance, while positioning the SML as an academic partner for international educational ventures.