Celebrating 50 years of ESCP’s European model with Prof. Véronique Tran, Dean of ESCP’s Berlin Campus

Founded in Paris in 1819, ESCP is the oldest business school in the world, with a rich legacy that is a testament to its unwavering dedication to the School’s European heritage.

In 2023, ESCP celebrates a significant milestone – the 50th anniversary of the School’s European model, established in 1973 with the creation of EAP. This unique model, distinguished by its focus on humanism and multiculturalism, and profoundly influenced by Europe’s history, remains unparalleled to this day.
Prof. Véronique Tran with his picture of Inside out Project

As part of this celebration, Prof. Véronique Tran, Dean of ESCP's Berlin campus, gave us insight into what it means to “live and work the European way”.

A multicultural, intrinsically humanist model

With six campuses across Europe [Berlin, London, Madrid, Paris, Turin & Warsaw], ESCP’s European approach to education is at the core of the student experience. All ESCP programmes are multi-campus, requiring students to study at a minimum of two or three campuses before graduation. The School's degrees and campuses are recognised in all its host countries, cementing its reputation as a truly European institution.

Prof. Véronique Tran emphasises the importance of this approach stating that ESCP’s unparalleled asset, as a European business school, is “to allow students to be exposed to different educational and cultural environments while earning a degree from one school, and to have the opportunity to immerse themselves in different ecosystems, whether cultural, economic, or professional.

This European model of education provides numerous advantages for students. Thanks to this European approach, students benefit from a dynamic, multicultural learning environment. Exposure to different cultures, inside and outside of the classroom, as well as different business practices, allows them to gain insight and greater adaptability to various contexts. The School's commitment to its European values is evident in its diverse student body, where 35% are non-French Europeans and 25% are non-Europeans.

All ESCP programmes integrate theory and practice, which are also considered pillars of the School’s European model. Hands-on learning opportunities and corporate partnerships with Europe’s top companies offer students real-world experiences to complement their classroom learning. And give them even more opportunities to dive into Europe’s richness.

Teamwork: the secret to ESCP’s unique model

Pro. Veronique Tran with ¨Prof René Mauer

The 50th anniversary of ESCP’s European model provides an opportunity to reflect on the School's history, milestones, and achievements. And what would ESCP’s heritage be without its international academic team? Prior to her appointment as Dean of the Berlin campus, Prof. Tran had spent considerable time on each of ESCP's campuses, which allowed her to gain a deep, firsthand understanding of the school’s European model. Indeed, Prof. Tran’s journey at ESCP as an advocate for the European model began in 2006, when she joined the School's Paris campus and quickly became involved in teaching across the campuses.

Although Paris-based, I immediately volunteered to teach on all other campuses, primarily for our Executive MBA programme but also for other master programmes or executive workshops,” she explains. “Then, when I was elected faculty coordinator between 2013 and 2015, I contributed to the School’s Europeanisation by implementing regular European meetings including colleagues from all campuses in a time where Zoom did not exist! Together, we started implementing common European-based processes.

Thanks to the commitment of ESCP’s faculty and staff, the School’s unique model was brought to life. “Seeing all energy converging towards this worthy goal of making our unique model a reality for hundreds of students and participants, and ensuring all teams cohesively work together in our mini-European community, with all the complexities it entails, surely account for the most rewarding years of my career,” adds Prof. Tran.

Adapting the European model to maintain excellence

I can see the delicate balance that needs to be achieved day after day between a strong European school culture...

As Dean of the Berlin campus, Prof. Véronique Tran now experiences the School’s European model at a whole new level. “I can see the delicate balance that needs to be achieved day after day between a strong European school culture that keeps us united whilst operating in different local markets and different competitive landscapes,” she explains.

As ESCP Business School looks to the future, its European model will continue to evolve to meet the needs of students in an increasingly interconnected and rapidly changing world. As Prof. Tran noted: "ESCP’s model is largely European, but we also benefit from a wide number of academic partnerships all over the world, providing our students amazing opportunities to multiply learning experiences. We also opened a branch campus in Dubai, a vibrant economical platform bridging East and West” highlighting the School's global reach.

Along with its unique European model, ESCP's commitment to fostering global citizenship, addressing emerging challenges such as digital transformation and sustainable development goals, and adapting to different cultural and business environments will continue to set it apart from other business schools.

I am proud of our collective achievement in making our European model such a success...

“I am proud of our collective achievement in making our European model such a success,” concludes Professor Tran. “And the rankings prove it.” Indeed, ESCP's unique educational model has earned its recognition in the 2022 Financial Times European Business Schools Ranking, placing it third among the top 95 business schools in Europe.

Where will the next 50 years lead? “If the last two hundred years are any indication, the possibilities are infinite.”