May 28, 2008 — Leaders of Hochschule für Wirtschaft Zürich traveled from Switzerland to sign an education partnership with the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business on May 27.
The HWZ team visited Jay Bourgeois, Darden's associate dean for international affairs, and other Darden officials for the signing of the HWZ/Darden International Partner Program agreement, which calls for Darden to provide specialized courses in general management and marketing for HWZ students.
HWZ dean Jacques Bischoff and Urs Marti, vice chairman of the HWZ board, attended the signing ceremony. Bischoff said Darden was chosen "for its reputation for excellence."
Bourgeois noted that Darden has had 14 partnerships with other international business schools, but has been increasingly re-evaluating its strategic focus to partner with young, privately endowed schools that follow a similar pedagogy as Darden, which utilizes the case method of instruction for MBA education.
The pact, to be renewed annually, represents the first Darden connection to Switzerland. Each year, up to 60 HWZ students can visit Virginia and take advantage of Darden's world-class executive education offerings.
"It's important to have a long-term relationship with a highly-ranked American business school, especially as it relates to marketing," Bischoff said, "as I think of marketing as an American invention."
The agreement with HWZ calls for Darden to provide tailored one-week learning experiences for students through the school's executive education programs, which hold the Financial Times rankings for best faculty and curriculum design in the world. The International Partner Program at Darden will offer 2 1/2 days in Charlottesville with thematically linked case discussions, computer-based simulations, and lectures, as well as historical and business-related tours. The second half of the program is spent in Washington, and includes exposure to such industries as telecommunications and biotechnology, as well as meetings with trade groups and government agencies.