Ms. Špela Pregl is the PR representative of the Ljubljana School of Business in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Ms. Pregl, we are coming to an end of a somewhat unusual academic year. What have been some of your biggest challenges and most relevant takeaways?
It is no news we have all been and are still affected by the COVID situation. Each industry was hit by it in a specific way. For us, the first concern was the health and safety of all our stakeholders, closely followed by the challenge of providing quality educational service to our students in these new circumstances.
We are happy to say that the transition to the online lectures was quite smooth, due to the incredible dedication of our team and, of course, due to our very cooperative students. We were forced to try out new means of interaction and we are integrating some of them into our study process – something, that would probably not happen if we had not been exposed to this situation. So, this is surely an important takeaway, on an operational level. The other takeaway is that the relationships we built with our students exceed merely academic interactions. This is something we are very proud of. Our students turned to us when experiencing a lack of motivation when faced with financial problems and other limitations to their studies. This was a challenge a lot of educators experienced, and we are glad we were able to dedicate time to have relevant conversations and, to find solutions to financial challenges.
Your school has recently received special recognition from the Slovenian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, regarding the first decade of the Ljubljana Business School. Has a lot changed in ten years and is a lot about to change in the next ten?
The biggest change, compared to our beginnings, is probably the number of study programs we offer. We started with the first cycle degree programs Business Informatics and Marketing Communications and Public Relations, followed by second-degree Management and Informatics, later also Marketing Management on the same degree and recently, last year, we introduced another first cycle degree program, Management.
With passing years, our ties to the academic and, mostly, economic community have strengthened. This helps us in adjusting our study programs in a way that most suits current job-market needs and requirements. Therefore, our faculty are qualified professionals from respective fields with extensive hands-on experience so our students get equipped with up-to-date knowledge and skills they can apply in the actual business environment.
More and more companies turn to our students when looking for new employees and hopefully, we will see even more of that in the future. Also, though this was quite limited in the past year, our international connections are growing in number and intensity. Our dean, Dr. Lidija Weis, and I have just returned from Montenegro, where we were visiting our partner school, Faculty of Business Economics and Law in Bar, to discuss student, professors, and staff mobility.
Through the Erasmus+ mobility program we are cooperating with educational institutions from almost all over the world – from India, Bhutan, Ukraine, to Portugal, Cyprus, Italy, Croatia, and others. When mentioning international cooperation, we should also mention the recently concluded 3rd ECMEE (Eastern European Conference of Management and Economics), with the headline Sustainable development in the modern knowledge society, bringing together more than 100 participants from 10 countries. As far as other plans for the following decade: we will continue to ensure quality education and training in business, management, and organizational sciences and to develop and promote professional and research work. In other words, we will strive to answer the market’s needs regarding competencies through our study programs, while supporting our students academically and personally.