Independent University Newspaper
Copenhagen Business School

Popular searches:

Independent University Newspaper

Copenhagen Business School

Go to Italy, France or Finland without crossing the border: CBS and eight universities launch online elective exchanges

World gif

(GIF: Emil Ernst Friis)

A new collaboration between nine European business schools, including CBS, enables fifth-semester bachelor students to take online electives at various universities. CBS’ Vice Dean of International Education envisions the collaboration potentially expanding to cover more universities and more students in future.

News |   29. Mar 2021

Anne Thora Lykkegaard


Normally, you would have to be enrolled at a specific university to take its courses. Not anymore.

From the coming semester, fifth-semester students will be able to take online electives that cover everything from why some ideas, products, song and videos go viral, to what it means to live on less than USD 1 a day, and what can be done about it, at universities across Europe.

The electives will be offered through the European Common On-Line Network (ECOL), which consists of nine business schools and universities – including CBS, where the Vice Dean of International Education, Martin Jes Iversen, is excited about the collaboration.

“It’s like a new dimension of electives,” he says and continues:

“When CBS students look at the possible electives, they can browse through an additional course catalogue with courses available at other universities. In principle, you can get an international education while staying at home.”

In the fall last year, CBS had a similar setup with the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland and Wirtschaftsuniversität in Vienna. Now more universities have joined the collaboration.

“It’s amazing that all of us have been thinking about this at about the same time. We started to work with St. Gallen and WU, but then Bocconi University reached out and said they had been working on something similar with ESADE in Spain. So we just made the group a little bigger,” says Catherine Layolle Busch, International Programs Manager at CBS.

And the vision is clear; if the fall semester is successful and attracts a lot of applications for the offered courses, Martin Jes Iversen cannot see why the collaboration should not expand on several parameters.

“We are working with a system that is scalable. We can include more partners or take in more students per course. Right now, there are nine study places reserved on each course. One space per university. But that can possible be increased,” he says.

“We’re starting in Europe – let’s see where things go”

The universities can offer as many electives as they like, however, there is a catch. They must choose electives that somehow represent the DNA of that university.

For example, CBS has chosen three courses that in one way or another focus on business in society, and how to run or view businesses from an alternative angle, for example, with a focus on sustainability.

“This collaboration is not an option for taking ordinary or typical business school courses. Why would you take a course in corporate finance when you can take that course at your home university? No, instead we would like the universities to pick out courses that somehow show their qualities and flair. That way, students will get a unique learning experience that they would not be able to get at home,” says Martin Jes Iversen.

Catherine Layolle Busch has a dream vision:

“Seeing it from a very distant perspective, it would be fantastic to have students in, for example, Brazil who knew about CSR and water management because they have taken online courses at CBS and another university. You could get so much more through these online electives,” she says.

Taking an online elective can be a way of preparing you for reality online

Martin Jes Iversen

Martin Jes Iversen explains that it is not impossible that the initiatives could grow big enough to have universities from outside Europe.

“We are starting in Europe to see how things go, but from a wider perspective, it might as well include universities from developing countries, I like that perspective,” he says.

International in an online world

Martin Jes Iversen stresses that the initiative is not meant as a Covid-19 initiative, but rather as a post-Covid initiative. He believes that the world will never be the same and that many aspects will remain online in future. And that requires online skills.

“This initiative is not a substitute for regular exchange with physical mobility, but rather a supplement. But taking an online course can bring great learning as well. You’ll have to do group work with others from different countries, and that in itself can be challenging. It can be frustrating, but will lead to considerable learning,” he says and continues:

“A lot of companies are predicting that the frequency of business travel will decrease dramatically after the pandemic. There are many things you can solve online. So taking an online elective can be a way of preparing you for reality online. Not that I’m always a fan of online meetings, and I prefer to be on campus, but in a way, the online electives mirror the reality we are in.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Go to Italy, France or Finland without crossing the border: CBS and eight universities launch online elective exchangesby

  • News

    Staff layoffs: What happens if you’re fired

    The clock is ticking. On Thursday morning (5 October), CBS employees will know if they are up for dismissal or not. But what will happen on the day? What emotional stages are you likely to encounter? And who will be there to pick you up when you are feeling the blow of being laid off? CBS WIRE has talked to HR and the consulting agency Actief Hartmanns to provide you with answers.

  • News

    Network, network, network – CBS graduates advise on getting your first job

    There are many approaches to finding your first job. Three recent CBS graduates talk about how they landed theirs. Their approaches were quite different, yet they all highlight networking as a key element.

  • News

    A-Z of the dismissals

    In these final days of September, the fate of a number of CBS employees is being decided. The final amount of money saved on salaries via voluntary severance agreements (aka redundancy packages, Ed.) and senior agreements will be known.  After this, the actual number of employees up for dismissal will be decided by management – and then the individuals will be selected.

  • News

    Layoffs break the crucial trust between organisation and employee

    CBS is laying off a number of employees soon, which will affect our university in different ways. When employees are fired without having done anything wrong, it shatters the trust between the organisation and employees, while also taking a toll on productivity, according to a CBS expert. Layoffs also affect the ‘survivors’, who are forced to adapt to a changed workload and the loss of cherished colleagues.

  • News

    Here to help – at the touch of a button and at Campus Desk

    Exam anxiety? Lost student card? I’ve wedged my car between a Fiat 500 and a lamp post, can you help? You never know what you’ll be asked next. But that’s just how the Campus Desk team like it. And if they can’t fix your problem, they’ll know someone who can. CBS WIRE asked the team about the whole range of topics they advice on every day.

  • Gif of the week
  • News

    CBS Quiz Time: Unraveling the success story

    A successful university environment such as CBS is often associated with academic pursuits, but campus life extends far beyond the classroom. At CBS Quiz Time, a student society motivated by creative thinking and social engagement, students join in a refreshing range of creativity, excitement, and social interaction. CBS WIRE talked to Celine Møller-Andersen to find out about the society’s vision, strategies and the factors that are driving its rapid expansion.

  • News

    Why so sudden? The CBS financial crisis explained

    Employees and union representatives have posed many questions in the wake of the 17 August announcement of a firing round. In this interview, University Director Arnold Boon explains how Senior Management has been working with the budget and a change of financial strategy since the fall of 2022, and why layoffs are now necessary.

Follow CBS students studying abroad

CBS WIRE collaborates with

Stay connected