Business and Economics

About the Faculty of Business and Economics

The Faculty of Business and Economics is one of the largest faculties at the University of Antwerp. Situated in the heart of Antwerp's lively city centre, the history of the Faculty of Economics can be traced back to 1852. Since then, it has evolved into the most international economic faculty in Flanders.
The international AACSB, EFMD-programme and EQUIS accreditations that the faculty has received, testify to the high quality of its education and research, and this type of recognition ensures our students have a wide range of international opportunities on all continents. Our highly valued cooperation with the Antwerp Management School also ensures a strong link with managers from the business world.
Our students enjoy the benefits of studying in an international city, the economic cornerstone of Flanders, with its rich cultural heritage and location in the heart of Europe. Our graduates are critical, creative and strategic policymakers, active in all kinds of organisations.
Academic research is carried out in seven departments, to which we welcome international researchers and professors on a regular basis. They work closely together with the faculty personnel to create synergies between research and education.

It is our pleasure to welcome you to Antwerp and to share with you our enthusiasm for our faculty. The faculty personnel will gladly help you find your feet in one of the most attractive business cities in the world.

Mission: Shaping diamonds

We shape new generations of competent graduates and academics developing into  critical-thinking researchers, executives, entrepreneurs and policy makers, with an independent mind, ethical awareness and global mindset.

We  provide high-quality academic education and scientific research in management and economics, with a focus on sustainability and internationalization. We offer student-centered and competence-based education, from Bachelor to PhD, allowing students to develop their analytical and autonomous problem-solving skills.

We contribute to knowledge development by fostering fundamental as well as applied scientific research, with a strong link to the organizational world and to society. Research results are integrated into the course content, giving students insight into the latest evolutions in the field. Our research community also disseminates their expertise to the business community and policy makers, leading to a societal impact.

A diamond as metaphor

Figure 1: FBE's rough diamond

Four features of the rough diamond 

  • Competence-based learning: Student-centred education offers every student the opportunity to optimise his or her intrinsic value. Besides providing course content, we also foster the personal development of our students. We want to prepare them in the best possible way for management positions in both private and public organisations.
  • Academic rigour: We are continuously striving to improve our academic research results in the field of Applied Economics and Business Administration. We wish to further develop the entire spectrum of our research activities: doctoral research, externally funded research (both theoretical and applied), and publications. Valorising this research within both education and society is an essential part of this process.
  • Business and society: We have a long tradition of strong links with the private sector and society in general because of our location in the economic heart of Belgium, and more specifically in the multicultural city of Antwerp. We welcome socially responsible entrepreneurship and the new trends pervading society.
  • Entrepreneurship and creativity: Antwerp can rightly be regarded as a crossroads of cultures, ideas and influences, which is an ideal breeding ground for entrepreneurship and creativity. The presence of the international port is also an advantage. By integrating the cosmopolitan nature of our location (in the centre of one of the most important fashion and diamond districts in the world) in the everyday environments of students, we aim to introduce entrepreneurship and creativity as important aspects of their personal and professional lives.

In 2007, the Faculty of Business and Economics began to develop a competence system that would foster competence-based learning. A thorough literature study was complemented with data collected from various stakeholders and the project resulted in an overview of potential job descriptions, core tasks and related professional roles for graduates in Business and Economics.

The results of the competence project were included in the strategy discussion that followed, involving various parties, and ultimately produced the 'polished diamond' in 2009-2010. The 'polished diamond' outlines the diverse roles that graduates from the Faculty of Business and Economics fulfil in their professional lives.

Figure 2: Professional roles for FBE's graduates

The proposed roles in Figure 2 are explained below:


You acquire knowledge and insights independently. 
You gather and process data in a methodologically sound manner.


You apply your knowledge in new contexts.
You possess sufficient organisational skills to combine the resources required to carry out a task effectively.


You generate new ideas from the broad information flows both inside and outside organisations.
You transform existing insights into new concepts.


You can get ideas across clearly and correctly.


You are able to convince and inspire diverse stakeholders.


You unite different perspectives while keeping the big picture in mind.
You do this on the basis of an ethical reference framework, paying attention to sustainability and the global context.

The image of the polished diamond is a striking metaphor which allows us to visualise how our programmes are designed. The professional roles of 'analyst', 'coordinator' and 'communicator' are the basic roles and these will be dealt with first in the programme. The three roles included in the diamond's upper surfaces integrate the underlying roles and are expanded upon at Master level. Each professional role is linked to one or more of the programme's core competences.