The mission of the Faculty of Business and Economics includes the strong international orientation of our educational and research activities. The course 'International Week on Sustainability' or I-Week was introduced in 2014 to embed international exposure into the curriculum of the Bachelor of Applied Economics: Business Economics and the Bachelor of Social-Economic Sciences.
The objective is to :
- foster a global perspective and intercultural climate;
- expose students to international perspectives on current sustainability issues for companies;
- reflect on ethical issues in the business world through a multidisciplinary approach;
- offers students the chance to improve their language and intercultural skills in a course specific context.
- participate in lectures given by foreign visiting professors and businessmanagers with international experience.
The course consists of 5 intense days of talks, discussions and workshops during which students are exposed to international academics, sustainability experts, CEOs of big businesses, as well as small enterprises with sustainability in their mission.
In 2020, speakers from BNP Paribas Fortis, Lidl, WWF, Climate Response, Umicore, Close the gap, Port of Antwerp... both inspired our students and taught them how they integrate sustainability into the mission of their respective organisations. In total, 23 visiting students from James Madison University (Harrisonburg, Virginia) and 8 students of Illinois State University (Illinois) also participated in this course.
In 2021, the first online edition has become the most international editions so far, with speakers and students coming from 24 different nationalities and 4 different continents.
For I-Week, the students complete two assessment tasks in multicultural groups:
- They write a paper where they analyse a current sustainability issue in a particular international organisation.
- They create a poster that summarises the issue they analyse and that is presented at the end of the week.
In conclusion, the International Week on Sustainability is an innovative way to embed international perspectives and a focus on sustainability into the curriculum of the Faculty of Business and Economics.