INSEAD® is a world-class business school with various degree and non-degree programmes. On November 23rd 2018, the Dean of INSEAD®, Prof. Ilian Mihov, participated in the strategic cooperation agreement signing ceremony of a non-degree programme with INSEAD’s new strategic partner, “HOUYI Institute of Advanced Education” on the INSEAD® campus in Singapore. (Peking University announcement & China.com report & INSEAD announcement – Translated by court certified Translator in the United States of America)
At the time of this event, a student of an INSEAD® Dual-Degree EMBA programme participating in the course Winning in Emerging Markets, also in Singapore, became interested and wanted to learn more about the new partnership. He soon learned that “HOUYI Institute of Advanced Education” was actually “Beijing Post EMBA Alumni Association”, a discredited institution notorious in China for its legal and reputational issues.
The research into this ill-advised partnership was summarised in a reflection paper, receiving positive feedback from Prof. Xiaowei Rose Luo, who acknowledged a “hasty decision” and the “lack of due diligence” that “led to this partnership error” and assured the student that feedback had been shared with Dean Prof. Ilian Mihov. To ensure the reputation and integrity of INSEAD® be protected, as the INSEAD-HOUYI programme was ongoing, the student contacted Dean Prof. Ilian Mihov and shared with him his further investigations and findings, which raised important questions about INSEAD’s involvement with HOUYI.
During and after his research and investigation, the student was suspended and ultimately expelled from the Dual-Degree EMBA programme of INSEAD®, in what was presented as an ‘independent’ and ‘fair process’ of violating INSEAD’s code of conduct with inappropriate written communications.
All of the above prompted the now-former student to set up the “Force for Good” association, inspired by INSEAD’s fundraising campaign and the discrepancy between Dean Prof. Ilian Mihov’s public statements and actions as Dean. For example, Dean Prof. Ilian Mihov talks about sustainability in business but chooses as INSEAD’s partner a Chinese affiliate only interested in short-term gain.
The Force for Good Association offers a platform for those who wish to urge business schools to implement their principles in practice. Force for Good will offer an annual award to the most hypocritical dean of a business school. In addition, Force for Good offers funds to assist students who have been mistreated by INSEAD® with their legal costs, since INSEAD® is a private company which lacks any official complaints procedure or real independent scrutiny. Moreover, this is a story of how an ordinary student uncovered and exposed a truth that one of the world’s most prestigious business schools is trying to hide.
Force for Good – Case Study 2019/11 [DOWNLOAD]