Professor Laoucine Kerbache, CEO & Academic Dean, HEC Paris, Qatar

24 Feb 02:42 AM

Sector : Education Country : Qatar

A Global Leader in Executive Education


HEC Paris in Qatar is the first graduate business school in the country, joining Qatar Foundation in June 2010. HEC Paris is globally ranked for its Executive Education program. B'Here met with Professor Laoucine Kerbache, the Dean and CEO of HEC Paris in Qatar, to discuss bringing the top ranking executive education to the Gulf, Executive MBAs, and developing custom-made programs for Qatar and the Middle East.
Professor Laoucine Kerbache is currently the Chief Executive Officer and Academic Dean of HEC Paris in Qatar. Having acquired a PhD, M.Sc and a B.Sc. in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from the University of Massachusetts, he is also Full Professor of Operations and Supply Chain Management at HEC-Paris. 


HEC Paris was ranked number one worldwide by the Financial Times for Executive Education in 2014. How many times has the university been in the top rankings, and what do you attribute such success? 

HEC Paris has been ranked number one worldwide by the Financial Times for Executive Education for two consecutive years – 2013 and 2014. Mainly based on the satisfaction of participants and businesses, it highlights the quality and suitability of the programs, the coherence of what is being offered and the excellence of the faculty. HEC Paris Custom Programs have been ranked Number 2 in the world for six consecutive years (Number 1 in Europe) and our open-enrolment programs have progressed over the last ten years from Number 27 in 2004 to Number 3 today.

HEC Paris opened its doors in Doha in 2010. How would you rate progress since then, and how many students and faculty are there now?

Since joining Qatar Foundation in June 2010 as the first European Partner in Education City, HEC Paris has developed and delivered a whole range of degree and non-degree programs in Management Education for experienced managers and executives. For instance, we offer two degree programs: an EMBA and an Executive Specialized Master in Management of Strategic Business Unit. 

Over the last three years, we have enrolled four EMBA cohorts of which three cohorts have already graduated while the other one is still in progress. In total, almost 170 participants have enrolled in this program.

As for the Executive Master in Management of Strategic Business Units, this program is aimed at younger professionals with high potential.  In total, almost 100 participants are enrolled in this Executive Master.

Further, HEC Paris offers open and custom-designed programs for individual companies that are keen on addressing management development needs for their executives in Qatar. Over the last three years, we have achieved tremendous success with almost 700 executives going through our different programs.

How is enrollment divided up between the Executive MBA and Specialized Masters Degrees?

For the EMBA program, we had respectively 31, 44 and 40 participants in 2012, 2013 and 2014. The current EMBA 2015 cohort is made up of 47 participants. As for the Specialized Master Degree in Strategic Business Unit Management program, the first cohort had 47 participants while the current one has 51 participants.

An aim of HEC Paris is “to produce relevant content, in terms of research and teaching, in line with the needs of Qatar and the region.” Could you expand on this, and how HEC Paris is contributing to diversifying the Qatari economy?

Our primary mission in our Qatar location is to develop executive education in Qatar and in the region not only for degree programs like the EMBA and the Specialized Masters but also for in-house Custom Programs. Our objective is to produce, in terms of research and teaching, relevant content in line with the needs of Qatar and of the Gulf region. For example, through a generous special fund by HH Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser, we are already developing a whole series of case studies in collaboration with some companies operating in Qatar. 

Therefore, the programs and research activities of HEC Paris are built to develop corporate competitiveness within the global economy and are fully aligned with Qatar National Vision 2030 to support the transformation of Qatar into an advanced, competitive and knowledge-based economy. 

What are the plans for offering further courses and graduate studies?

HEC Paris offers a complete and unique range of educational programs for the leaders of tomorrow. In accordance with the needs and requirements of Qatar’s economy in general and its business executives in particular, HEC Paris may add and introduce new programs into its current offerings in the future. Further, we need to expand our offerings to the Gulf region. For instance, we are already present in Saudi Arabia by offering a custom-designed program for King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Center in Riyadh and Jeddah.

What research is HEC Paris engaged in?

Recently, HEC Paris has created a Research Office in Qatar. With support from Qatar Foundation and local funding research institutions, the Research Office will be focusing on activities that include the development of pedagogical content (business cases), innovative academic research, facilitation of post doctorate and PhD student grants and fellowships, collaboration with academic and business communities in Qatar, and organizing of ‘Focus on Research’ events, workshops and conferences.


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