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Cracow – St. Gallen: 10 Years of Cooperation

10th anniversary of cooperation between Cracow School of Business at Cracow University of Economics and St. Gallen Business School 

The 10th edition of the International MBA Programme started in October this year. It is taking place at the Cracow School of Business at the Cracow University of Economics and was organised in cooperation with the St. Gallen Business School in Switzerland.

The Cracow School of Business is a specialized unit of the Cracow University of Economics and focuses on providing courses such as postgraduate studies, training and research, consulting and publishing. The school offers more than 70 majors of postgraduate studies, MBA studies, courses, training and research programmes. As part of the postgraduate studies the School accepts more than 1,000 students annually. The CSB CUE works in broad cooperation with local authorities, businesses and cultural centres as well as with other schools, universities and community colleges in Poland and abroad. Thanks to its dynamic development and success the School is gaining more and more international recognition and has high position in Polish rankings.

St. Gallen Business School is a partner of the International MBA Programme. Since the 1970s, it has gradually developed into a centre of contemporary management training. The school is now one of the largest and most renowned institutions providing practical knowledge of management for executives from German-speaking area.

The relationship between the two schools began ten years ago as a result of negotiations conducted between the Director of CSB CUE and the Director of St. Gallen Business School – Dr oec. HSG. Christian Abegglen. CSB CUE was selected by the Swiss from the many other Polish universities which, at that time, were also negotiating a possible joint MBA programme. Years of fruitful cooperation have confirmed that this decision was the best possible one, and now the close relationship between Cracow and St. Gallen stimulates the creation of new initiatives and projects.

The International MBA Programme

The International MBA Programme conducted jointly in Cracow is based on an original concept of integrated management which has been developed over the years by a long-term scientific director and Chairman of the Board of St. Gallen Business School – Professor Knut Bleicher. Currently, this concept provides not only quick and simple solutions but also provides a structure within which managers, gaining better knowledge of the general context, are able to identify problems and determine their potential, viable solutions. This approach is enhanced by considering real examples of international business practice. Half of the lecturers in the Programme are from outside Poland, but all have international experience and a practical approach to the issues raised in class.

In addition, every year the Programme participants visit our partner in Switzerland and have the opportunity to get to know companies using the typical Swiss management model as well as international corporations which have their branches  there. So far the students have visited such organizations as: UBS Bank, Beyer Chronometrie, Savoy au Lac Hotel, JUST, WÜRTH International, Faser-Plast, Modine Europe GmbH, SFS intec AG, Steigenberger Hotel in Davos, Credit Suisse, Grand Hotel Palace Luzern, Julius Bär Zurich Bank, Chocolaterie Maestrani, Monstein Brewery in Davos, Avalog Zurich, Uster Technology, Dänisches Bettenlager, H. Moser & Cie. Schaffhausen, BELIMO Automation AG, AMAG/Porsche Zentrum Zurich, Reader’s Digest, JYSK GmbH, Papyrus Schweiz AG.

More than 200 students

During the 10 years of the Programme 165 senior managers completed the International MBA studies. Currently, there are 54 students in two parallel editions.

The students and graduates of the Programme are mainly those working for international companies and global corporations such as: PCC Rail S.A., WSK „PZL Rzeszów” S.A., KGHM Polska Miedź S.A., Lurgi S.A., Arcelor Mittal Steel Poland S.A., Maspex Group, WSK Trading, Lubplast Sp. z o.o., HUF Polska Sp. z o.o., Lear Corporation Department II Sp. z o.o., SKF Sp. z o.o., Zehnder Group Bolesławiec Sp. z o.o., Mirage s.j. H.R. Kasprzyk, Deloitte, Thermoplast Sp. z o.o., TEVA, Ericpol, Oil and Gas Exploration Company Cracow Ltd, HTK Hut-Trans Katowice Sp. z o.o., Comarch S.A., Brembo Sp. z o.o., Google Inc., Ericsson, Delphi Poland S.A., Fortis Bank Poland, Clifford Thames Sp. z o.o., UBS Fund Services Luxembourg S.A., Deltavista Sp. z o.o., FSE Tamel S.A., International Paper Polska Sp. z o.o., Clarke Transport Ltd, ES-System S.A., IMTF in Givisiez, Polskie Zakłady Lotnicze Sp. z o.o., Synthos S.A., Electrolux Poland Sp. z o.o., Glenbeigh Construction, Tesco Polska, Medtronic Poland sp. z o.o., Hewlett-Packard GMBH, ABB, Martifer Energia Sp. z o.o., Grupa Ożarów S.A., RWE Polska S.A., Kontakt-Simon S.A., HDR Inc., RR Donnelley Europe, ECE Projektmanagement Poland Sp. z o.o., Capgemini Poland Sp. z o.o., Protech-Active S.C., Citibank International PLC, PMI Service Center Europe, IMPRESS Sp. z o.o.,  Teleste Video Networks Sp. z o.o., J&P Avax S.A., Marsh Sp. z o.o., Hutchinson Poland Sp. z o.o., Bundesrechenzentrum GmbH, ANL Plastics, MSF Engenharia S.A., BWI Poland Technologies Sp. z o.o., HSBC Service Delivery, Hoval Polska Sp z o.o., Mentor Graphics Corporation Inc, BNP Paribas Bank Polska S.A., Hutchinson Poland Sp. z o.o., Pridgeon and Clay Inc., Quadrum Foods Sp. z o.o., Motorola Solutions, PKS Kraków S.A., State Street Services Poland Sp. z o.o., U.S. Consulate General Cracow, TRW Braking Systems Poland, S&T Motiv, Sol e Mar Sp. z o.o., Foster Wheeler Energia Polska Sp. z o.o., NorthgateArinso Poland Sp. z o.o., Shell Polska Sp. z o.o., Making Waves Polska, FMC Technologies Sp. z o.o., Tikkurila Polska S.A., PPG Polifarb Cieszyn SA, Cisco Systems Poland Sp. z o. o., Habasit Polska Sp. z o.o., Oracle, Vistula Group S.A., Nitroerg S.A. KGHM Group, LINDE Gaz Polska Sp. z o.o., Gudel Sp. z o.o., Sabre, Lajkonik Snacks Sp. z o.o., Żywiec Group,  Johnson Controls, Finnveden Metal Structures Sp. z o.o., DELL, EPAM Systems sp. z o.o., Air Liquide Polska Sp. z o.o., AbbVie Polska Sp. z o.o., Maylane Polska sp. z o.o., Woodward Poland Sp. z o.o., Can-Pack S.A., Akamai Technologies Polska sp. z o.o., Syngenta, EDF Paliwa Sp. z o.o., Invado Sp. z o.o., Milliken Europe BVBA, Unifrax Poland Sp. z o.o., Valeo Autosystemy Sp. z o.o., Carlson Wagonlit Travel eCenter Polska Sp. z o.o., Wind Mobile S.A.

The average age of the students entering the Programme is around 32-36 years, their managerial experience is around 8-10 years, and their average professional experience is more than 12 years in various companies and corporations.

All  classes are in the English language, not only to allow  the participation of Polish citizens but also the participation of foreigners residing in Poland on management contracts or those arriving in Cracow for educational purposes only. Therefore, in every edition of the Programme there are always a few foreign students (ca. 20% of all students) from countries such as: the USA, Switzerland, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Latvia, India, South Korea, the Netherlands, Zambia, Ukraine.

About 20-30% of students in each intake are women, which is a high fraction compared to other MBA programmes run in Poland.


Initially the Programme was coordinated by Ms. Donata Adler. Since 2008, studies have been coordinated by Ms. Ewa Szpórnóg-Smoleń, the Coordinator of International MBA, and Ms. Monika Bulsza the Coordinator of the Office of MBA at the CSB CUE.

The ten-year cooperation between Cracow School of Business and St. Gallen Business School resulted in high positions of the International MBA Programme within the national rankings and listings of MBA programmes in Poland. The Programme has been placed on the list of the ten best MBA programmes, which was prepared by the Perspectives Foundation (2011 – 9th place, 2012 – 8th place, 2013 – 10th place, 2014 – 8th place, 2015 – 8th place). For many years the Programme has also held a prestigious place in the Professional Plus Class in the ratings of the Forum Management Education Association, and in 2014 it was in the highest Master Class position of the rating. Additionally, the Programme can pride itself on a variety of prizes and awards granted by the weekly magazine “Wprost” and the “Home&Market” magazine.

Years of cooperation based on the joint MBA Programme have resulted in other joint projects of the Cracow School of Business and St. Gallen Business School, such as the International Seminars in the field of Management – St. Gallen Management Seminars and Asia-Week in Shanghai.


Piotr Buła, Ph.D.


Cracow School of Business

Cracow University of Economics


Christian Abegglen, Dr. oec.HSG

Master Diplome St.Gallen