School of Economics and Management

Tilburg University's largest School ranks amongst the top Schools in Europe due to its excellent quality in education and research which contributes to a better understanding of society.

TiSEM Strategy 2014-2017

In 2013 a document was drafted outlining the new strategy for TiSEM: what will we have achieved in 2017, and why and how? A summary of this new strategy is presented below, addressing the School’s current mission and profile, a brief evaluation of the previous strategy as well as our ambitions for 2017.

Mission and profile

TiSEM is the oldest and largest school of Tilburg University. It focuses on research and education in the fields of Business and Economics. Management and support are combined for both fields. Currently, the School offers six Bachelor’s, fourteen Master’s and two Research Master's programs to approximately 5600 students, and employs some 470 people (400 FTE). Within its broad research palette, TiSEM emphasizes a variety of societally relevant topics, such as sustainability, innovation, market governance, and banking.

The School’s mission is to contribute to the development and transfer of knowledge at a top level in all the main fields of Business and Economics. The ambition is to belong to the best in Europe in all our fields, and to strive for academic excellence in scientific research and in teaching. Our faculty connect, inspire and impact the academic community and society at large. The School tries to accomplish this mission by performing fundamental and applied research, and by providing research-based initial and postgraduate degree programs in business and economics, as well as executive programs.

Previous strategy period

Under the previous Strategic Plan 2009–2012, the School aimed to strengthen its international profile in both education and research. The keywords here were: excellence, internationalization, relevance and visibility. In the past five years, total scientific output has increased significantly. Rankings show that Economics research has managed to remain in the top 20–25 worldwide, with Business research entering the top 40. Due to the financial crises, our economists were frequently interviewed by the media. Investments were initiated in portals targeted at opening up the School’s research to the outside world. However, given such high-quality researchers, the research environment and dissemination infrastructure in place, the return on investment in terms of external funding was rather modest.

An important aim of the previous plan was to improve the quality of the educational programs. During the last planning period, several substantial changes took place. Teaching in the Bachelor’s programs was intensified and two internationally appealing selective Bachelor’s programs in Economics and in International Business Administration were developed. Currently, the Bachelor’s in Information Management is being phased out. Furthermore, the School has developed and implemented a new didactic concept called Research Based Learning (or RBL). The concept was introduced into the newly designed curriculum for Business Economics, and will be implemented in all other Bachelor’s and Master’s programs offered at TiSEM as of September 2013. Another ambition has been to increase the number of students spending a semester abroad. During the planning period, the number of outgoing exchange students increased from 131 to 214, and the number is likely to grow further. Finally, due to a change in government regulations, nearly all Master’s programs have been redesigned in order to incorporate a second entry moment at the start of the second semester.

Ambitions for 2017

Core profile

TiSEM will remain one of Europe’s leading Schools of Business and Economics. Our target groups are Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD students, alumni, the academic community, policymakers, (semi-) public organizations, government agencies and companies, at both a national and international level. At the School level we will maintain strong corporate relations with stakeholders in the public and private sectors. We will combine all fields under a single organizational roof, with a single governance structure and shared support services. Synergies on Campus, notably with TiasNimbas and the Tilburg Law School, will result in new forms of collaboration in education, research and valorization, and institutional alliances will be developed to further off-Campus expansion of educational activities.


TiSEM’s graduate and undergraduate programs are, and will be, very attractive to prospective and current students and competitive in the European market for higher education. High student satisfaction will result in top positions in national surveys and rankings for all programs. The international inflow of students will increase, in particular in the Master’s programs and the “international classroom” will be the standard in all the School’s English-taught programs. The leading didactic approach for all our programs will be Research Based Learning, strongly linking education and research, providing solid quantitative training, integrating skills development and international exchange, and delivering graduates who distinguish themselves through their knowledge, attitudes, and analytical and professional skills. By substantially investing in educational quality and career support, our students will feel well connected to the School, a relation that we will foster when they become our alumni and ambassadors.


TiSEM will be internationally known for developing creative research ideas and innovative approaches. The School will have a clear and competitive research profile, bundling the core fields within Business and Economics. In all fields, the School will rank in the European top three on the basis of total scientific output in international top journals. However, top publications will not be all that counts; faculty will be expected to be active in joint, interdisciplinary, societally oriented and/or applied research as well. Multidisciplinary research initiatives and one or two Centers of Excellence (provided that this policy is continued at the University level) will be instrumental in bundling and externally positioning our research capacity around current societal themes. Senior faculty will create opportunities for the young generation by successfully obtaining external funding and supervising PhD students. Academic staff members will be proactive in explaining the results of their research to audiences outside the academic world, such as private companies, policymakers, (semi-)public organizations, or the general public, by means of (executive) teaching, applied research, high-level advice and media presence.


TiSEM will continue to offer an inspiring and internationally competitive work environment, with our staff identifying with and contributing to their team and the School as a whole. There will be many successful examples of joint activities with colleagues from other fields. A financial allocation system and an effective hiring and promotion policy will be in place to support a balanced activity portfolio (i.e., research, education and valorization) within teams of faculty. Support facilities and services will be excellent and include only those activities that are critical for the core processes. Information about services offered will be clear and easily accessible. Decision-making will be transparent and straightforward. Those responsible for budgets will have clear budgetary and managerial tasks, and will be frequently provided with appropriate management information. The School’s financial position will remain strong.