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We strive to facilitate a learning environment that ensures every student’s ambitions are respected and nurtured

A top European business school has exceeded industry expectations by enrolling a MBA class which has a majority of female students. 59% of this year’s International MBA class at Nyenrode Business Universiteit is female, with 24 of the programme’s 41 places filled by women.

Furthermore, Nyenrode has achieved these numbers without setting quotas or engaging in female-focused recruitment drives or specific on-campus initiatives.

This is not the first time Nyenrode has celebrated strong female numbers. In 2012, the International MBA class achieved gender parity with a 49% female cohort and in the same year the part-time Executive MBA, which typically attracts even fewer women than the full-time International MBA experienced a record 45% female class.

Christo Nel, programme director of International and Executive MBA at Nyenrode believes the numbers are a result of the school’s continuing endeavour towards shaping responsible global leaders, by paying attention to each student’s individual aspirations and creating a programme which reflects the demands of the modern business landscape.

Christo says,

"There’s no doubt that recent movements to encourage female leadership have impacted applications, however we believe there is more to it at Nyenrode. The recent redesign of our International MBA reinforces the balance between hard and soft skills which are fundamental to becoming a successful and responsible global leader. Personal development is emphasized as equally, if not more, important as career development and I believe this unique combination has attracted female professionals. We strive to facilitate a learning environment that ensures every student’s ambitions are respected and nurtured so they can become the best leaders they can be."

This year, Nyenrode restructured its full-time International MBA programme to provide a more hands-on approach to learning, enabling students to master core business skills and collaborate directly with potential employers, faculty, classmates and alumni.

The new curriculum was designed with input from businesses, faculty, students and alumni, and will continue to strengthen over a three-year period.

The programme is has attracted a more diverse range of applicants, with 20 different nationalities represented in this year’s class.

New student Laura Tromp has travelled from Aruba to the Netherlands to study at Nyenrode.

Laura says,

"I certainly believe it is important for women to be well represented in the workplace, however I did not base my business school selection on the likelihood of finding gender parity in the classroom. I was looking for a MBA that provides a high quality education in a socially engaged manner. Nyenrode’s programme combines career and personal development by working on real life consultancy projects such as “Meet the CEO” sessions, where participants act as consultants to C-level executives of global companies."

For Polish student Joanna Biernat, it was the internationality of the programme that led her to Nyenrode.

Joanna says,

"As a female professional I believe in the positive impact of women in leadership across the global business environment. I chose the newly redesigned MBA at Nyenrode as I am convinced it has all it takes to accelerate my personal and professional leadership development journey. The programme combines practical business knowledge with personal growth in a truly international environment. In addition, I found the program unique as this MBA also creates a learning platform that allows all participating professionals to share diverse expertise, male or female, during modules on three different continents; Europe, China and South Africa."

Nyenrode’s MBA got underway with a special on-campus celebration last week, where students met with their colleagues and advisers.

For more information about the programme, please visit


For more information, or to request an interview with Christo Nel please contact Kerry Gill at BlueSky PR via +44 (0)1582 790 701 or via email –

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