Welcome to XOLAS! We are an innovative consultancy partnership helping business schools and universities achieve their strategic ambitions.
Our approach is unique — we provide advisory services informed by advanced data analytics to help our clients rationalize their development plans and performance targets.
Because we care
Business Schools and Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) are facing a variety of challenges, the most important ones being technology-driven disruptions in teaching & learning, rising financial pressures, heightened international competition, and changing demographics.
The creation of XOLAS reflects the strong personal and professional desire of the founders to guide and support business schools and HEIs in dealing with these challenges. We offer our services “because we care”, because we believe in the higher purpose of higher education and consider business schools as an integral part of this sector.
XOLAS supports clients in strategy development and implementation, in organizational refocusing and restructuring, as well as in targeted efforts to enhance managerial effectiveness. We provide an external market perspective and facilitate the mapping of project outcomes into external recognition by stakeholders and quality assessment bodies.
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XOLAS aspires to be a thought leader in the higher education sector by producing insights on development opportunities available to business schools and universities and challenges facing them. Our research feeds into the development of metrics that link institutional responses to quality enhancement, business and societal impact, market recognition and financial performance.
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At XOLAS, we believe that higher education leaders require sound business analytics to rationalize decision-making and enrich external communication. We apply data analysis to give our clients clarity on market positioning and likely impact of development actions. We build analytic tools that enhance managerial effectiveness, while at the same time targeting compliance of external quality and performance standards.
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XOLAS offers customized coaching to aid the implementation of advisory outcomes delivered to clients. XOLAS further provides turn-key training solutions to business schools, universities and other organizations interested in implementing the design internally or supplying them to their stakeholders. The XOLAS team selectively contributes to the facilitation of professional development offers.
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While the disruptive forces in higher education are creating manifold opportunities for development and growth, they will also expose some institutions to crisis and financial distress. XOLAS offers its competencies in risk and restructuring advisory to help clients address these challenges from a strategic and operational perspective.
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XOLAS Advisory Services
The XOLAS advisory offer is based on a three-pillar approach:
- We provide business school clients with an external market perspective of the issue at hand supported by proprietary data analytics and benchmarking,
- we help our clients to identify sustainable strategic responses and to subsequently design the implementation process,
- we facilitate and support our clients’ organizational restructuring efforts to achieve revised strategic ambitions and performance targets.
XOLAS Knowledge Solutions
Knowledge solutions strengthen advisory competencies of XOLAS as well as its visibility in the business school and university community. We organize workshops, produce occasional white papers, and publish books and articles in practitioner media and newspapers. We broadly engage in a dialogue with the business school community by disseminating knowledge outcomes via social media, conferences, webinars and any other means available to us. We partner with other organizations of high repute with a shared topical interest.
XOLAS Intelligence Solutions
Our emerging portfolio of business intelligence tools is a key driver of XOLAS advisory. It enables clients to adopt a business-analytic approach to quality improvement and enhances their credibility when seeking market recognition. We pursue tool development synergistically with XOLAS knowledge solutions with current focus areas being performance controlling, competitive benchmarking, and impact measurement.
XOLAS Training Solutions
XOLAS training solutions are built around developmental challenges facing higher education institutions and aim to enhance the organizational agility of our clients. Target groups can be executives occupying specific functional roles or project teams tasked with strategy implementation. Training solutions linked to advisory take on the form of coaching.
XOLAS Financial Advisory
Restructuring requires access to additional funding and possibly a change of ownership. XOLAS accepts sell-side as well as buy-side mandates to connect business schools and universities with financial and strategic investors. It can also provide interim management coverage and can facilitate turn-around management and workout processes.
Institutional Benchmarking as a Strategic Tool to Develop Internationalization
October 25 – November 12, 2021, in partnership with AACSB International
Together with Wilfred Mijnhardt, Policy Director at the Rotterdam School of Management (RSM), XOLAS Managing Director Mathias Falkenstein will facilitate an online course on how business schools can use data-analytic benchmarking as a tool to promote internationalization of the institution, degree programs, positioning within recruitment markets, and faculty/student attributes. The course will discuss selection criteria for benchmarking partners, identification of data sources, steps of a comprehensive benchmark analysis, and interpretation of results. The goal is to transform the outcomes of a benchmark analysis into actionable items and link them to the business school’s internationalization strategy.
Rotterdam School of Management (RSM), Erasmus University is one of Europe’s top-ranked business schools. RSM provides ground-breaking research and education furthering excellence in all aspects of management and is based in the international port city of Rotterdam – a vital nexus of business, logistics and trade. RSM’s primary focus is on developing business leaders with international careers who can become a force for positive change by carrying their innovative mindset into a sustainable future.
Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) and XOLAS have concluded a partnership to guide business schools in meeting their challenges for continuous strategic and organizational improvement. Under the partnership, XOLAS integrates RSM’s StrategyMetrics® benchmarking analysis tool into its services, allowing business schools around the world to develop customized services, using rankings and public data, to clarify their strengths and weaknesses as well as their competitive positioning trajectory.
StrategyMetrics®, together with consulting services provided by XOLAS, allows business schools to take an evidence-based approach to gain a more nuanced understanding of their comparative performance relative to peer institutions on a national and international level as well as in comparison to business schools reflecting their medium- to longer-term strategic ambitions. Using an open-science approach, the RSM/XOLAS service will build customized analytics services that will allow schools to arrive at a more accurate assessment of how change management processes can improve institutional, program, faculty, research and/or student development.
The Global Business School Network (GBSN) is a nonprofit organization that partners with business schools, industry, foundations and aid agencies to improve access to quality, locally relevant management education for the developing world. Within the context of the emerging economies mission, GBSN builds activities, programs and projects that enable the creation of new knowledge, provide meaningful international experiences, and build relationships that can transform management education, as well as provide broad visibility to our member schools as a champion and change maker for economic and social development.
GBSN organizes international events and capacity building programs engage our network members to advise, train and mentor regional educators. And through publication, partnership and speaking opportunities, it advocates for the importance of management education in economic and social development efforts. GBSN’s vision reinforces the central role of business schools to its mission. Efforts to connect them to business, government, and non-profit organizations is viewed as a critical enabler, one that accelerates innovation, augments capabilities, and amplifies impact.
XOLAS collaborates with GBSN on various initiatives that are designed to channel students, scholars, and leaders at business schools into our communities to do work and catalyze innovations that make a difference.
XOLAS has entered into a strategic partnership with Studyportals that involves the cooperation in the areas of data analytics and benchmarking for business schools and universities, which will help these institutions to cope with sector dynamics and to thrive from disruption.
By combining our complementary skill sets, experiences, and respective networks in higher education, XOLAS and the Analytics & Consulting Team of Studyportals have developed a global network of experienced consultants as well as benchmarking tools and dashboards to advise business schools and universities. The partnership will offer strategic support to clients in terms of data-analytic benchmarking which will help them to match their institutional strengths with real-time student interest in international recruitment.
Both partners together provide consultancy services by transforming outcomes of detailed market analyses and into actionable items and linking them to a client’s institutional strategy and decision making.
We at XOLAS consider the collaboration with Studyportals a cornerstone in our strategy to become one of the leading consultancies in the higher education informed by high-end data analytics.
XOLAS is proud member of the world’s largest business education alliance, AACSB International. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) connects educators, students, and businesses to achieve a common goal: to create the next generation of business leaders. Synonymous with the highest standards of excellence since 1916, AACSB International provides quality assurance, business education intelligence, and professional development services to over 1,500 member organizations and more than 785 accredited business schools worldwide.
XOLAS and AACSB International cooperate in the design and delivery of a series of online courses for professional staff at business schools with the first offering delivered in the fourth quarter of 2021.
Insendi, a Study Group Company, is an innovation-led, learning experience platform, designed to enable business schools and universities to deliver premium online and blended courses.
It offers a broad range of pedagogical tools and functionalities which allow educators to craft engaging and effective ‘human centred’ learning experiences via an intuitive, uncluttered interface. With learning pedagogy at its heart, the platform blends taught, experiential and social elements for optimum learner progression.
Originally created for online MBA courses at Imperial College Business School London, an increasing number of global business schools and higher education institutions now partner with insendi for the provision of their higher and executive education programmes. Our partners include University of Oxford, HEC Paris, Johns Hopkins University and University of Melbourne.
We would be delighted to show you around the platform – please contact us for a demo at: www.insendi.com/request-a-demo
Ulrich Hommel and Atish Chattopadhyay (Dean of Jagdish Sheth School of Management (JAGSOM) and Professor of Marketing) are exploring how the deinstitutionalization of management education will be furthered by the COVID pandemic. This article is unique as it develops...
Together with A. Abdel-Meguid and Benjamin Stévenin, Ulrich Hommel has written a thought-provoking essay on how business schools can future-proof their faculties. Using analogies from team sports, the authors argue that a business school should build its team of...
In a comprehensive survey of Nordic schools, Ulrich Hommel, Claire Thouary (both XOLAS) and Björn Kjellander (Jönköping International Business School) examine how quality management practices have been affected by COVID-19. The results have been published in EFMD's...
Ulrich Hommel and Benjamin Stévénin (both XOLAS), together with Martin Böhm (Dean of IE), have published an article in AACSB Insights on how to future-proof a business school. The authors argue that, to operate successfully in a more collaborative framework, business...
International Student Recruitment in Times of Global Crisis – Strategies that business schools can apply to admissions, innovation, and risk mitigation
By Mathias Falkenstein and Thijs van Vugt The current global crisis is strongly affecting the higher education industry, and nowhere is this more evident than in international student recruitment. The worldwide lockdown has thrown management education into...
Faculty is considered a key if not the most important strategic resource of a business school (or any academic institution for that matter). At the same time, business schools suffer from a very fragmented understanding of their faculty’s competencies, track record...
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