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Corporate Universities and Learning Center_Primer

Corporate Universities and Learning Center_Primer

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Published by: Knowledge Platform on Aug 22, 2012
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What did you learn today? 
C
ORPORATE
U
NIVERSITIES AND
L
EARNING
C
ENTER
:
A
 
P
RIMER
 M
AHBOOB
M
AHMOOD
,
 
G
URPREET
M
INHAS
 
 A
 
NOWLEDGE 
P
LATFORM
HITEPAPER
– 
 
 APRIL
 
25,
 
2011
 
Corporate Universities and Learning Center 
What did you learn today? 
Page | 2
 
Copyright © 2012 Knowledge Platform - All Rights Reserved | All Rights Reserved | Whitepaper
Introduction
Over the past forty years, the learning and development function within corporations based in theUnited States, Japan and Europe has become increasingly mission-critical, sophisticated andcentralized. This trend is now accelerating within corporations based in the rest of Asia and theMiddle East.Corporations such as Infosys in India, Huawei in China, Singapore Airlines in Singapore and Etisalat inthe United Arab Emirates have well-established corporate universities or learning centers. OtherAsian and Middle Eastern corporations, both large and small, are pouring impressive resources intostrengthening their learning and development function, including establishing corporate universitiesor learning centers.Indeed, according to Annick Renaud-Coulon, the founder and chairman of the Global Council of 
Corporate Universities (GlobalCCU), Paris: “A tidal wave of corporate universities has touched the
shores of the developing world. There are about 4,000 such institutes in the world. The number hasmore t
han doubled in the last decade.”
1
 This primer is intended to provide an overview of the definition and functions of, and best practicesin establishing and deepening corporate universities and learning centers.
Definition
A Corporate University (also referred to as a Corporate College, Corporate Academy or CorporateLearning Center) is a
centralized training or education function within a corporation
focused on the
integrated development of employees
on a basis
aligned with the corporation’s values and bus
inessrequirements
.
2
 Such a function is rarely regulated or accredited and authorized to issue formal degrees, onlyoccasionally has a separate legal identity and may or may not operate from a dedicated facility.Accordingly, such function may best be understood in the context of a spectrum of learning and
1
Quoted in The Telegraph, India (Online Edition), Sunday October 24, 2010.2 For purposes of this note, we refer to Corporate University interchangeably with CorporateCollege, Corporate Academy and Corporate Learning Center.
 
Corporate Universities and Learning Center 
What did you learn today? 
Page | 3
 
Copyright © 2012 Knowledge Platform - All Rights Reserved | All Rights Reserved | Whitepaper
development initiatives, ranging from training programs (which would generally not be consideredwithin our definition), to Corporate Learning Centers (which may or may not come within ourdefinition), to Corporate Universities.In Europe, corporations tend to stay away from, and, in some countries such as Germany, are
prohibited by legislation from, referring to their learning initiatives as “universities”. The degree of 
formality, practicality or comprehensiveness that a corporation wishes to convey with respect to itslearning initiatives may also have a bearing on the manner in which such initiative is designated.Set forth below is a description of the spectrum of learning and development initiatives, consideredin terms of 
 functions
,
degree of concentration
,
 posture towards alliances
and
deployment of technologies
.
Table 1 - Spectrum of Learning and Development Initiatives

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