New welcome weekend for incoming students hailed as a success

Statement by Ilian Mihov, Dean of INSEAD

Middle East, Asia, Europe
15 March 2019

      French version

In January 2019, INSEAD students in the Class of MBA’19D were welcomed on campus with a new, student-led Welcome Weekend.

This weekend of activities focuses on building teams that work together to overcome challenges. For INSEAD, a business school with two MBA classes each on an accelerated learning track, this is essential for creating lasting bonds between senior and junior classes.

When INSEAD added a second intake to our year-long MBA programme in the 1980s, students established Welcome Week. This student-led set of activities introduced new students to the INSEAD culture and their senior classmates.

This year saw the start of a new tradition at INSEAD. The Welcome Weekend is two days of student-led activities that connect new INSEAD MBA students with the senior class and prepare them for the intense learning journey to come.

Students who choose to take part are randomly assigned to one of six houses, each with a specific theme that embraces our INSEAD values. Houses compete in areas such as a scavenger hunt, knowledge quiz and escape room – designed and orchestrated by the senior class. The winning house receives a trophy to then pass to the winners in the next incoming class, carrying the tradition forward.

Feedback from both classes involved in Welcome Weekend is extremely positive. The activities bond the classes together and healthy competition teaches the value of cooperation, collaboration and teamwork.

This change in how we welcome students was prompted by a July 2018 letter from the Comité National Contre le Bizutage (CNCB), or the French National Committee Against Hazing, outlining a complaint from several INSEAD students.

At the time, we suspended all student-led welcome activities and committed to cooperate fully with the CNCB to understand the nature and long-term ramifications of the complaint. The outcomes were clear. We had to find different approaches to welcoming new students. Failure to do so could put INSEAD students at physical and emotional risk and even jeopardise our ability to operate. This was unacceptable.

Since that decision, we listened to our alumni community and their experiences. And we worked with student leaders to develop innovative welcoming activities that incorporate the positive aspects of Welcome Week, in accordance with our code of conduct, best practices and CNCB regulations.

I encourage everyone in the INSEAD community and business school community to support the new Welcome Weekend tradition. The collaborative process has yielded a positive experience that builds lasting bonds and ensures welcome activities do not put the health and well-being of any student at risk. This is worth celebrating.

With support of the INSEAD community, this positive experience can become a tradition that lasts for generations. 

About INSEAD, The Business School for the World

As one of the world's leading and largest graduate business schools, INSEAD brings together people, cultures and ideas to develop responsible leaders who transform business and society. A global perspective and cultural diversity are reflected in all aspects of its research and teaching.

With campuses in Europe (France), Asia (Singapore) and the Middle East (Abu Dhabi), INSEAD's business education and research spans three continents. The school’s 154 renowned Faculty members from 40 countries inspire more than 1,400 degree participants annually in its MBAExecutive MBAExecutive Master in FinanceExecutive Master in Change and PhD programmes. In addition, more than 11,000 executives participate in INSEAD's executive education programmes each year.

In addition to INSEAD's programmes on its three campuses, INSEAD participates in academic partnerships with the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia & San Francisco); the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University near Chicago; the Johns Hopkins University/SAIS in Washington DC and the Teachers College at Columbia University in New York; and MIT Sloan School of Management in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In Asia, INSEAD partners with School of Economics and Management at Tsinghua University in Beijing, and China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) in Shanghai. INSEAD is a founding member in the multidisciplinary Sorbonne University created in 2012, and also partners with Fundação Dom Cabral in Brazil.

INSEAD became a pioneer of international business education with the graduation of the first MBA class on the Fontainebleau campus in Europe in 1960. In 2000, INSEAD opened its Asia campus in Singapore. In 2007, the school inaugurated a Centre for Research and Executive Education in the United Arab Emirates and officially opened the Middle East Campus in Abu Dhabi in 2010.

Around the world and over the decades, INSEAD continues to conduct cutting edge research and to innovate across all its programmes to provide business leaders with the knowledge and sensitivity to operate anywhere. These core values have enabled INSEAD to become truly "The Business School for the World”.

Contacts for press


Axel Tagliavini
Tel +33 1 60 72 90 11  

Chris Howells
Tel +65 6799 5490


Aileen Huang
Tel: +65 6799 5552

Cheryl Ng
Tel: +65 6407 7234

Middle East

Zeina Sleiman
Tel + 971 50 640 31 91

Linda Furtado
Tel + 971 2 6515309

Insead Personalised Experience




Save & Manage



It is easy, simply log in:

Via Social

  • icons
  • icons
  • icons


Use your email address