2016/2017 was not just an outstanding academic year for INSEAD. It was also an exceptional financial year, with double-digit growth in revenues and a record-breaking contribution from donors.


Eric Ponsonnet

Director General of Administration

In keeping with our long-term strategy of balancing revenues from Degree Programmes and Executive Education, it was particularly exciting to see both departments crossing the €100 million threshold in tandem.

As an independent, not-for-profit, international institution, INSEAD must generate its own income in order to sustain continued excellence. The main source of revenues is fees, but we also rely on philanthropy, the return on investment from previous donations (see pages 43 and 45) and a small number of other activities, such as commissioned research.

Unlike many of our competitors, we do not receive any money from a parent university and cannot count on regular government funding. It is therefore a significant achievement that, with revenues of €245 million, INSEAD is one of the world’s largest business schools in budgetary terms. This performance is all the more impressive, given ongoing economic uncertainty – particularly in Europe – and the continued squeeze on the MBA market.

INSEAD’s revenue growth is not only due to our stellar performance in the business school rankings; it is also the result of previous years’ decisions to invest in areas such as online education, fundraising, communications, Executive Education sales, the Leadership Development Centre in Singapore and the transformation of the MBA curriculum.

In fact, this year’s surplus is particularly timely, as we go into a major renovation of our Europe Campus, an investment that we hope will lead to an even better INSEAD experience for all our community in future years. This is the beauty of our independent, not-for-profit status: in the years when we do generate a surplus, it becomes an engine for greater excellence and long-term growth.

Financial indicators

INSEAD is a not-for-profit institution with entities in various countries. Therefore we are not required to publish consolidated accounts, but all our statutory accounts are audited. We implement a governance structure which includes several committees of the Board of Directors responsible for Auditing, Finance and Risk, Endowment Management and Remuneration. The financial indicators below are directly extracted from audited combined accounts based on IFRS accounting standards.

In €’000201720162015
Total Income245,414219,895210,465
Operating Cash Flow
Cash Flow from Endowment (transfer to operations)
Net cash flow from Financing(2,852)(2,775)(1,448)
Net cash flow used in Investing(10,506)(1,261)(17,223)
Interest paid(1,574)(1,816)(2,347)
Changes in working Capital & exchange losses/gains5,2547,044(814)
Cash Flow14,93214,754-5,493
Cash at year end82,56167,62952,875
Endowment at beginning of the year185,976189,660174,164
Donations received, net16,4264,7003,585
Gains and losses from investment activities18,329(327)18,517
Transfer to operations(8,187)(8,057)(6,606)
Endowment at year end212,544185,976189,660
Endowment performance rate9.5%-0.2%10.6%
Spending rate4.2%4.5%4.0%

€245m Total revenue in 2016/2017