With less than 100 students, including one woman, the Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences began its eventful existence in October 1948. Three professors (Sneller, Van Muiswinkel en Zijlstra) were recruited to give shape to the new faculty.
The faculty was temporarily located in two capital villa’s in the stately Amsterdam-South (temporary housing at the De Lairessestraat 174 in the chemistry laboratorium, and later at the Koningslaan 31-33). In those days it must have been a harmonious faculty community, with a resident caretaker who made coffee and tea and had attention for everyone. Nowadays the faculty is called the School of Business and Economics, with around 6.000 students (bachelor-, master and postgraduate students) and around 80 professors. SBE takes up 7 modern and transparent floors in the colossal main building of the Vrije Universiteit, at the edge of the dynamic financial centre at the Zuid-As. The caretaker has made room for vending machines and a digital service square. Which developments have characterized SBE all those years?
During the 50s and 60s the faculty was growing steadily and developing a strong, characteristic identity. In 1955 the faculty continued on its own as an economic faculty, without the social sciences. Shortly after this a start was made with professional and executive education, as that is nowadays called, for accountant and controller. From the start the faculty has expressed the opinion that a thorough knowledge of modern (business)economic science is necessary in order for staff and students to contribute to the solution of societal issues. To this day, the faculty aims to be of social significance. Because of this, attention has always been given to economic philosophy and ethics. It is not without reason that the faculty has been the origin for several (prime)ministers, top civil servants and top executives.
The turbulent 1970s of student protests and democratization did not go unnoticed by the faculty either. The faculty association, which primarily invited guest speakers and organized excursions for students, was renamed to student union. There was social criticism and there were suggestions for a so-called political economy. It didn’t do much. Meanwhile the faculty kept on growing, and in the 1980s peace returned. The students became more aware of their position on the labor market. The student union merged with the moderate faculty association, which had been established as a counterweight, to Aureus, which since then has been promoting student interests in the broad sense.
In retrospect, the year 1987 can be seen as a turning point. Firstly, the econometricians were completely added to the faculty and the faculty name changed into the Faculty of Economic Sciences and Econometrics. Then, together with the Erasmus University Rotterdam and the University of Amsterdam the Tinbergen Institute was founded. With an international English-taught master programme, this institute delivers qualified PhD students who give a quality boost to scientific research. Also in this year a new programme called “Business Administration of the Financial Sector” started. At the start of this century this education programme was renamed to Business Administration. This education programme has since then been dominating the faculty, which was then named the Faculty of Economic Sciences and Business Administration. The in 2009 founded Amsterdam Business Research Institute delivers, as well as the Tinbergen Institute, a quality boost for Business Administration research.
With the recent name change to SBE does justice to the further internationalization and international recognition. Since 1948 the faculty, now school, has been in constant change, as can be expected from current and societal relevant (business)economic and business administration programmes.