Our history
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Our history

On this page you’ll find a brief review of the history of CESTE from its foundation in 1987 and exploring its most relevant milestones, up until the present day. It’s an exciting story of entrepreneurs and business ventures in which notable figures appear; some of which may surprise you. More than anything it’s a story of people trying to resolve the problems of the society in which they live, investing in it their own heritage and efforts so that today, because of CESTE, they remain faithful to adapting themselves in an ever-changing world and going one step further than others would dare.

The school’s origin: a societal need (1987)

Some entrepreneurs worried about the collegiate education of their children, so that they would be able to pass on the family business in the best possible circumstances, wrote to the Board of Directors of the Sagrada Familia School in Zaragoza to lay out their concerns.

Zaragoza, vista aérea zona Vadorrey

Zaragoza. Bird’s eye view of Vadorrey, 1980s.

In 1987, in a process led by the owners of the school who had a long tradition in the world of education put in motion a work group who, in collaboration with different business people and people from the world of higher education, planned out what they would have to do to become educational pioneers. They were able to train future professionals who, after completing their High School degrees, were prepared to become what was formerly called “Tactical Executives”. Thus, in the 1988-1989 academic year the ‘Centro de Estudios Superiores y Técnicos de Empresa’ was put in motion– the original precursor to what is today the ‘CESTE Escuela Internacional de Negocios’—and the first cohort of Graduate students of Business Management and Administration was begun. The first School of Business in Aragón was born right here in Zaragoza.

Zaragoza. El Mercado Central en 1987.

Zaragoza. The Central Market in 1987.

On its Advisory Board from the outset were Mr. Antonio Garrigues, Mr. Carlos Ferrer Salat, and Mr. Manuel Pizarro along with other well-known members of the business world.

Click on the names of these illustrious members of the first Advisory Board of CESTE to find out more about their impressive professional profiles.

CESTE introduces the British Universiy Model (1994)

From the beginning, training in technology and languages (English and a second language) formed a part– along with the rest of the business management curriculum—of the leader’s profile which in 3 years, at first, and later 4 years, would allow professionals to leave the halls of CESTE and bring value to their businesses from their first day on the job.

The idea to offer an official accredidation to these studies led to the Management of CESTE to go in search of superior teaching models that were taught using a highly participational methodology, prioritized student engagement, and was compatible with the thinking that gave birth to CESTE in the first place. It concluded that the Anglo-Saxon university system corresponded very well with what they had hoped for, and so, with the support of the British Council, in 1994 they arrived at a Collaboration Agreement with the University of Wales, in the United Kingdom, which is the current accrediting body, and through which CESTE students can earn an official British degree in Bachelor of Arts Honours Degree in Business Administration (BBA) from this university, in addition to the one granted them by CESTE.

Zaragoza. Construcción del Parking en el subsuelo de la Avenida de César Augusto. 1990

Zaragoza. Construction of the parking lot under the Avenida de César Augusto. 1990

In the 1990-91 academic course CESTE began to provide the first MBA in Aragón, a flagship programme of any business school, which provided access to this practical and professional training for the world of business to a great number of young post-graduates and professionals who now no longer needed to relocate themselves in order to gain a quality education with some of the best business professionals in the entire world. And that is how both the Post-graduate and Executive program started. Along with those programme offerings, others began to be developed for executives: CADE (Curso de Alta Dirección de Empresa), CADF (Curso de Alta Dirección Financiera) and specialized Master’s Courses.

CESTE launches the information technology degree (2001)

Working together with companies allowed CESTE to detect the growing need for professional training in what was then called New Technologies which was closely related with the contemporary business environment and responded to the problems they were facing. This understanding and direct collaboration has allowed for the growth of in the fields of innovation of many diverse organizations. CESTE began its training in ‘New Technologies’, together with CISCO SYSTEM and its CNAP programme, in June of 2000. At that time, CESTE became a CISCO Regional Academy for the area of Aragón and allowed it to offer the Cisco Networking Academy Program (CNAP) in its centres and in the Local Academies, which would later become incorporated in the programme. In the 2001-02 Academic Course CESTE earned the certification from the University of Wales to offer a new university degree: The Bachelor of Sciences Honours Degree in Computer Science (BCS), in which the university courses in Business Administration combined with Information Technology.

Zaragoza. Plaza del Pilar. 2001

Zaragoza. ‘Plaza del Pilar’. 2001

Although CESTE had already validated the MBA with the University of Wales years before, changes in curriculum implementation in the ‘Acuerdo de Bolonia en materia de Educación Superior’ recommended to re-validate the MBA Programme with the University of Wales, while at the same time validating two other programmes that had become very prominent at CESTE: The Master’s in Banking and Finance, and the Master’s in Communications Technology. The three Master’s programmes, once recognized by the University of Wales, earned the corresponding authorization from the Government of Aragón.

The regulatory changes concerning the implementation of a university curriculum according to the university systems of other countries, in this case of the United Kingdom, requires that the relevant authorizations be requested from the Government of Aragón, which is authorized to that end following the Government of Spain’s transfer of said power to the Autonomous Communities; all authorizations requested have been granted and remain in force today.

The “Fundación CESTE” (2003)

Ethical behaviour in the world of business and companies has been a concern of CESTE’s which led to the implementation of the ‘Seminario de Comportamiento Directivo’ as a way to reflect on, raise awareness of, and educate about this topic. Currently, reflection and work on this dimension of the professional world has been developed for the classroom through the ‘Foro de Eticonomía’ of the ‘Fundación CESTE’. In 2003, CESTE and the Colegio Sagrada Familia, which is the predecessor of the Business School, decided to create the ‘Fundación CESTE Educación y Empresa’, with the intention of offering activities of general interest to develop the two educational institutions, and to enhance the social dimension of their work.

The Foundation achieves its mission through different Forums: Employability; Information and Communication Technology; Public Health; Ethical Economics; Education; Finances and Entrepreneurship; Leisure and Tourism; and CESTE folks.

International students, you’re invited! (2008)

Since its inception, among the different offerings that the Advisory Board wanted to present as it grew was more internationalization. Therefore, at first just the European Union, and later all countries, were looked at with particular attention by CESTE as a way to educate its students in the ways of internationalization and globalization in relation to people and economics. This was to open our training and classrooms to students from different backgrounds, whether they spoke Spanish like those from Latin America, or from other backgrounds such as the Russian Federation, Asia, or Africa.

In 2008, CESTE intensified its commitment to its internationalization plan and began to accept a great number of international students, changing the school into a multicultural, diverse, and enriching educational experience.

Zaragoza Palacio de Congresos

Zaragoza Palacio de Congresos. 2008

CESTE and the future

Currently CESTE continues to deepen its methodological innovation in its teaching methods, building upon the experience of the British University System which ultimately results in benefiting its students, with a special emphasis on bilingual training in English.

Innovation and entrepreneurship are strategic areas which define the present and future of CESTE.

Zaragoza Puente del Tercer Milenio

Zaragoza Puente del Tercer Milenio

The support of the strategic lines of development in Aragón and the other parts of the world in which CESTE is present allow this University Centre to open its educational offerings; in addition to Innovation and Entrepreneurship which have already been mentioned in regards to Logistics on the one hand, and Tourism and Hospitality on the other hand, and which will, importantly, continue to have the support of the University of Wales.

We continue to grow, taking on new fields of knowledge and new specializations in strategic sectors for both Spain and Aragón.

Throughout its history, as today, CESTE maintains a faculty of facilitators committed to its mission and vision, and who actively collaborate in the fulfilment of its objectives. The personnel, together with the rest of the professionals at this University Centre, take care to offer a quality education, are focused on the development of the professional careers of their students, and keep themselves aware of the needs of businesses so they can offer them trained and qualified executives in the proper competencies, both personally and professionally.

Our future will be guided especially by the new demands of both society and businesses on the professionals we train, always seeking educational excellence and learning from the best of the best.

Zaragoza Torre del Agua

Zaragoza. Torre del Agua



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