Member Spotlight: Markus Karner MSc PhD. – Singapore Management University

Member Spotlight: Markus Karner MSc PhD. – Singapore Management University

UNICON has over 100 member institutions worldwide that are committed to the development and advancement of executive education. To celebrate our member institutions, we will be sharing spotlights and interviews of some of our members within the UNICON community.

Member Interview: Markus Karner MSc PhD., Academic Director at Singapore Management University and UNICON Primary Representative 

Please describe your role at your institution.

I am the Academic Director of Singapore Management University – Executive Development (SMU-ExD). I am in charge of faculty relations and I oversee course development, custom programme development, and the various administrative tasks related to faculty matters.

How long have you/your institution been a part of UNICON?

We have been associate members for a number of years, and full members since 2016.

What UNICON activities and resources do you engage in the most? Which activities and resources do you find the most valuable?

We participate in the regular meetings, and we consume UNICON research products such as the outcomes of the annual survey. What interests us the most are market data, and current product trends.

Please describe your institution’s approach to executive education.

SMU-ExD predominantly designs and delivers custom programmes for companies and government agencies, with typical participant cohorts of 20 to 30 pax and duration of 2 to 5 days. We will listen very intently to client needs and liaise with faculty to adapt their materials to meet client demand. Overall, we focus on action learning, case studies, project based work, and other forms of active participation, to complement the elements of more standards teaching. We select our faculty from a pool of about 350 faculty in our own institution, and a number of external practitioners. The type of faculty always reflects client needs.

How has your involvement with UNICON made an impact on both your professional career and the executive education program(s) at your institution?

UNICON allows us to understand the market better, and to understand better in which way other institutions approach the subject matter. We use ideas from UNICON research and from networking at meetings, to improve our programmes with latest trends and methods, and to understand our own position in the ecosystem.

How do you see executive education changing in the next few years?

Institutions will develop a better grasp on how to use blended learning. Many approaches have been tried already in technology-assisted learning, from MOOCS to micro-learning. They all have their up- and downsides. Eventually, new standard methods will develop that work for all.

If you would like to be featured in our member spotlights, please reach out to site editor, Dan Collins: or UNICON administrator Taryn Streed:


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