Corporate Governance after the Financial and Covid-19 Crises

Course code
Course fee (excl. housing)
Course Level
Advanced Bachelor

Failing corporate governance of financial institutions has often been mentioned as an important cause of the crisis of 2008. Consequently, having a deeper understanding of how corporate boards are formed and act has become a topic of increasing importance. It also is already clear that the Covid-19 crisis has had a material effect on corporate governance. Do you want to know how corporations are directed and how we can make them perform better in response to crises? This course will provide you with the answers!

Hundreds of billions of dollars in valuation were lost by scandals caused by failing corporate governance. Notable examples of this include Lehman Brothers, Parmalat and Ahold. These scandals also contributed to a climate in which trust between consumers and companies, between investors and directors, is harmed. Together with the Financial Crisis, these scandals inspired (semi) self-regulating bodies, governments, the EU and organizations like the OECD to take initiatives to improve corporate governance routines, guidelines and safeguards. Corporate Governance Codes were altered and Codes for Financial Institutions were drafted to stimulate boards and shareholders to pursue a long-term strategy. The question remains however whether these changes will successfully prevent short-termism and excessive risk-taking, and, if not, what else can be done.

Many changes took place in doing business because of the Covid-19 crisis. One can see this crisis as the ultimate test of the Corporate Governance of many companies. But has Covid-19 a watershed point? The pressure from society, corporate citizenship, and stakeholders resulted in new challenges, suggesting a  New Normal  environment, including a different set of features impacting routines, decision-making processes and structural models. So, what are the new complications besides basic bounds? What issues has corporate governance faced, and what are the responses?

These main questions will be dealt with in the lectures of the course 'Corporate Governance after the Financial Crisis', from both economic and legal perspectives.

Below you can find a trailer for this course. In addition, we have made a taster available for this course. See:

E15 Corporate Governance 2023.pdf
Course director
Prof. dr. Wilco J. Oostwouder

Target audience

Bachelor and Master students with an interest in Law & Economics. PhD. students and young professionals are also welcome to apply.

Aim of the course

To equip students and young professionals with an insight into the background and development of key issues in Corporate Governance. The assignment will stimulate participants to apply this knowledge to one of the big scandals and ongoing global issues whilst also practicing academic writing skills. This course is also an excellent introduction to the Master Law & Economics of Utrecht University.

Study load

Contact hours daily: four to five hours (lectures, group assignments). Self-study daily: four hours (preparation and research).

Participants can choose to take a final exam or to participate in a group presentation about a major Corporate Governance failure on the last day. 

Grading of the exam is based on a 10-point scale on the weighted sum of different elements. 


Course fee:
Fee covers
Course + course materials
Housing fee:
Housing cost
Housing provider:
Utrecht Summer School
Extra information about the fee

If you are a student, you will pay the course fee of €700. In case you are not a student, you will pay an additional fee of €125. This additional fee will be visible once the application is accepted.

Contact details

Prof. dr. Wilco J. Oostwouder | E: | T: +31 (0)6 229 38 313


Application deadline: 
Registration deadline
15 June 2023