1 Distance-learning special 2010 Including a rating of selected distance-learning programmes
2 Distance-learning special 2010 Contents Distance-learning special 3 Introduction 4 A triumph of democracy? Should an MBA be open to anyone? 5 How a distance-learning MBA works A programme director gives the inside track 7 Distance-learning diary Home, not quite alone 9 Programme profiles and ratings 10 How we rated the programmes Schools 11 Aston Business School 11 Bradford School of Management 12 Curtin University Graduate School of Business 12 Euro*MBA 13 University of Florida Hough Graduate School of Business 13 Henley Business School at the University of Reading 14 IE Business School 14 Imperial College Business School 15 Indiana University Kelley School of Business 15 Open University Business School 16 Royal Holloway School of Management 16 Thunderbird School of Global Management 17 Warwick Business School 2010 The Economist Newspaper Limited. All rights reserved. Neither this publication nor any part of it may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of The Economist Newspaper Limited. Published by The Economist Newspaper Limited. Where opinion is expressed it is that of the authors and does not necessarily coincide with the editorial views of the publisher or The Economist. All information in this magazine is verified to the best of the authors and the publisher s ability. However, The Economist Newspaper Limited does not accept responsibility for any loss arising from reliance on it. 25 St James s Street London SW1A 1HG Telephone: +44 (0)
3 3 Other ways of taking the degree Distance-learning special Which MBA? 2010 Introduction Distance-learning business education is a resounding success story. In America, specialist universities, such as the University of Phoenix, have hundreds of thousands of postgraduate business students enrolled. In India the total is probably in the millions. If, perhaps, the very top tier of universities are yet to offer distance programmes, still some very notable ones do: Carnegie Mellon or Thunderbird in America, Warwick or Insitito Empresas in Europe, for example. Yet students who take their MBAs at a distance can find themselves railing against some intense snobbery. Full-time counterparts often decry that the only way to take the degree is to immerse oneself in the experience to take time out from one s career to contemplate. Perhaps, in an ideal world. But many people don t find themselves in the happy position to be able to take such an expensive sabbatical. Distance-learning programmes fall into two distinct camps, both of them laudable. The first might be labelled democratic (see page 4). These are programmes that are open to all, regardless of geographic location, previous work experience or, because they are often cheap, ability to pay. It is easy for an MBA at a prestigious institution to sneer, but there is nothing to say that business education should be the bastion of the elite. Of course, there will always be a demand for Harvard MBAs in the boardrooms of McKinsey or Barclays. But business education is fundamentally about personal betterment. And that is something to which everyone should be able to aspire. Nevertheless, such programmes can be thought of as a distinct branch of distance learning, and are not intended to be the focus of this report. It is the second type of programme that we are concentrating on here; those that are somewhat less democratic. Programmes that apply stricter entrance criteria and are offered by more traditional universities. Where students are expected to have good first degrees and significant work experience. And where the degree they receive will be of an equal standing to the full-time variety. Students might choose such a programme because they are in a part of the world which lacks high-quality schools, and it is the only option available to get a good degree. Or they may just prefer the idea of working at the time that suits them best. Students on these programmes are less likely to change careers than their full-time equivalents. But they would expect to rise up within their own company. Indeed, many students will be sponsored by their current employers with just this is mind. And it is here that we see one of the most important benefits. Rather than squirreling themselves away in academic isolation, distance-learning students can apply what they learn on their programmes the very next morning in the workplace, making it the most practical way to study. Distance learning isn t for everyone. It is very difficult to juggle work, family and study. Students need plenty of self-discipline. Choosing a school means considering more than a school s reputation: does the school keep you engaged? Is the technology effective? Does it offer value for money? Hopefully this report will go some way to helping answer those questions. Bill Ridgers Business education editor, The Economist
4 4 A triumph of democracy? Distance-learning special Which MBA? 2010 Even if you think it is going to be hard, you can trust me, it is much harder Distance-learning student A triumph of democracy? Should an MBA be open to anyone? Whether the revolution in communication technology, with its culture of instant access, has made our lives easier is open to debate. But what is certainly true is that it has changed the face of business education. Once the poor relation of its campus-based equivalent, the distancelearning MBA has become a valuable alternative for students unwilling or unable to invest up to two years of their working lives in the classroom experience. But has the concept of distance learning spun out of control? The sector now boasts a dizzying array of offerings from traditional, established providers like Warwick Business School in Britain to super schools such as the University of Phoenix in America, with over 455,000 students around the globe. In India, where universities and corporations are launching courses on a daily basis, distance learners are now counted in their millions, and look set to increase. Many observers expect the Indian distance-learning market to double every year for the next five years. Online degree costs vary wildly, from as low as $200 for a set of books and a year of internet study, to $30,000 for a degree programme at an established school. So does pricing indicate the intrinsic worth of some programmes over others, or are we just seeing a logical fragmentation of a vast worldwide market? While it might be easy to sneer at the low-cost providers, do they perform a valuable function in democratising business education? Although President Obama wants America to have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by the end of the next decade, William Pepicello, president of the University of Phoenix, warns that for the first time in American history a new generation is in danger of being less educated than the previous one. Left unchecked, this will result in a shortfall of highly-skilled professionals a problem that will not be addressed just through conventional students who go directly from high school to live and study on campus. According to Dr Pepicello, such students make up only 27% of his undergraduate population today. The remainder are those who want to participate in higher education, but who are shut out of traditional institutions. They are often in their early 30s, possibly parents, working full- or part-time, and likely to be the first generation in their family to get an undergraduate education. Such students need to access classes at times that are convenient to them. This flexible integration of learning is one of the underlying appeals of distance learning, from Kansas to Kolkata. But does student quality drop when targeting such a mass market? The University of Phoenix views its admissions approach as being inclusive, arguing that bricks-and-mortar universities exert a form of elitism by using grades and standardised testing as a way of restricting class size, whereas the distance-learning university can offer places to a wider student body whose priority is simply to move ahead. Warwick Business School, on the other hand, insists on the same rigorous academic entry criteria for all its MBA programmes, whether distance learning, full- or part-time. Ray Irving, the school s head of learning Illustrations: Dennis Bailey
5 5 A triumph of democracy? Distance-learning special Which MBA? 2010 resources development, explains that Warwick is targeting a different market segment, focusing on experienced managers with no option for a career break. An accredited distance-learning programme offers them a good alternative and access to a world-ranked school, no matter where in the world they are based. With students from over 110 countries, Warwick points to dramatic growth in the number of distance learners on its programmes from African countries such as Nigeria, as well as from North America. India emerging It is India, though, that is witnessing some of the fastest rates of adoption for distance learning. Since 2001, 24x7 Learning, one of the country s leading e-learning technology platforms, has welcomed over a million students to the various courses that they host for both academic institutions and corporate universities. Anil Chhikara, the company s president, believes the Indian market for online education is just five years behind America s and is catching up fast. Inadequate physical infrastructure for India s 230m potential students, coupled with better technology, has driven a huge and diverse distance-learning market. Many of India s leading firms from retail to telecoms are also using e-learning to meet their business training needs. Indian legislation ensures that a government or public sector employee who earns an online degree will benefit from an increase in both pay scale and pension. And for a student at the other end of the scale? Michael Cann, a graduate of the Warwick DLMBA, used his degree to move from middle management at a medium-sized pharmaceutical firm, through the executive committee of a leading UK bank, to the recently elected position of chairman of the British Generics Manufacturer Association. For Michael, distance learning gave him the chance to apply immediately what he learned in the classroom as he moved up the corporate ladder. A case of mission accomplished. Matthew Symonds is a freelance journalist specialising in business education Not only do I get to continue working and earn money, but I can directly apply the knowledge gained from my coursework the next day at my job. Distance-learning student How a distancelearning MBA works IE Business School in Spain has been running its distance-learning programme, the International Executive MBA, for ten years. It is aimed at executives with around seven years work experience three of those managerial. The MBA lasts for 13 months and students are spread across the globe. Gamaliel Martinez, the director of the programme, gives the inside track The structure of our distance-learning MBA is this: students meet for two weeks at the beginning of the programme in Madrid, then work online for six months. The group get together again for a further two weeks in Shanghai in the middle of the programme, before another six months of remote studying. Then the final two weeks are spent in Madrid. The MBA is taught almost exclusively using casestudies whereby students discuss real dilemmas faced by actual companies. This is similar to many full-time programmes, where the debates are held in classrooms.
6 6 How a distance-learning MBA works Distance-learning special Which MBA? 2010 Professor Martinez The difference on the distance-learning MBA is that the discussions are online and last for three or four days. Before the class students must prepare both individually and in pre-assigned groups. The professor opens up by asking questions and the students then begin discussing the case. We try to avoid real-time interaction. We have students living in 20 countries scheduling a session for 7pm is not going to mean the same for everybody. So we try to make as much of it as asynchronous as possible. So cases are discussed in an internet forum. Students enter the discussion at the time that s best for them. Sometimes they prefer early in the morning before they go to work, sometimes in the evening or even late at night. Usually they will be involved for two or three hours every day. We have been running the programme for ten years and we don t like to change the basic technology. We have experimented with multimedia materials and video conferences. But we like to keep the technology light. It is important if you want to have a diverse class. We have students in places such as Nigeria and Turkmenistan who cannot access fast internet connections everyday. And they add a lot of value to the class. We know that the online case discussions go deeper than the face-to-face type used on the full-time programme. People have time to think about the issues and to find out how things are done within their own companies. Surprisingly, the network is also deeper than on a face-to-face programme. This is because the interaction is very direct the students participate in discussions outside of working hours when they are relaxed. So they talk about very personal things it creates a deep contact. It is probably true that you need more self motivation on a distance-learning programme. But our methodology where students work in pressurised teams and professors are always asking questions means that the programme can become addictive. When any of my students pass by a computer they jump on it. They can t resist seeing what has been said in the forum and contributing. And they need to participate every day. If they are not participating then they lose track. Professors asses their students in three ways: sometimes with an exam either online or face-to-face; sometimes they grade the teams; or they will grade students on their participation in the online discussions. Professors grade every message on the forum. They might award each message a mark between one and three, depending on whether the student has simply read the case and understood it, or whether he has opened up a totally new area of discussion. Students who really want to get the best grades send a lot of messages and sometimes we have to ask them to limit their contribution. They have to learn to give the others the opportunity to contribute. Professor Martinez was speaking to The Economist s business education editor The only thing I greatly missed was the interaction between students and faculty in a classroom setting especially in the classes I don t have the talent for Distance-learning student
7 7 Distance-learning diary Distance-learning special Which MBA? 2010 Distance-learning diary Surprisingly, you are probably more connected to the programme because the quality and quantity of your participation is monitored. Distance-learning student Home, not quite alone Terri Pepper Gavulic, an alumna of the University of Florida, says don t be fooled into thinking a distancelearning MBA is anything but tough. But she wouldn t have had it any other way Recently I had a mid-life crisis. While many people might buy a sports car or resort to plastic surgery, I went back to school for an MBA. As a management consultant, working mum and frequent flier, I needed a flexible schedule so decided on distance learning. The list of highly-ranked programmes seemed a short one, but I was delighted to discover the University of Florida on it I d taken my undergraduate degree there almost 30 years before. Its Internet MBA seemed tailor-made for me a 27 month programme with oncampus sessions every eight weeks on the weekend. For me, the six-hour drive seemed manageable. Taking the GMAT entrance exam was a wake-up call that I was about to embark on an experience that would require a lot of maths. This, more than anything else, caused the most anxiety throughout my MBA. But my admissions officer was encouraging and thought I could overcome my maths deficiency. He was right. As an older student I had a lot to prove and wouldn t contemplate failure. So I applied to the programme as early as I could. That way, the admissions team could make a decision based on my merits, without having to compare me to other candidates. The first day we headed out for team building, including rope courses and group challenges. It was a smart way to start the programme. We bonded instantly and our cohort was quickly able to size each other up and determine with whom we wanted to work on our class teams. Also, some activities were physically challenging and terrifying. For many of us, overcoming our fear walking a tightrope or leaping off a 30-foot pole gave us confidence that we could do anything, including succeed on our MBA programme. And then the hard work began. There s a lot I liked about my MBA. But it is also important to be aware of the drawbacks. If I were to list the toughest challenges they would be: Working in a virtual team made it harder to hold teammates accountable and resolve conflicts. The curriculum was modified after we d started and we didn t have a few promised classes, including the one I most wanted. Distance-learning programmes don t usually allow for elective courses. Balancing family and work can be daunting. Everyone makes sacrifices. Some classmates dropped out because they couldn t manage this aspect. I wish I had been forewarned about some of the things I could do in advance to prepare, such as learn calculus, relearn algebra and brush up on Excel. Our schedule was rigorous. We went for 27 months straight with no breaks at all not even one day off.
8 8 Distance-learning diary Distance-learning special Which MBA? 2010 But don t let that scare you. The positive aspects outweighed the challenges: Most of our professors were fabulous. They had real-world experience and were not too academic. Several used innovative teaching methods bringing in venture capitalists for us to present to, for example which kept the interest high. And they were always accessible. Visiting the campus only every eight weeks and only on the weekend was manageable for busy professionals. The curriculum was the right blend of the quantitative (eg, finance, and operations management) and qualitative (eg, marketing and entrepreneurship) courses. The programme was well-organised and the support staff were incredible. We were always well fed, encouraged, and had no uncertainty about our schedule. My classmates and I felt we had an impact on the programme and our feedback was regularly solicited. At the end of 27 months with the same cohort, we formed lasting friendships and business relationships. When people ask what I thought of the distance learning format I tell them I can t imagine going to school any other way. Studying from the comfort of my own home allowed me to continue being active in family life and meet my work obligations. But students require different skills than on a traditional programme. Distance students must be technology savvy, organised, and self-motivated. In our programme every class involved a blend of team and individual assignments, so good communication skills, both written and verbal, were essential to be successful on virtual teams. When we donned our caps and gowns we were a smaller group than when we climbed the 30-foot pole 27 months earlier. Several classmates had dropped out for reasons ranging from job transfers to an inability to do the work. I stuck it out, though there were many times when I felt over my head. In my company we talk about the big why. Why do we work hard? What motivates us? Walking across the graduation stage 30 years after I d received my undergraduate degree, I closely watched my ten-year-old daughter s face beam with pride. That, in a nutshell, was my big why. Terri Pepper Gavulic is now an entrepreneur and heads three companies Distance learning is flexible to your pace and mode of study. However, the academic support given is very much equivalent to those on campus Distance-learning student, UK school
9 9 Distance-learning diary Distance-learning special Which MBA? 2010 Programme profiles and ratings
10 10 Programme profiles and ratings Distance-learning special Which MBA? 2010 How we rated the programmes Rating distance-learning programmes means judging very different criteria than one might look at when ranking other types of MBAs. One of the main differences is that distance-learning students tend not to be career-switchers, so the metrics related to careers services such as the percentage of graduates finding work or even their salaries are not of great concern. Equally, while schools offering distance-learning programmes like to claim that remote working is no barrier to networking, this is not, by and large, why students themselves sign up. Instead, we looked at three broad areas: the programme content; the quality of the students; and a category we have described as the quality of the distance-learning elements. These latter metrics focus on those areas unique to distance-learning programmes, such as the effectiveness of the teaching methods used and the students sense of connection to the school. Schools ratings have primarily been determined by a survey of distance-learning students. In each category, percentage scores have been assigned to schools. The top rated school received a score of 100% and the rest were benchmarked against it. Schools with a score above 95% were awarded a rating of excellent. A score of 75%-94% rated as good ; 50%-74% average ; and below 50% poor. It is important to note that we deliberately called the survey a rating rather than a ranking. This is because the list of schools is not exhaustive. As noted in the introduction we have deliberately excluded from the ratings some of those schools with large cohorts and less-stringent admissions requirements. Instead we have concentrated on those programmes offered at the institutions which feature in The Economist s ranking of the 100 full-time programmes. Results Distance-learning programmes have traditionally been concentrated in Britain and America. Both countries have a tradition of correspondence courses, the precursors of distance learning. Of the 13 schools covered in this report, only three do not come from one of those countries. Two programmes achieved our top rating of excellent : Florida s Internet MBA and the International Executive MBA offered by IE Business School in I found the environment very collegial. Many of my classes incorporated a lot of group work and used discussion forums to spur discussion among classmates. Distance-learning student Spain. Both schools scored well across the board. IE s students, for example, have an average of 13 years of work experience, and although students are spread as widely as Nigeria and Turkmenistan, they also say they feel incredibly connected to the school. Furthermore, despite its hefty price tag programme fees of 52,000 ($76,440) make it the most expensive surveyed students still consider it to be excellent value for money. It is a similar story at Florida. Although its students have much less work experience than those at IE, they do rate their classmates as being the best of the schools surveyed. They also rave about the quality of the distance-learning materials used by the school. And it, too, scores well on value for money. Both schools also have a low student attrition rate. It is an unfortunate feature of distance-learning programmes that students are more likely to drop out than counterparts on other types of MBA. This is because of the high levels of self-motivation and self-discipline required. At the best schools, which work hard to keep students engaged, one might expect over 90% of those who begin the MBA to finish it. Elsewhere, however, this rate may fall below 50%. Category Criteria Weight Programme content (33%) Fellow students (33%) Distance learning elements (33%) * Student ratings out of 5 Ratio of faculty to students 8% Percentage of faculty with a PhD 8% Student rating* of faculty 8% Student rating* of the programme content Percentage of students who complete the programme Average number of years work experience of students Student rating* of culture and classmates Student rating* of the effectiveness of the distance-learning materials Student rating* of their sense of connection to the programme Student rating* of the programme s value for money 8% 11% 11% 11% 11% 11% 11% Honourable mentions go to Thunderbird School of Global Management, Indiana s Kelly school (both in America) and the Euro*MBA, which is offered by a consortium of European business schools, all of which rated as good. All three got excellent ratings for their programme content.
11 11 Programme profiles and ratings Distance-learning special Which MBA? 2010 Aston Business School Bradford School of Management Birmingham, Britain Programme: Distance-learning MBA Website: Tel: +44 (0) Programme director: Dr Brigitte Nicoulaud Ratio of faculty to students 0.5 Percentage of faculty with a PhD 95 Student rating of faculty 4.0 Student rating of the programme content 4.1 Percentage who complete programme 97 Average number of months work experience 108 Student rating of culture and classmates 3.7 Effectiveness of DL materials 4.7 Student rating of the sense of connection to the school 4.2 Student rating of the value for money 4.3 Number of years work experience required 3 Ratio of applicants to places 3:1 Student intake (number of intakes per year) 10 (3) Average age 29 Age range Percentage of women students 25 Programme fees 15,275 ($28,292) Comments Aston is among the largest business schools in Europe with around 3,000 students in total. It has strong contacts with business, particularly in the Midlands area as well as internationally, with good faculty and student exchanges. It also has a good reputation for research. Taking the degree by distance learning (only available in Europe) involves a minimum of 21 months study as well as a project. Students receive DVDs of lectures as delivered to students on campus, as well as PDF copies of all handouts and notes. There are also , fax and telephone support and local self-help groups. Students attend Aston for two days per term for face-to-face seminars and for exams. Bradford, Britain Programme: Distance learning MBA Website: Tel: Programme director: Jo Hardcastle Ratio of faculty to students 0.1 Percentage of faculty with a PhD 80 Student rating of faculty 4.1 Student rating of the programme content 4.1 Percentage who complete programme 97 Average number of months work experience 96 Student rating of culture and classmates 3.8 Effectiveness of DL materials 4.1 Student rating of the sense of connection to the school 3.9 Student rating of the value for money 4.6 Number of years work experience required Ratio of applicants to places 3:1 Student intake (number of intakes per year) 30 (4) Average age 32 Age range Percentage of women students 36 Programme fees 10,950 ($20,281) Comments Bradford School of Management is a full-range business school teaching undergraduate, postgraduate, doctoral and executive development students. About 2,000 students are registered on various Bradford overseas programmes. Bradford s distance-learning MBA can be completed in a minimum of two or a maximum of six years. It has nine compulsory core subjects and five electives chosen from around 25 offered. There is also a management project including a 15,000-word dissertation. Case studies are used extensively.
12 12 Programme profiles and ratings Distance-learning special Which MBA? 2010 Curtin University Graduate School of Business Perth, Australia Programme: Online MBA Website: Tel: Programme director: Peter Galvin Ratio of faculty to students 0.2 Percentage of faculty with a PhD 94 Student rating of faculty 4.0 Student rating of the programme content 4.0 Percentage who complete programme 95 Average number of months work experience 108 Student rating of culture and classmates 3.8 Effectiveness of DL materials 3.9 Student rating of the sense of connection to the school 3.8 Student rating of the value for money 4.3 Number of years work experience required 3 Ratio of applicants to places 2:1 Student intake (number of intakes per year) 40 (3) Average age 34 Age range Percentage of women students 34 Programme fees A$34,200 ($28,739) Comments Total programme Curtin University Graduate School of Business (GSB) is part of Curtin Business School, the largest teaching unit of Curtin University of Technology. It has a good national brand name and a strong focus on Asian issues. The Curtin distance-learning MBA can be combined with other delivery methods, including face-to-face, and can be earned in one year (full-time) or 2 years (part-time). There is a required two-week capstone unit residential in Perth. Not all courses are available to online students. Euro*MBA Partner schools: Maastricht University (Netherlands), Audencia Nantes (France), EADA Barcelona (Spain), HHL Leipzig (Germany), IAE Aix-en-Provence (France), Kozminski University Warsaw (Poland). Programme: Euro*MBA Website: Tel: Programme director: Dr Stuart Dixon Ratio of faculty to students 0.4 Percentage of faculty with a PhD 100 Student rating of faculty 4.2 Student rating of the programme content 4.3 Percentage who complete programme 98 Average number of months work experience 120 Student rating of culture and classmates 4.5 Effectiveness of DL materials 4.8 Student rating of the sense of connection to the school 4.5 Student rating of the value for money 4.7 Number of years work experience required 5 Ratio of applicants to places Student intake (number of intakes per year) 10 (2) Average age 36 Age range Percentage of women students 30 Programme fees 25,500 ($37,500) Comments The Euro*MBA is a two-year programme offered by a consortium of six top European business schools and universities (see above). The programme consists of a master thesis, ten core distance learning business modules, residential weeks and an introduction seminar.
13 13 Programme profiles and ratings Distance-learning special Which MBA? 2010 University of Florida Hough Graduate School of Business Florida, United States Programme: Internet MBA Website: floridamba.ufl.edu Tel: Programme director: Alex Sevilla Henley Business School at the University of Reading Henley-on-Thames, Britain Programme: Distance learning MBA Website: Tel: Programme director: Chris Dalton Ratio of faculty to students 0.4 Percentage of faculty with a PhD 98 Student rating of faculty 4.6 Student rating of the programme content 4.2 Percentage who complete programme 95 Average number of months work experience 64 Student rating of culture and classmates 4.6 Effectiveness of DL materials 4.9 Student rating of the sense of connection to the school 4.9 Student rating of the value for money 4.9 Number of years work experience required 2 Ratio of applicants to places 2:1 Student intake (number of intakes per year) 56 (2) Average age 29 Age range Percentage of women students 27 Programme fees $36,000 $41,000 Comments Total programme. Fees vary depending on residency The University of Florida was established in 1853, and the College of Business Administration was founded in In January 2007 William R. Hough, a graduate of its first MBA class in 1948, donated a $30m endowment to graduate business programmes at the school. Warrington s Internet (Flexible) MBA was one of the first online MBA degrees to be offered by a fully-accredited business school. The programme has a 27-month curriculum in which students meet on campus for one weekend (Saturday and Sunday) at the end of each term (eight times). A 16-month Internet MBA for students with an undergraduate business degree is also available. Ratio of faculty to students <0.1 Percentage of faculty with a PhD 76 Student rating of faculty 4.3 Student rating of the programme content 4.4 Percentage who complete programme 70 Average number of months work experience 156 Student rating of culture and classmates 4.3 Effectiveness of DL materials 4.4 Student rating of the sense of connection to the school 4.3 Student rating of the value for money 4.6 Number of years work experience required 3 Ratio of applicants to places 2:1 Student intake (number of intakes per year) 60 (20) Average age 35 Age range Percentage of women students 36 Programme fees 16,795 ($31,107) Comments Total programme In 2008 Henley Management College, the first business school to be established in Britain and set up by business leaders in 1945, merged with the nearby University of Reading. The Distance Learning MBA typically takes about three years to complete. Students attend a residential weekend at Henley at the start of the programme and a residential module either at Henley or at partner institutions approximately every six months. The programme is delivered via CDs and there is impressive online learning support.
14 14 Programme profiles and ratings Distance-learning special Which MBA? 2010 IE Business School Imperial College Business School Madrid, Spain Programme: International Executive MBA Website: Tel: Programme director: Gamaniel Martínez Ratio of faculty to students 0.5 Percentage of faculty with a PhD 90 Student rating of faculty 4.3 Student rating of the programme content 4.3 Percentage who complete programme 97 Average number of months work experience 156 Student rating of culture and classmates 4.5 Effectiveness of DL materials 4.8 Student rating of the sense of connection to the school 4.8 Student rating of the value for money 4.7 Number of years work experience required 5 Ratio of applicants to places 3:1 Student intake (number of intakes per year) 32 (2) Average age 35 Age range Percentage of women students 17 Programme fees 52,000 ($76,440) Comments Instituto de Empresa (IE) is a fast-growing private academic institution set up in 1973 by business leaders and academics. It has expanded its faculty in recent years and continues to do so. As well as having strong links with Latin America, IE is rapidly expanding its global reach. The International Executive MBA lasts 13 months. There are three intensive two-week residential periods in Madrid and Shanghai and two six-month online periods. The online sessions take place between the three planned residential periods. The programme is also offered in a bi-weekly format with classes held on campus every other weekend. London, Britain Programme: Distance learning MBA Website: www3.imperial.ac.uk/business Tel: Programme director: Claire Charles Ratio of faculty to students >0.1 Percentage of faculty with a PhD Student rating of faculty 3.9 Student rating of the programme content 4.0 Percentage who complete programme 74 Average number of months work experience 120 Student rating of culture and classmates 3.6 Effectiveness of DL materials 4.0 Student rating of the sense of connection to the school 3.4 Student rating of the value for money 4.1 Number of years work experience required Ratio of applicants to places 1:1 Student intake (number of intakes per year) 35 (1) Average age 35 Age range Percentage of women students 36 Programme fees 24,050 ($44,545) Comments Imperial College, situated next to London s Science Museum, is famous for science and engineering. Its technological heritage is to an extent reflected in the business school s concentration, in both teaching and research, on the interaction of management, technology and innovation. Imperial s distance-learning MBA is offered via the University of London. There are nine modules eight core courses and one specialisation. The study time required for each is around five hours per week over a period of 31 weeks. One residential module on Imperial s London campus is required. The minimum time the degree can be completed is two years, but students are registered for four years.
15 15 Programme profiles and ratings Distance-learning special Which MBA? 2010 Indiana University Kelley School of Business Bloomington, United States Programme: Kelley Direct Website: Tel: Programme director: Terrill Cosgray Ratio of faculty to students 0.1 Percentage of faculty with a PhD 90 Student rating of faculty 4.6 Student rating of the programme content 4.5 Percentage who complete programme 96 Average number of months work experience 84 Student rating of culture and classmates 4.5 Effectiveness of DL materials 4.7 Student rating of the sense of connection to the school 4.5 Student rating of the value for money 4.7 Number of years work experience required 2 Ratio of applicants to places 2:1 Student intake (number of intakes per year) 96 (2) Average age 30 Age range Percentage of women students 23 Programme fees $945 Comments Per credit hour Kelley School of Business, which can trace its history back to 1829, has a strong belief in individual effort with an emphasis on experiential learning and leadership and takes an innovative approach to management education, emphasising integration, teamwork and co-operation. Kelley s Online MBA programme centres on web-based courses and a one-week residential session at the beginning of each year and is completed in 2 5 years. This programme is also offered in a customised version for a number of global companies. Open University Business School Milton Keynes, Britain Programme: MBA Website: Tel: Programme director: Richard Wheatcroft Ratio of faculty to students 0.1 Percentage of faculty with a PhD 63 Student rating of faculty 3.6 Student rating of the programme content 4.4 Percentage who complete programme 75 Average number of months work experience 168 Student rating of culture and classmates 3.7 Effectiveness of DL materials 4.6 Student rating of the sense of connection to the school 4.5 Student rating of the value for money 4.5 Number of years work experience required 3 Ratio of applicants to places open Student intake (number of intakes per year) 1,000 (2) Average age 37 Age range Percentage of women students 35 Programme fees 14,600 ($27,037) Comments Fee can vary by course route selected and country in which the student is located The Open University Business School (OUBS), founded in 1983, is one of the world s largest business schools. In June 2009 it announced its 20,000th MBA graduate. The OUBS is a faculty of the Open University (OU), a British government initiative of the late 1960s to allow anyone, irrespective of qualifications or lack of them Students with no undergraduate degree must first attain the OUBS Professional Certificate and then take Professional Diploma in Management, which counts as Stage I of the MBA. Graduates take the Postgraduate Certificate in Business Administration, which also counts as Stage 1; those with a business first degree take the Professional Diploma in Management. Stage II of the MBA focuses on strategy. Students take two required courses and two electives. They usually study two courses a year. Most courses involve project work in students own organisations.
16 16 Programme profiles and ratings Distance-learning special Which MBA? 2010 Royal Holloway School of Management London, Britain Programme: MBA in International Management Website: Tel: Programme director: Dr Duncan Harris Ratio of faculty to students <0.1 Percentage of faculty with a PhD 94 Student rating of faculty 3.9 Student rating of the programme content 4.1 Percentage who complete programme 45 Average number of months work experience Student rating of culture and classmates 3.5 Effectiveness of DL materials 3.9 Student rating of the sense of connection to the school 3.6 Student rating of the value for money 4.2 Number of years work experience required Ratio of applicants to places No limit Student intake (number of intakes per year) 50 (2) Average age 36 Age range Percentage of women students 47 Programme fees 10,150 ($18,796) Comments Royal Holloway College was opened by Queen Victoria in 1886 and became part of the University of London, which also includes London Business School and the London School of Economics. The programme consists of nine core courses and four electives plus research courses and a dissertation There are 120 hours face-to-face classes, which take place in either London or Hong Kong. The degree can be competed within 2-5 years. Thunderbird School of Global Management Arizona, United States Programme: Global MBA On-Demand Website: Tel: Programme director: Dr. Bert Valencia Ratio of faculty to students 0.1 Percentage of faculty with a PhD 100 Student rating of faculty 4.2 Student rating of the programme content 4.1 Percentage who complete programme 95 Average number of months work experience 96 Student rating of culture and classmates 4.6 Effectiveness of DL materials 4.6 Student rating of the sense of connection to the school 4.6 Student rating of the value for money 4.7 Number of years work experience required 500 Ratio of applicants to places Student intake (number of intakes per year) 28, 50 (2) Average age 31 Age range Percentage of women students 29 Programme fees $63,625 Comments Total programme Thunderbird was the first (and for a long time only) international business school in America. It was formed in 1946 on a second world war pilot training base outside Phoenix, hence the rather odd name. The Global MBA On-Demand uses web-based technology and lasts between 12 and 36 months. Seventy-five percent of the programmes is taken remotely, with the remainder taking place at on-site seminars in locations around the globe.
17 17 Programme profiles and ratings Distance-learning special Which MBA? 2010 Warwick Business School Coventry, Britain Programme: MBA by distance learning Website: Tel: Programme director: Paul Walley Ratio of faculty to students <0.1 Percentage of faculty with a PhD 96 Student rating of faculty 4.4 Student rating of the programme content 4.4 Percentage who complete programme 81 Average number of months work experience 120 Student rating of culture and classmates 4.1 Effectiveness of DL materials 4.3 Student rating of the sense of connection to the school 4.2 Student rating of the value for money 4.6 Number of years work experience required 4 Ratio of applicants to places 2:1 Student intake (number of intakes per year) 150 (2) Average age 36 Age range Percentage of women students 25 Programme fees 5,200 ($9,631) Comments Per year Warwick Business School is a full-range school, teaching undergraduates, postgraduates and doctoral students, and has close links to its parent university. In European terms it is large, with around 400 staff members and 7,500 students and participants, of whom only about 1,300 are undergraduates Students take seven core courses and six electives. An additional required course, the Practice of Management, covers softer skills. The programme can be completed in 3 8 years. All students are required to attend an eight-day seminar on campus at Warwick each year. Comparative programme data School Programme Average number of months work experience Average GMAT score Number of years work experience required Minimum GMAT score required Ratio of Student intake applicants (number of to places intakes per year) Average age Age range Percentage Programme fees of women students Aston MBA (Distance Learning) :1 10 (3) ,275 ($28,292) Audencia (Nantes) Euro*MBA (2) ,500 ($37,500) Bradford Distance learning MBA :1 30 (4) ,950 ($20,281) Carnegie Mellon (Tepper)* FlexMode MBA :1 45 (1) $31,536 Curtin Online MBA :1 40 (3) A$34,200 ($28,739) Total programme Durham MBA (Finance) :1 52 (2) ,640 ($23,412) EADA Euro*MBA See Audencia, above Florida (Hough) Internet MBA :1 56 (2) $36,000 $41,000 Total programme. Fees vary depending on residency Henley Distance Learning MBA :1 60 (20) ,795 ($31,107) Total programme IE International Executive MBA :1 32 (2) ,000 ($76,440) Imperial Distance Learning MBA :1 35 (1) ,050 ($44,545) Indiana (Kelley) Kelley Direct :1 96 (2) $945 Per credit hour Open Distance Learning MBA open 1,000 (2) ,600 ($27,037) Fee can vary by course route selected and country in which student is located Royal Holloway MBA in International no limit 50 (2) ,150 ($18,796) Management Thunderbird Global MBA On-Demand , 50 (2) $63,625 Total programme Warwick MBA by distance learning :1 150 (2) ,200 ($9,631) Per year * Could not be rated because it had too few student responses Comments