Fast Track: A hospitable handshake between industry and academia

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The Independent Culture
When it comes to MBAs, the finance and marketing disciplines account for a significant share of both the places and the course content. But, as is well known, business has many other aspects that are not always so well catered for.

But as from later this year, the administrators of the Cambridge MBA are going some way towards filling the gap by offering a scholarship for students who have been working in the hospitality or tourism industries for at least three years.

The scheme, which will run for five years from this autumn, is the idea of Jeremy Mogford, founder of the Browns restaurant chain. Having started the business by opening his first eatery in Brighton in 1973, Mr Mogford, now non-executive chairman of the group, expanded by setting up restaurants in Bristol, Oxford, Cambridge and London.

With the Cambridge outlet literally next door to the Judge Institute of Management Studies, which is the Cambridge University business school, teaming up with this institution seemed the logical way of marking the company's 25th anniversary, by doing something about his longstanding interest in management studies.

"Cambridge university has been marvellous to Browns over the last 11 years, so we are more than delighted to give something back. We look forward to a strong and fruitful partnership with the university for many years to come," said Mr Mogford.

Professor Sandra Dawson, director of the Judge Institute, said she and her colleagues were "very excited" about the development.

Pointing out that she was extremely grateful for a financial commitment that will either cover the total fees of one student or part of the fees for others, she said: "This is a fantastic opportunity to attract high- calibre people from the hospitality and tourism industries to our MBA programme."

The Cambridge MBA - which was established in 1991 - prides itself on being innovative, intellectually challenging and practical.

With 80 students from nearly 30 countries on the programme, it draws on a rich variety of backgrounds and cultures. The course is available in two forms - as a one-year full-time course or a two-year sandwich course.

It is just one part of the activities that take place at the Institute of Management Studies, based since 1995 in the old Addenbrooke's Hospital. Having started out as a small group within the engineering department in the Fifties, it gained its current status in 1990 and has more than 200 students plus a 50-strong international faculty of teaching and research staff.