Even so, with 5,000 students the faculty is one of the largest business schools in the country. Its part-time MBA course was launched in 1990 and achieved accreditation by AMBA in 1994. It aims to offer managers and their employers a flexible pattern of study which will disrupt their work as little as possible. And it is hoped that employers, who often pay the fees, will benefit from their managers' participation right through the course. Projects and assignments are often work-based and students are expected to explore management and organisational issues within their own companies.
The course takes 40 middle and senior managers a year. "As a former polytechnic we have a long tradition of access for local people, and the part-time nature of the course is in that tradition," Prof. Thorpe says. "Our fees are set so that if necessary students can fund an MBA for themselves."
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