Smart Moves: The A-Z of Business Schools: De Montfort

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The Independent Online
Age: 100, 30 or 10, depending on how you count it.

History: Roots go back a century when it started out as a craft school to boost the local textile industry. It's been doing something business related for the past 100 years. Morphed into a college of commerce, a regional college of arts and finally into Leicester Poly and the posher- sounding De Montfort University. (Simon de Montfort led the barons against Henry III). Began running management courses 30 years ago. Became the business school as we know it 10 years ago.

Address: About to change. This year it's in a refurbished bit of Victorian splendour on the university's city campus in the middle of Leicester. Next autumn it will have moved to an ultra-modern beige brick and glass affair next to the university and overlooking the river Soar.

Ambience: Students already had a pretty good deal in their Victorian home in Leicester close to shops and the castle. New pounds 3.5m development - part of business school's plan for expansion - will improve quality of life further: more space; better equipment; easier to run cabling. Ground floor will be designed almost as a conference centre with a 200- seat lecture theatre, five conference rooms, syndicate area and coffee bar (very like Cranfield).

Vital statistics: One of the largest business schools in the country: 6,000 students, 140 academic staff. Runs programmes in Bedford and Milton Keynes as well as Leicester. But MBAs only available in MK and Leicester. The MBA is a general management programme offered full-time, part-time and block; and in the UK and overseas in Jakarta and Johannesburg.

Added value: Its academics are active researchers and consultants eg have been devising a new tax system for Cuba.

Easy to get into? Minimum requirements are a degree or professional qualification and preferably minimum of 3-5 years' work experience for part-time MBA and 3 years for full-time.

Association of MBA's accreditation: Yes, for part-time MBA, running since the 1970s. No, for full-time, which is new.

Glittering professors: Colin Egan, who won the management consultants' association business book of the year award for Creating Organizational Advantage; David Buchanan, former director of Loughborough business school; David Wilson, professor of local government.

Research: Achieved a 3b (top grade is 5) for business and management in the research assessment exercise.

International connections: On full-time MBA 65 per cent of students come from outside the UK and Europe. Since 1992 there's been a branch of the business school in Jakarta and another, since 1994, in Johannesburg, which has graduated unprecedented numbers of black women MBAs. Also links (research and programmes) with a dozen European institutions, including the business school in Rennes, and a joint MBA programme with the business school in Montpellier.

Student profile: Average age on part-time MBA is 35; on full-time 27. Male/female ratio is 70:30 on part-time; 60:40 on full-time.

Cost: Full-time pounds 6,250 (for Europeans) or pounds 7,500 (overseas); part-time pounds 3,125 a year for two years.

Return on investment? Salary hike of 60 per cent.

Who's the boss? Industrial economist Prof John Coyne, who used to play soccer, now watches it.

Next week: Durham University Business School

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