The A-Z of Business Schools: Cranfield School of Management

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The Independent Online
Age: 34

History: Management has been part of Cranfield University since the 1950s. Founded as the first postgraduate college of aeronautics on an old RAF site, it discovered its students needed management training. So it grew out of industrial need rather than any ivory tower. School of management formally established in 1967, making it one of the three oldest business schools in the UK.

Address: Rural. Management school is on main campus, halfway between Milton Keynes and Bedford, on the airfield where the original college of aeronautics was set up in 1946.

Ambience: Flat as far as the eye can see. There's not much to do here except work. Those in charge say that fosters intense learning and strong community spirit, which adds to what they call the "Cranfield experience" born of the blend of high-flying students, accessible staff, interactive teaching and cutting-edge research. Facilities have improved out of all recognition in recent years.

Vital statistics: Highly regarded business school with strong practical bent, its MBA dates back to 1964, making it one of the longest- established programmes. Two-year, part-time programme introduced in 1982 and public sector MBA (for civil servants) in 1996. Plus full- and part-time MSc programmes in logistics and supply chain management, transport management and project management.

Added Value: Claims to have the highest number of contact teaching hours of any UK business school. Cranfield fits into four taught terms of a one-year programme what others cover in two years. Wide choice of electives. Emphasis on personal development. Big plus is the career development service which helps MBA students make a career plan and get their big break.

Easy to get into? No. Unashamedly elitist. Minimum requirements are three years' work experience, plus degree or equivalent. Interview and GMAT or Cranfield tests.

Association of MBAs accreditation: Yes.

Glittering alumni: Alex Trotman, CEO, Ford Motor UK; Roger Young, CEO, Scottish Hydro-Electric plc; Sir Peter Holmes, former chairman, Shell Transport and Trading; David King, CEO, London Metal Exchange; John McFarlane, CEO, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group; Michael Smith, CEO, Ladbrokes; Colin Welford, CEO, Courtaulds; Patrick Dunne, director, 3i; James Ogilvy, 30th in line to the throne; Alice, Tom and Francis Salvesen, members of Christian Salvesen (logistics company) family.

International connections: Just under one-half of full-time students come from abroad eg Russia, US, New Zealand, China, Bangladesh. Double degree agreement with leading French management school EM Lyon; formal exchanges with top schools in Europe, US, Australia, Singapore and South Africa.

Research: Achieved a four (top is five) in the 1996 research assessment exercise.

Teaching: Rated excellent by the higher education funding council quality people.

Student profile: Average age on full-time MBA 31; on part-time 34. Male/female ratio on full-time MBA is 72:22.

Cost: pounds 15,000 for full-time MBA; pounds 20,000 for part-time over two years.

What do you get for your money? Roughly 50 per cent salary increase on graduation.

Who's the boss? Businessman turned academic Prof Leo Murray, who worked for BP, Courtauld's and, finally, Rothman's, selling their wares in the developing world - useful when it comes to teaching MBA students business ethics.

Next week: Simon de Montfort, Leicester.

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