The A-Z of Business schools: E M Lyon

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The Independent Online
Age: 125

History: Founded in 1872 by local businessmen, the school (previously known as Groupe ESC Lyon) is one of the oldest business schools in France - and Europe.

Address: In the north-west of Lyons (Ecully) and in Paris (10th arrondissement).

Ambience: Purpose-built premises in Lyons in a park which houses research and other higher education concerns (eg an engineering school and the Ecole des Arts Culinaires). So, when you're overdosing on business you can always cheer yourself up on leftovers at the cooking school. Since 1972, and the move to Ecully, it has upgraded its premises. New library, sports facilities, restaurant, cafeteria, accommodation, language centre and IT equipment. You can even take part in the annual inter-MBA ski competition.

Vital statistics: As a French grande ecole, EM Lyon is ranked one of the four best business schools in France. MBA is offered in two formats: one-year full-time or two-year part-time.

Added value: Big emphasis on entrepreneurship, on personal development and giving students the ability to create their own programme. Students are strongly encouraged to examine who they are and what they want to do. More than 2,500 participants in entrepreneurial programmes since 1984. They have created more than 240 firms of which four are quoted on the stock exchange and have a survival rate of more than 65 per cent after five years.

Easy to get into? No, this is a grande ecole. Students on the Masters programmes are selected after a tough entrance exam. For the MBA you need an average of five years' work experience plus a GMAT score of 550. And you have to survive the interview.

Association of MBA's accreditation: Yes.

Glittering alumni: Patrick Dupuis, vice-president, corporate audit staff, General Electric, USA; Prof Walter Kummerle, Harvard Business School; Philippe Marcel, chief executive officer of Adecco France.

International connections: The MBA is bilingual. Courses are taught in English and French. Students can take the first term core courses in whichever language they prefer. Great for those whose French is a bit dodgy. They can work on their French while studying in English, and take courses in French in the second term. Sixty partnership agreements with universities or business schools in Europe, USA, Latin America, Japan and China; 17 double degree agreements throughout the world.

Student profile: Average age on full-time MBA is 30; on part-time, 33. Male/female ratio is 66:33 on the MBA; on Masters programme it is 50:50. Forty per cent of MBA students come from outside France - from Europe, USA, Canada, Latin and Central America, and Asia.

Cost: Full-time MBA costs Fr100,000 (about pounds 10,000) for the year; part- time MBA costs Fr60,000 (about pounds 6,000) for one year, so total cost of part-time MBA is pounds 12,000.

Return on investment: 30 to 40 per cent salary hike and a more challenging job with the chance of a career change.

Who's the boss? Patrick Molle, marketing expert and consultant to big French and multinational companies.

Next week: IESE International Graduate School of Management.

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