The A-Z of Business schools: Helsinki School of Economics and Business Administration

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The Independent Online
Age: 87

History: Established by the Finnish business community in 1904, it gained university status in 1911 and since 1974 has been fully funded by the state. However, it remains autonomous. MBA was created in 1984 to train a cadre of Finnish managers.

Address: Toolo in Central Helsinki, one km from the city centre.

Ambience: Main school building has just been upgraded and the MBA programme has moved into this 1950s edifice. It has all "mod cons" including new computer facilities and video conferencing. The schools has the biggest library in Finland. Students eat in the cafeteria but live off campus in student accommodation or in private flats. Bitterly cold in winter.

Vital statistics: The third oldest university in Finland, the school is the most prestigious place to do an MBA in the Nordic world. Only Nordic institution to be accredited by the Association of MBAs. (It is also accredited by Equis, the European accrediting organisation.) Runs a full-time International MBA lasting a minimum of 18 months and an Executive MBA. Medium of instruction is English.

Added value: Big emphasis on international nature of MBA. Professors jet in from USA, Australia, India, Korea and New Zealand. They teach in their own way, with their own grading system, which means students are exposed to the international teaching of business. All students spend one semester studying on an MBA programme abroad.

Easy to get into? You need a degree or equivalent and two years work experience. Plus GMAT and TOEFL, if your first language is not English.

Association of MBA's accreditation: Yes

Glittering alumni: Mauro Montanaro, director of strategy and business planning, Nokia Group; Peter Antunowitch, economist, Federal Reserve New York; Jukka Honkaniemi, vice president, Citibank Finland; Paula Perttunen, director, World Bank.

International connections: Links with business schools in USA, Switzerland, Thailand, India, Japan, Singapore, Korea and Australia. Thirty per cent of students come from outside Finland - from Europe (14 per cent), Asia and Australia (8 per cent); North America (5 per cent) and non-EU Europe (2 per cent).

Gurus: George W Hettenhouse, finance expert, from the University of Indiana; Dorothy Paun, marketing professor, from the University of Washington; Fred McDougall, professor of management, from University of Adelaide in Australia.

Student profile: Average age on full-time MBA is 31. Male/female mix is 59:41.

Cost: US$13,000 to $18,500.

Return on investment: The usual - more job opportunities, more money. As well as a great contact network.

Who's the boss? Jyrki Wallenius, dean of MBA programme and professor of management science, who studies decision making processes in organisations and takes risks on the ski slopes.

Next week: Nijenrode University: The Netherlands Business School. Lucy Hodges