The A-Z of Business Schools; Lancaster University Management School

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Age: 34

History: Founded as part of spanking new Lancaster University, contained the first marketing department of a UK university. Gained an early reputation for postgraduate programmes with its MA in business analysis. That became an MBA in 1989.

Address: Modern buildings in corner of Sixties campus.

Ambience: Upgraded in early 1990s, there's now a new graduate school containing teaching facilities, purpose-built four-star hotel and training centre. Lovely views - on a clear day.

Vital statistics: You come to Lancaster to work and walk, not to party. Full-time one-year MBA is highly selective and small - only 65 to 70 students. Part-time two year MBA has 115 students. There is also a company MBA with British Airways and one about to start with Bass. Plus a thriving centre for undergraduate management education: 11 applicants per place.

Added value: Prides itself on teaching critical thinking as an antidote to straight cramming of management theory. Runs a unique International Masters in practising management and MPhil in critical management. Hot on operational research.

Easy to get into? No. Nine applications per place. You need at least three years' management experience plus good degree.

Association of MBA's accreditation: Yes, for full-time and part-time MBAs.

Glittering alumni: George Cooper, director UK/Africa, BA; Judith Evans, director of personnel policy, Sainsbury's; Frank Halliwell, CEO of Lykes Lines (shipping); Alfred Morris, vice chancellor, University of West of England; Mike Power, vice-president finance (Asia), Procter & Gamble; Peter Rice, group corporate finance and planning manager, Commercial Union; Quentin Thompson, higher education boffin, Coopers & Lybrand; Paul Wright, economist, North America and Japan division, Bank of England.

Visiting professors: Michael Brearley, the thinking person's sportsman, former England cricket captain, now a psychoanalyst; Winston Fletcher, chairman of the Bozell UK Group; Prof Henry Mintzberg, of Insead and McGill; Wally Olins, image-maker.

International connections: Most undergraduate degrees include integral year abroad. On the MBA you can do a term at the University of Michigan or you can go abroad to undertake your in-company project.

Research: Rated top 5, one of only three schools.

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

Student profile: Unusual in having 50:50 male:female ratio on its full- time MBA. Average age on full-time MBA is 30; on part-time 36. And 60 per cent of students come from outside EU.

Cost: Full-time MBA pounds 10,500; part-time pounds 11,200.

Return on investment: 20 per cent salary hike for MBAs.

Who's the boss? Mathematician turned management scientist Prof Stephen Watson who came from Cambridge where he ran the Judge Institute of Management Studies. He researches into the management of higher education and is a keen singer.

Next week: Leeds University Business School