The A-Z of Business Schools; Manchester Business School

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The Independent Online
Age: 33

History: One of the grand old men of British business schools, it was set up in 1965 at the same time as the London Business School after the Franks Report recommended that Britain needed to get with it.

Address: Part of the Manchester University campus on the south side of the city centre.

Ambience: Housed in a modern, purpose-built building made of redbrick, appropriately enough, which has been upgraded several times - latest in early 1990s. In fact, building never stops. The school is now reorganising its teaching and syndication rooms. Comes complete with bar and restaurant (self-service and waitress-service) and good business library. Situated in a part of Manchester which has come up in the world.

Vital Statistics: One of the top European business schools with a hands- on approach. Runs an 18-month MBA. Or you can take a part-time MBA which is organised jointly with Umist. Students work together in groups on real business problems for real companies. This is called the Manchester method. Has evolved into a truly international business school, the majority of students coming from abroad.

Added value: All MBA students have to do an international business project which means they travel the world to identify, say, a company to acquire in America or a joint venture partner in India. School also offers an MBA for lawyers and a distance learning MBA for financial specialists in association with University of Wales, Bangor.

Easy to get into? Three years' work experience, a good degree and a good GMAT score (around 600 if required). Plus evidence of career progression. And you have to write a short essay.

Association of MBA's accreditation: Yes.

Glittering alumni: James Ross, chief executive of Littlewoods; Don Cruickshank, director general of Oftel; Rykman Groenik, head of Netherlands division of ABNM AMRO Bank; Jurek Piracecki, chairman & chief executive of Goldsmith Group; David Varney, chief executive of British Gas; Michael Peagram, chairman of Holliday Chemicals; Mary-Lorraine Hughes, chief executive of Portmeirion Potteries.

International Connections: Three-quarters of MBA students come from overseas. Just over one-half come from EU; the rest from Asia, North and South America and the Middle East. The school recruits from more than 30 countries. Active foreign exchange programme with 40 schools around the world including Rotterdam, IESE in Barcelona, ESA in Paris; and Kellogg, Chicago and Stern in America.

Gurus: Visiting professor Roger Bootle, chief economist at HSBC; permanent guru is Doug Wood, NatWest professor of finance and accounting.

Research: Achieved a grade 4 (top grade is 5) in the 1996 research assessment exercise.

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

Student profile: Average age is 28 on full-time MBA; 31 on part-time. Male/female ratio is 75:25 on full-time MBA; 50:50 on the part-time.

Cost: pounds 16,000 for full-time MBA (EU students); pounds 19,000 for overseas, outside EU; pounds 16,000 for part-timers.

Return on Investment: 86 per cent salary hike.

Who's the boss? Pipe-smoking Prof John Arnold, director of Man- chester Business School, KPMG professor of accounting and financial management and Stockport County football supporter.

Next week: Manchester Metropolitan University.