The A-Z of Business schools: Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University

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The Independent Online
Age: 18

History: Began as a co-operative venture between Erasmus University and the Delft University of Technology to give courses in general management to Dutch businessmen. MBA began in 1985 and was international from the start.

Address: Ten minutes' bike ride from the centre of Rotterdam on the Erasmus University campus.

Ambience: Part of a sprawling, ungainly campus, the school will have its own home next year when it gets a new building complete with bigger classrooms and up-to-the-minute IT equipment. Until now it has been in the school of business administration, sharing space with undergraduate programmes. There is no accommodation on campus. Most students live in the International House, five minutes' bike ride away. Rotterdam is a big modern city which has grown hugely since the Second World War. It is a good place to network with top executives in major Dutch-based multinationals such as Unilever and Procter and Gamble.

Vital statistics: Considers itself to be the most prestigious Dutch business school in the international market competing with the likes of London Business School and IESE in Barcelona. It is also the biggest, with 120 MBA students. Offers a full-time international MBA which lasts 18 months and a part-time MBA that takes 90 students a year.

Added value: As well as the MBA you can tack on an MBI (Master of Business Informatics) designed for those who want a general management education plus training in managing IT. This is not a technical programme - you don't have to be a boffin - but it helps if you have an interest in IT and an analytical mind.

Easy to get into? You need a good score in GMAT, a degree, work experience (minimum of two years, average is five years). And you have to undergo an interview.

Association of MBAs accreditation: Yes.

Glittering alumni: Durk Jager, CEO, Procter and Gamble; Johan Andresen, owner and managing director, Tiedemanns, Norway; Jan-Kees Verhagen, managing director, Nutricia Nederland BV; Cees de Jong, managing director, industrial pharmaceutical products division, Gist-brocades; Hans Smits, former director of Schipol airport, now on the board of directors at Rabobank.

International connections: Runs an impressive exchange programme with 28 exchange partners in Europe, the US, Latin America, Asia, Australia and South Africa. Only 8 per cent of the student body is Dutch. Rest come mainly from Europe, Asia and North and South America.

Gurus: Peter Scott-Morgan, author of The Unwritten Rules of the Game who lectures on change management; Arie de Geus, visiting fellow at LBS, who writes books on the learning organisation.

Student profile: Average age on full-time MBA is 29. Male/female mix is 26:74 and 20 per cent of students are married.

Cost: Around pounds 14,250 for the MBA; pounds 15,650 for the MBA/MBI.

Return on investment: You will join a flourishing alumni association. You should also get a good job with good money. In the class of 1998, some 30 per cent of students landed jobs in consulting firms. Average base salaries were $86,000.

Who's the boss? Professor J Wil Foppen, expert in knowledge management, who runs marathons.