Bristol Business School, UWE

The A-Z of Business Schools

Age: 100

History: Roots go back even further - deep into England's buccaneering past to the 16th century Merchant Venturer's Navigation School. Business school dates from Bristol college of commerce, and later the South West regional management centre at Bristol Polytechnic.

Address: It's part of a former poly, now the University of the West of England, a highly rated new university on the north side of Bristol in Frenchay, surrounded by high-tech business and government organisations eg MoD procurement executive.

Ambience: Sandwiched between law and social sciences, the business school is the biggest bit of UWE in a brick/concrete building. Plenty of free car parking; not too much greenery. Conveniently positioned close to M32/M4/M5 interchanges and Bristol Parkway station. There is a dedicated teaching room for the MBA programme.

Vital statistics: One of the largest business schools in the UK, it's regional in nature, catering for local organisations in the South West, and boasts one of the biggest schools of accounting and finance in the country. It takes more than 3,000 students, many part-timers, taught by at least 100 staff. In the past staff were recruited for a solid background in industry, commerce or the public sector; now they're recruited more for research. Part-time MBA (100 students) in its ninth year; full-time (20 students) launched in September 1977.

Added value: Poly roots mean an emphasis on teaching and learning. New full-time MBA, which is expected to double in size next year, has two study routes - European or UK. If you take the Euro, you study for a term in each of Bristol, Nancy (in France - one of the grandes ecoles) and Nuremburg in Germany. Don't worry: all subjects are taught in English.

Easy to get into? Minimum work experience three years for part-time MBA; two years for full-time.

Association of MBA's accreditation: Part-time, yes. Full-time, not yet.

Glittering alumni: Eddie Catchpole, head of customer support for Rolls- Royce; Dr Nick Smith, international product manager, Raychem.

Research: Achieved a 2 (top grade 5) in the research assessment exercise. But expects to do a lot better in the next century, the next time it is assessed.

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

International connections: Full-time MBA is international in character. Students from Peru to Azerbaijan, India to Belgium. Links with large number of universities in Europe and with Utah State University, Virginia Commonwealth University and Georgia Tech in the USA, plus the University of Western Australia in Perth.

Student profile: Average age on part-time MBA is 35; on full-time 27. Male/female ratio on part-time 65/35; full-time 70/30.

Management speak: In order to succeed in the millennium, managers will need to take a more integrated approach to promote business effectiveness (Forget the piecemeal approach).

Cost: Part-time pounds 8,211; full-time pounds 5,950 (EU) or pounds 7,749 (non-EU).

What do you get for your money? Average 68 per cent increase in salary and all those transferable skills.

Who's the boss? Engineer, Professor Mike Rees, who likes to play bowls and watch rugby, and who built a new steelworks in Argentina.

Next week: Cambridge - Judge Institute of Management Studies.

Lucy Hodges

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