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The Independent Online
SPONSORED by Barclays Bank, the National Westminster Bank, the Independent and the Independent on Sunday, the AMBA Business School Reception is a unique event. At a time when quality is critical, it provides around 1,000 aspiring MBA candidates with the opportunity to meet representatives of more than 40 leading schools from the UK, continental Europe and the US - under one roof, on one day.

Despite occasional stories to the contrary, the facts are incontrovertible. The MBA has weathered the storm of the recession and is now more popular than ever. More and more people are queuing to board the boat. So much so that a record number of British MBA students have enrolled in the past two years. There is also evidence that the MBA is becoming, as in the US, a necessary - not just desirable - qualification.

Only 10 years ago, selecting the right MBA school was no great problem because there were few universities to choose from. But now there are 103 colleges and universities in the UK offering the MBA. Not surprisingly, with so many providers, the quality of education can vary greatly. In fact, quality has now become a critical issue for any would-be MBA student. Otherwise, the boat he or she is queuing up for could prove to be the Titanic and not the Oriana.

To confuse the issue further, selecting the most appropriate school is made more difficult by the wide range of modes of delivery that are now available (ie, full-time, part-time, distance learning).

The Association of MBAs' annual Business School Reception, taking place tomorrow at the Institute of Directors in Central London, will help potential students to navigate their way through this confusing sea of possibilities by introducing them to a large number of leading schools.

Would-be MBAs will be able to collect literature and application forms, and discuss their career plans directly with admission officers and members of the Association of MBAs in an informal atmosphere.

Admission to the reception is free of charge.