The A-Z of Business Schools: The London Business School

Age: 33

History: Set up in the aftermath of the Franks Report, which said Britain needed a couple of business schools, one in London, the other in Manchester. Hey presto! LBS was born.

Address: Idyllic setting in Regent's Park, a stone's throw from Madame Tussaud's and close to London's West End.

Ambience: Good facilities in a beautiful 19th century Nash building which is being developed and upgraded to include new executive suites, new gym with swimming pool and new library facilities. Already has the best resourced business library in London. Will soon be on line as never before.

Vital statistics: Best known and arguably the best business school in the UK, it jostles for top rankings with European schools, Insead in France and IMD in Switzerland. An increasing number of its academics are dubbed "gurus" e.g. strategy guru Gary Hamel, fast-talking American who jets in from California every few weeks to spread the gospel about "core competences". Very international: three-quarters of students come from outside the UK and more than one-half from outside EU. Continues to operate North American two-year-style core MBA plus electives. No plans to change. But has borrowed from Europe - now has a foreign language requirement.

Added value: This year is the "Year of Entrepreneurship and Innovation" at the school, with a big push helping students to form their own businesses. About to be launched: the Foundation of Entrepreneurial Management's "incubator fund" to provide money to LBS students for new business ideas. It will also give office space, advice, introductions to venture capitalists.

Easy to get into? No. You need good degree, three years' work experience and GMAT.

Association of MBA's accreditation: Yes.

Glittering alumni: Lord Dearing, education's Mr Fixit; Sir John Egan, chief executive, BAA; Idan Ofer, president, Tanker Pacific Management (Singapore); Wong Kan Seng, minister for home affairs, Singapore; Kofi Amegashi, director, Shell (Ivory Coast); Derek Lewis, chairman, UK Gold, former prisons chief under Michael Howard; Sir John Jennings, chairman, Shell Transport and Trading Co; Tony Wheeler, managing director, Lonely Planet Publications.

International connections: Very international. More than one-half of faculty come from abroad. Exchange programme enables MBAs to spend a term on the campus of one of 30 partners in Europe, Asia, Australia, Latin America, Canada or the US.

Visiting professors: Arius de Geus, author of The Living Company about releasing the creative potential of the workforce.

Research: Rated tip-top 5* in the research assessment exercise. Has 10 separate research centres from emerging markets to virtual laboratory. The latter looks at commerce on the Internet.

Student profile: Age range on full-time MBA is 24-38; on executive 28- 45. Male/female ratio 73:22 on full-time MBA; 85:15 on part-time.

Cost: pounds 26,000 for full-time MBA (lasts 21 months); pounds 25,000 on part-time (lasts 24 months).

Return on investment: Phenomenal salary rise of 170 per cent.

Who's the boss: New dean coming on 1 July to replace George Bain who made the school into the international powerhouse it is and has gone to be vice-chancellor at Queen's, Belfast. New man is Prof John Quelch, a marketing guru from Harvard, born in London but has spent working life in North America.

Next week: Manchester Business School

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