Audencia Nantes School of Management

Age: 111

History: Founded in 1900, Audencia has grown over the last 25 years to become one of France's top management schools. It is one of the few schools worldwide to be accredited by the "big three" of AMBA, AACSB and Equis. The MBA started in 1984.

Address: Purpose-built campus by Nantes University, a 12-minute tram ride from the city centre.

Ambience: Modern, light and spacious. The campus is very green and students can sail and canoe on the river Erdre, which runs alongside the campus. There is a high-tech library, a cafeteria, sports facilities, and a host of student clubs. The recently built centre for entrepreneurs provides office space for students wishing to launch their own businesses.

Vital statistics: More than 2,200 students attend. Courses include the full-time, 12-month Audencia international MBA, the Masters in management (taught in English or French), and two international Masters: the European Management Programme (EMP) which is available in English, French and Spanish, and the International Management Programme (IMM) (English-only).

Added value: As well as the school's triple accreditation, there is a top-notch MBA faculty: 95 per cent have a PhD or doctorat (the French equivalent). There is a high staff to student ratio, so expect personal attention and one-on-one coaching.

Easy to get into? The school looks for top-level applicants. For the MBA, you'll need at least three years of business experience. The average GMAT score of participants is 625. Of course, you must speak fluent English.

Glittering alumni: Pierre Garnier, president, Peugeot Poland; Bruno Cathelinais, president, Bénéteau SA; Serge Bosche, president, Manitou North America Inc.

Guru: Professor André Sobczak, founder of the school's centre for global responsibility.

International connections: The school has 111 international academic partners. There are multi-site programmes such as the IMM (offered with schools in the UK, Spain and Poland) and the trilingual EMP (offered with Spanish and UK schools). Audencia MBA students can also opt to spend six months studying in Shanghai.

Student profile: Average age on the full-time MBA is 32. Three-quarters of the intake are non-French. Just under half the students are female.

Cost: The MBA costs €26,000. For the Masters in management there is an annual charge of €8,400 for three years (or two years, for those admitted directly into the Masters programme).

Return on investment: MBA graduates receive a 30-50 per cent salary rise on average.

Who's the boss: Dr Jean-Pierre Helfer is the dean.

Prospectus: +33 2 40 37 34 34;

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