Age: 52

History: Founded in 1959, three months after the Treaty of Rome. First MBA intake started in 1959. One of the first business schools in Europe, set up by a group of far-sighted French Harvard alumni who fancied the idea of a truly European school for management education, modelled on the top US business schools.

Address: One campus is in Fontainebleau, 65km south of Paris on the edge of the forest, while another is in Singapore, in the Buena Vista district.

Ambience: Modern buildings with new additions including amphitheatres, offices, a fitness centre and dining areas. Lively, informal campus life as about a third of students bring their family with them.

Vital statistics: The ultimate elite international business school, INSEAD takes the best and brightest. Has nearly 40,000 alumni (of which over 18,000 are MBAs) in 160 countries. Participants benefit from a heady mix of intense study, intellectual debate and undergraduate-style socialising. Today there are close to 1000 participants on the one-year MBA – mainly young managers who are heading towards international careers – 145 faculty members, and around 100 research professionals.

Added value: In October 2000, INSEAD opened a campus in Singapore, offering the same programme as in Fontainebleau (students can switch between campuses). The INSEAD/Wharton alliance gives MBA participants the opportunity to study in the US, so you might even have a three-continent experience. The New York office opened in October, there is a centre for research and executive education in Abu Dhabi and a regional research centre for entrepreneurship in Israel.

Easy to get into? You'll need a good degree, four to six years' work experience (although there is no minimum requirement), an international outlook, fluency in English and a practical knowledge of a second language. Good GMAT scores (600 to 800) and a basic knowledge of a third language will be needed for graduation.

Glittering alumni: Henry Engelhardt, founder and CEO, Admiral Insurance Group; Gerry Ford, founder and chairman, Caffè Nero Group Plc; Philip Hampton, chairman, J. Sainsbury Group; Helen Alexander, President, Confederation of British Industries; Julie Meyer, Founder & CEO, Ariadne Capital Ltd; Tidjane Thiam, Group CEO, Prudential plc.

Gurus: Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne, whose articles on the knowledge economy are all-time bestsellers; Manfred Kets de Vries, best known for his work on the darker side of organisational life, Luk Van Wassenhove, world expert in operations management; Jean-Claude Larréché, marketing expert, and Herminia Ibarra who specialises in career development and change, and women in management.

International connections: Very multicultural: there are 145 professors representing 37 nationalities, and students hail from 80 different countries.

Student profile: The average age of the MBA students is 29, with a male to female ratio of 7:3.

Cost: The MBA fees will be announced in Jan 2011 last year they were aprox is €52,000.

Return on investment: Graduates in the UK earn a basic salary of £67,800 on average, and join a network of alumni from more than 160 countries.

Forbes magazine ranked INSEAD #1 on return on investment in August 2009.

Who's the boss? INSEAD’s dean is Frank Brown.

Prospectus: MBA department +33 1 60 72 40 05;; Executive MBA department +33 1 60 72 90 54;

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