Nyenrode Business Universiteit

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The Independent Online

Age: 64

History: Set up after the Second World War to help rebuild the Dutch economy, it was the first business school in the Netherlands. Behind its birth were four big companies – KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Unilever, Shell and Philips.

Address: A 20-minute drive from lively Amsterdam and in the middle of a 140-acre estate park.

Ambience: Set in a serene location between the River Vecht and the Amsterdam-Rhine Canal, it comprises a 13th-century castle and a lovely setting that's rich in wildlife and woodland. The nearest town is Breukelen, which gave Brooklyn in New York its name – only this Breukelen is far more relaxed. The campus boasts a fitness centre, a sports hall, jogging course, two outdoor tennis courts and rowing on the river, in addition to modern fully stocked learning facilities.

Vital statistics: The only private university in Holland, it runs a number of MBA programs and a host of executive programs: the International MBA runs for 12 months and is focused on practical learning: there's a big emphasis on casework and the development of soft skills – you learn how to lead, communicate and cooperate. They're also keen on entrepreneurial management. Other MBA programs are the Executive MBA, the Public Sector MBA and the NyVU MBA, which is targeted at the food and finance sector. The last two programs are currently appropriate for Dutch speakers only. Nyenrode also offers a full-time Master in Management program for those looking for a solid master-level business degree without having to work a few years first.

Added value: You essentially get an instantly full Rolodex, as there are more than 15,000 alumni worldwide employed in all kinds of industries.

Easy to get into? No. You need a minimum of three years' work experience, a degree or equivalent, excellent English, the GMAT and a TOEFL qualification (for non-native English speakers), and you'll also have to write several essays and undergo an interview.

Glittering alumni: Wim Kok, former prime minister of the Netherlands; Paul Zeven, former CEO, Philips North America; Robert Polet, CEO, Gucci Group, Fred Gehring, CEO Tommy Hilfiger Group; Ariane Inden, CEO/Owner, Ariane Inden Cosmetics; Dennis Ziengs, CEO, Fortis Asia; Aad Goudriaan, CEO, DAF The Netherlands; Kathy McLane Gersch, President, KMG International; Henk Jan Koenen, CEO, DSM Desotech; Ronald van der Vis, CEO, Esprit; Eric de Clercq Zubli, MD, Jones Lang LaSalle The Netherlands.

Gurus: Henry Robben, new product introductions and strategic marketing; Ronald Jeurissen, business ethics; Ivo Arnold, managerial economics; René Tissen, knowledge management; Fred Lachotzki, strategy.

International connections: International students represent 80 per cent of the total number of full-time MBA students. The university has links with the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, USA, and the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa (to name a few). Students in the International MBA program complete a two-week study module at Kellogg along with the Executive MBA students, who also complete a study module at Stellenbosch.

Student profile: Average age in the full-time International MBA is 29, and in the Exectuive MBA the average age is 34.

Cost: The full-time International MBA is €32,500, but if you sign-up early it's reduced to €29,500.

Return on investment: An entrepreneurial mindset and other management tools.

Who's the boss? Maurits van Rooijen, Rector Magnificus

Prospectus: +31 (0)346 291 291; www.nyenrode.nl; info@nyenrode.nl