Sciences Po, Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris

Age: 137.

History: The institution is venerable – it succeeded the École Libre des Sciences Politiques founded in 1871 – and the MBA is new, having been created in 1992.

Address: In the Latin quarter of Paris.

Ambience: The institute is in an 18th-century building, in the very heart of Paris. The Sciences Po MBA is hard work and must be completed in only nine months, so there's no messing about.

Vital statistics: A leading French Grande Ecole, the institute is an elite academy specialising in political science for 5,500 undergraduates. Students are a mix – those aiming for careers in business and industry, and those wanting to go into public service and international relations. It boasts a scientific approach to managerial problems. Students study business in its economic, social, political and legal context.

Added value: Limited number of students per class: the Sciences Po MBA takes a maximum of 35 students a year, which creates a highly prestigious group of students and an interactive way of working. MBA students participate in specially co-ordinated consulting groups, working in close collaboration with firms of their choice for a period of nine months.

Easy to get into? You need a degree, work experience, GMAT and to be reasonably fluent in French and English. Once you get through the first selection process, you have to write a 10-page essay on a managerial subject. Then you present it in an interview.

Glittering alumni: Pierre-Yves Gerbeau, CEO, X-Leisure, London; Fabrice Moullé Berteau, Associate, Sycamore Gestion privée, Paris; Alain Carron, financial director, Standard & Poor's, Paris.

International connections: Seventy per cent of MBA students come from Europe, 10 per cent from North America and the remainder from Africa and the Middle East. No exchange arrangements for MBA students because they go straight back to work. More than 50 per cent of faculty from overseas.

Student profile: The average age of MBA students is 33; average length of their work experience is eight years. Around half have a science or technology background, and a quarter are trained in business or economics. The male to female ratio is 7:3.

Cost: Approximately €25,000 (£20,833).

Return on investment: A 30 per cent increase in salary is the average.

Who's the boss? Jean-Jacques Rosa is professor of economics and finance at the Institut and dean of the MBA Sciences Po programme which he launched in 1992. He has diverse research interests but he centres on political economy and the economics of the firm. Author of many scholarly articles in French and international journals.

Prospectus: +33 (0) 1 45 44 87 43;;

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