Success of Oxford business studies: Letter

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The Independent Online
Sir: Barry Welch (Letters, 31 July) makes some interesting observations on the challenges facing Oxford and Cambridge as they pursue the goal of creating first-class business schools. I cannot speak for Cambridge, but when it comes to Oxford his analysis completely misses the mark.

Oxford has been engaged in business studies for over 30 years at Templeton College, building up considerable expertise in programmes for working managers and in practice-focused research. The Oxford Advanced Management Programme has a worldwide reputation as a leading edge senior executive programme. It has an alumni group of over 3,000 executives. Among these, and the hundreds of graduates from our full-time degree programmes in management, Mr Welch would find many of his "mainstream achievers in business".

As to our research, it is the very opposite of "ultra pure and of marginal use to business". The college has five research institutes strongly funded and supported by the corporate sector, whose raison d'etre is to produce findings and programmes of both immediate and long-term value to business.

The Oxford MBA is new, but one of the important factors distinguishing the MBA is that it is being launched from a strong base of executive experience. Oxford, ironically given its image, is moving into academic degree programmes from executive ones - the reverse path to that of nearly every other business school.

So, "first league business academics" in coming to Oxford will not be joining "an embryo institution whose existence remains controversial" but one with an established track record, now further strengthened by fusion with a world class university.

Dr RORY KNIGHT

Deputy Director (Executive Education)

Oxford School of

Management Studies

Templeton College, Oxford

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