MBA-Jahresrückblick – Smurfit
Smurfit: Implementation of the Bologna accord across the European Union

A. What do you consider the most significant developments in MBA/management education and the international business school market as a whole this year?



1) Continued progression of implementation of the Bologna accord across the European Union

The opportunities across Europe at pre-experience Masters level continue to increase leading to a rapid realisation among business schools that the opportunities afforded by having a strong brand at MBA level can be leveraged to increase international applications for pre-experience Masters programmes.

2) Global economic growth in MBa-type sectors saw a much stronger employment/recruitment market, particularly in countries such as Ireland which continues to outstrip EU-average growth.

3) The apparent stabilisation of the boom/bust cycle in Europe and the US has led to a more predictable and stable

4) The two most common words in use by professional staff in business schools over 2005 are "brand" and "yield management". Competition in the industry continues to increase with MBA programmes becoming significantly more prolific in "newer" MBA markets such as Germany and China. Therefore a strong brand is becoming ever more important.

5) Introduction of a pan-European ranking of Masters Programmes across the EU by the Financial Times

For the first time, Masters in management programmes are being compared across the EU. While the initial effort was somewhat crude, and many programmes with entirely different structures were lumped together into one classification, this survey will develop and prove to be highly influential in the future design and structure of business programmes at Master's level.

This is not necessarily a good development for the industry, as it will force business schools who prioritise performing well in public rankings to focus almost exclusively on salary development, leading to a more vocational suite of Master's level courses. This will reduce the likelihood of Masters level students being exposed to a more generalist continuation of their business education and force graduates to specialise earlier than might otherwise have been the case.

B. What do you consider to be the most significant developments at your school this year?

Most significant developments have been:

  • Appointment of a new Dean
  • Creation of a Masters Programme in Risk Management
  • Hiring of new MBA programme Director
  • Initiation of MBA curriculum review
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