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WORLD BUSINESS

Going global adds value to course

Three business schools join forces

By Ian Grayson for CNN

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An on-line platform complements the residential component of the TRIUM program.

FACT BOX

FT's Executive MBA Rankings
1. Wharton, U.S.
2. Hong Kong UST, China
3. London Business School, UK
4. Instituto de Empresa, Spain
5. Fuqua, Duke, U.S.
6. Chicago GSB, U.S.
7. Columbia, U.S.
8. Kellogg, U.S.
9. Stern, NY, U.S.
10. Cass, City University, UK
Source: Financial Times 2006

FACT BOX

EMBA SNAPSHOT

Executives taking the top EMBA courses in the U.S., Europe and Asia have average salaries of around $130,000 to $200,000.

A typical EMBA student is likely to be aged in the early 30s, with 6-10 years of working experience.

A top EMBA course can cost $100,000. Customized courses start at a few thousand dollars.

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Schools

(CNN) -- While top business schools constantly seek new ways to attract the best and brightest students to their executive MBA courses, one group's multi-continent approach is attracting growing attention.

Rather than students working from a single campus for the duration of their studies, modules are conducted at five locations around the world. The result, say organizers, is EMBA graduates with a clear grasp of international issues.

Called the TRIUM program, the EMBA degree course is conducted jointly by three business schools: New York University's Stern School of Business, the London School of Economics and the HEC School of Management in Paris.

HEC executive education associate dean Bertrand Moingeon says demand for the international degree is strong and getting stronger.

"We made the decision to target senior executives with on average 15 years of experience -- a more experienced group than most other EMBAs," he told CNN.

"When TRIUM was launched, we began with a class of 28, representing more than 10 different nationalities. Now we welcome a class of around 50 participants, keeping the same age range and high level of professional experience."

Despite its multi-location format, the program has been designed to allow executives to participate without significant disruption to their professional lives. Students do not have to relocate to each city as only 10 weeks of out-of-office time is required for the duration of the 16-month course.

Site visits

The residential component of the course comprises a mix of learning activities. Students take part in traditional lectures as well as conducting group discussions about selected business case studies relevant to the geographic area in which they are studying. Site visits and presentations by local lecturers and business people are also used.

Between residential components, course participants are expected to undertake around 15 hours of study each week. This activity is supported by a specially designed on-line platform which allows students to collaborate and discuss the materials being covered.

Using an on-line structure ensures students are able to participate regardless of their geographic location, time zone, or work commitments. A final module, conducted in New York, brings together all the topics discussed and skills learned in a strategic team project.

Moingeon says the TRIUM EMBA course has evolved since its establishment in 2001. Course content and case study examples are constantly reviewed to ensure they accurately reflect changes in international business conditions.

"One evolution has concerned the geographical location of two residential modules," he says. "We felt that due to developments in the global economy, it would be more useful to move one module to mainland China."

The location of one module changes each year, to reflect the rapidly changing globalization forces at work in modern business. Each location is selected for its ability to provide valuable on-the-ground experience for students.

Moingeon says academic faculty are specifically chosen for the degree course, to ensure they accurately match the experience and senior status of participants.

"We use the top professors and the most advanced learning methods from each school," he says. "We want participants, regardless of their background, to learn significantly and to be challenged throughout the program."

The next course begins in September this year with a module in London. Students then move to New York in January followed by Shanghai in April, Paris in July, a yet-to-be-named emerging market location in October and complete studies with a second New York-based module in January 2008.

Course candidates are required to have at least 10 years of business experience, and five at the managerial level. They must also be able to demonstrate international experience and have an agreement from their employer to cover the time required to attend the residential components of the course. Tuition fees are $111,000.

On completion, students are awarded an EMBA degree jointly by the three driving universities.

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