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Business schools expand global reach

By Peter Walker for CNN
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(CNN) -- Many people who take MBAs and similar courses would expect to spend their careers working internationally, crossing the globe in pursuit of new challenges.

Business schools, too, are becoming increasingly multinational, many offering specific degrees focused on global commerce. And they are reaching out into ever more distant regions.

This month, the highly-ranked London Business School (LBS) announced a new program of degree and non-degree business courses based in the Middle Eastern economic hotspot of Dubai -- the first time it has established 'branded' courses overseas.

The programs, to be offered at the Dubai International Financial Center from September 2007, will offer managers the chance to learn both in Dubai and in London.

A 16-month MBA will be offered, taught by LBS faculty, comprising a year of core learning in Dubai and then a series of electives at the school's home campus. There will also be a dual-campus EMBA.

Additionally, those not yet willing to take the plunge and sign up for a degree can take shorter Executive Education courses in Dubai, which will be counted towards elective EMBA credits later if desired.

Dubai was a key destination for the school, according to its dean, Laura Tyson.

"The programs are a response to a growing demand for world-class business education in the area, and reflect the school's interest and increasing activities in the region," she said.

"The strategic location of Dubai, with its access to the Middle East, India and Africa, has been chosen to complement the other international programs run by the school."

Studying in both location, the school's deputy dean of programs Professor Zeger Degraeve said, would "provide students with global business capabilities and help them to develop global professional networks that will impact every stage of their careers."

Meanwhile, France's Grenoble Ecole de Management (Grenoble School of Management) has expanded further into another emerging market, that of North Africa, with a new course opening at the same time as LBS's Dubai venture.

The school is to set up a business intelligence hub for the region, in a three-way project in association with business intelligence software and services group SAS and with ESCA, a business school in Casablanca, Morocco.

The deal will see Grenoble's Specialized Masters in Business Intelligence Management, run in association with SAS since 2002, offered in Casablanca from September 2007.

The course aims to offer students and executives a managerial and technical expertise in business intelligence, notably for the banking, retail, telecommunications and public sectors.

As well as running the existing course with SAS, Grenoble already operates programs in with ESCA Morocco, for example a joint specialized masters in purchasing.

The new scheme was devised "as business intelligence is increasingly playing a significant role in terms of business performance but lacks specialists notably in the retail, marketing, consulting, and project management fields," the Grenoble school said in a statement.

The course is in response to demand from businesses in North Africa for professionals who are up to speed with the latest business intelligence tools.

"The tripartite partnership was instigated to answer these needs in Morocco because of its strategic location in North Africa and its capacity to attract foreign students," the Grenoble statement added.


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Students will be jetting between campuses for the new LBS 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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