French business school expands

五月 24, 2002

Theseus International Management Institute, a French business school specialising in technology, is expanding into executive education, international collaboration and research in leading high-tech companies.

Last year, the Financial Times ranked Theseus's MBA programme fourth in France and among the top ten in continental Europe; and student and graduate ratings collected by the Economist Intelligence Unit classified it second in information technology and third in e-business in its international MBA review.

Situated in Sophia-Antipolis, on the French Riviera, Theseus was launched in 1989 by a consortium of educational institutions and information technology companies led by France Telecom. "Theseus created an IT-focused MBA with only 20 in a class, and that was a mistake," said Francis Bidault, dean of the MBA programme. When France Telecom realised Theseus was not viable, it appointed a team of academics from the Swiss International Institute for Management Development, including Mr Bidault and Theseus's present director, Ahmet Aykac, to sort out the problems.

The team devised a five-year business plan - from 1996 to 2000 - to restructure and expand Theseus's activities. The understanding was that France Telecom would remain a passive partner after disengaging financially over time as the new management gradually diversified. "But France Telecom didn't do that," Mr Aykac said. "In June 2000 it cut off all links."

The new team kept Theseus going, despite a France Telecom lockout, dismissal threats to staff and legal problems.

Apart from its high-tech specialisation, Theseus is noted for its international faculty, its student body and its small size - its MBA intake will increase during the next few years to up to 60 students, compared with the hundreds enrolled at other schools.



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