Scottish business education is set to benefit from a pioneering international management course aimed at business high-fliers.
The Advanced Management Programme in Scotland was last week launched by Scottish Financial Enterprise, the representative body for Scotland's financial sector, along with Scottish Enterprise, the Bank of Scotland and the Scottish Chartered Accountants Trust for Education.
The two-week course, which will cost Pounds 7,500, is aimed at senior executives both in the United Kingdom and overseas, and will focus on strategic financial management. It will be based at Aberdeen University, which has state of the art conference facilities and purpose-built accommodation, but the programme is not linked to any university business school.
There has been some suspicion within the Scottish schools that the venture is poaching on their territory. But none of the schools offers a comparable senior management course, and Peter Mackay, the programme's executive director and former chief executive of the Scottish Office Industry Department, said: "What we are trying to do is complement and not compete with existing business school provision."
Mr Mackay also pledged that once the programme starts making money, this will be ploughed back into supporting management research. There will be a research advisory board, chaired by Sir William Fraser, former principal of Glasgow University, and including Tom Johnston, president of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and former principal of Heriot-Watt University, as a member.
Simon Coke, director of Edinburgh University's management school, welcomed the initiative, and said individual universities would not have had the financial clout to mount such a course. "It brings in new megabuck people whom we couldn't afford," he said.
One of the tutors is John Sizer, now chief executive of the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council, but previously director of Loughborough Business School. He has written a number of accounting texts, including An Insight into Management Education whose sales exceed 225,000 copies.
Sir John Shaw, chairman of SHEFC, has been involved in the programme in his capacity as chairman of Scottish Financial Enterprise and deputy governor of the Bank of Scotland.