Asian business schools target Western students

Some of the biggest players in Asian business education are joining forces to target top prospective students from Europe and other Western markets.

July 29, 2010

Four major schools - the China Europe International Business School in Shanghai, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, the Indian School of Business and Nanyang Business School in Singapore - are all ranked in the top 30 business schools worldwide according to the Financial Times, and have long been fierce competitors for European applicants.

Now, with demand growing for an international business education, the four institutions are collaborating to promote themselves in the West. They have formed a recruitment coalition that will attend MBA fairs in London, Paris and Madrid this autumn, under the title Top Asia Business Schools.

Ajit Rangnekar, dean of the Indian School of Business, said that to sustain rapid economic growth in Asia, the schools needed to produce business leaders with "a deep understanding of the region, its cultures and its potential".

"By presenting ourselves as a group, it is easier to showcase opportunities for European students at each of our schools. We want to encourage their applications to increase the numbers of globally minded students in our annual admissions," he said.

Jonathan Slack, chief executive of the Association of Business Schools in the UK, said business education had been a global market for more than two decades, and that there was already a "healthy outflow of European students" to schools in Asia and across the world.

But he added that the collaboration was an indication of the changing role of student fairs in marketing and attracting the best candidates.

"In the past, international student fairs have been a major vehicle (for recruitment)," he said.

"However, they are expensive to participate in and today's students increasingly use the web, alumni and social-networking sites to help make their decisions. It is not surprising that schools are taking collaborative approaches."

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