Business schools bid for market funding

February 7, 1997

THE ASSOCIATION of Business Schools will take its campaign for a market-led funding allocation system to Sir Ron Dearing next week, bolstered by new figures which show that the master of business administration market is at an all-time high.

The ABS will present its Pillars of the Economy report to Sir Ron's committee of inquiry into higher education on February 14. Its prime recommendation is to abolish the unilateral block grant public funding system. It wants an approach that is "student-led and market-driven", which would greatly favour the much sought-after business school courses.

New figures from the Careers Research and Advisory Centre show that the number of business schools offering MBAs worldwide has doubled from 74 last year to 142.

The ABS will tell Sir Ron that the United Kingdom business schools educate 13 per cent of the UK student population. Demand for undergraduate business and management courses outstrips supply by two to one - way above the average demand for undergraduate courses.

The ABS will also point out that business schools earn the UK over Pounds 400 million a year from overseas by recruiting more than 36,000 foreign students.

Chris Greensted, ABS chairman and director of Strathclyde Graduate Business School, said: "We can't afford to go on looking after disciplines that aren't doing much for industry. What's the point in having a whole lot of third-rate philosophers?" * ABS members are being balloted for their approval of a new MBA assessment scheme, designed to maintain standards.

Jointly owned by the Association of MBAs, the new scheme will identify MBAs as either "approved", "accredited" or by implication, failed.

An MBA assessment board would be established. The ballot results are expected late next week.

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