UK must cosy up to US to hold lead

December 21, 2001

British business schools are only just holding on to their position as leaders in Europe for research. Only five of the top ten research schools are in the United Kingdom this year, compared with seven last year.

Charles Baden-Fuller and Siah Hwee Ang, of the department of management at City University's Business School, analysed more than 2,000 articles in leading journals over the past six years to produce a table of research reputation rankings of European business schools.

They found that an increasing number of research partnerships with US schools were helping mainland Europeans to catch up.

Professor Baden-Fuller said: "UK schools should be more active in seeking US partners to collaborate with. The scale of operations in US schools is much bigger, not just in terms of faculty but also resources."

Gaining access to these resources is crucial. Many US schools are populated by international researchers who know about the specific problems of European business and are happy to collaborate.

The City researchers suggested that UK schools were not playing the right game. Oxford, Cambridge and Manchester universities have formed only three effective US collaborations over the period compared with 53 by French business school Insead, 18 by Katholieke, Belgium, and 12 by Erasmus in the Netherlands.

Professor Baden-Fuller, who has a chair at Erasmus, said business schools in Scandinavia and the Netherlands had advantages over their UK counterparts in terms of size. Although they have fewer universities, the business schools are larger in scale. The UK had 14 schools in the top 25, with Israel and the Netherlands its closest rivals with three each.

Professor Baden-Fuller dismissed the suggestion that this was yet another league table for business schools to worry about.

"This ranking shows where the best young faculty staff want to go and work. It will be an antecedent to other league tables, such as MBA rankings."

The top ten business schools in Europe, ranked by number of written research articles 1995-2000 are:

* London Business School, UK (152)

* Insead, France (149)

* Tel Aviv University, Israel (80)

* Warwick University, UK (64)

* Umist/Manchester, UK (63)

* Erasmus Rotterdam, Netherlands (62)

* Tilburg University, Netherlands (58)

* Cambridge University, UK (55)

* University of Nottingham, UK (50)

* University of Groningen, Netherlands (47).

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