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Thursday, 29 June 2006

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Richard Edelstein, Principal, Global Learning Networks

Dean Iniguez's analysis of the European market for MBAs, the Bologna Accord and the challenges for French business schools (Grandes Ecoles) in the interview is interesting and accurate. My only point would be that INSEAD is not really a French business school (as they themselves have insisted) as it has always been international in mission and character and is outside the legal framework for education in France. The Grandes Ecoles are excellent schools, but I agree with Dean Iniguez that they will have a tough time competing for Euroopean students given the structure of their programs and the lack of courses in English. They remain very tied to the national employment market though they do require significant experience abroad as a curricular requirement. Unfortunately few schools, as the Dean suggests, emphasize intercultural skills as a real objective of the teaching and foreign language study is available but not taken seriously. There are exceptions of course and the HEC MBA program has succeeded in being innovative and increasingly competitive in the international market for MBAs. It is also noteworthy that there are few MBA programs in France that are competitive in the international market. This may change, but France is an excellent example of how the norms being encouraged by the Bologna Accord will have a very tough time being implemented in many European countries with strong national traditions of nationally oriented degrees.

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