Business Schools Without Borders
Many business schools have a global approach to business and internationalism. The global nature of business now makes it vital that students and academics understand business from different international perspectives. Staying ahead in the business scene is a permanently evolving challenge, and employers are looking for graduates from global business schools that are at the frontiers of innovation.
One of the major positives of globalisation is the cross-border movement of students, faculty and talent. This flow is positive in many ways, both economic and social. In the case of business education, especially in Europe, many business schools have become truly international, with a diversified student class profile that boosts the learning process and produces internationally oriented managers.
China, Japan and India’s economies are in the world’s top ten, reflecting the fact that most global GDP is now generated outside of the US and Europe. This trend is set to continue, with Indonesia and Russia expected to join the top ten by 2050. Understanding international business operations is thus increasingly important for business graduates, and that’s where business schools come in useful.
“Understanding international business operations is thus increasingly important for business graduates, and that’s where business schools come in useful.”
Students must develop a global mentality to succeed in business. Business schools should allow them to see how globalisation has fostered connectedness between businesses, markets, people and information across countries. Working across countries is key for most firms today, and relevant skills developed in business school are much sought after by employers. International business programmes give students an understanding business management practices found all over the world and prepare them for careers working abroad or in organisations engaged in business on a global scale.
The internationality of business schools has been a clear trend in recent years. One of its main strands has been the increase of international partnerships. And it looks like there is set to be a serious increase in these partnerships, including those related to dual degrees and joint degrees. This combination will be of real added value for the student, who will be able to train in two schools and two countries.
There is ever increasing competition among business schools to attract talent, improve their reputation and grow resources. Many US business are report declining application volumes from both domestic and international students. The current political climate in the country is thought to be a major factor behind this, with international students turning towards other countries and/or other types of graduate business degrees. In contrast, graduate business programmes in Europe are reporting increasing numbers of applications.
An example of a truly international business school is the UK’s Henley Business School. Founded in 1945, Henley is one of the oldest business schools in the UK and part of the University of Reading. Its aim is to equip its students with an understanding of what is current, relevant and right in business. It has serious diversity and international reach, with 150 widely published academics from 18 countries and over 7,000 students from more than 140 countries. It has two UK campuses and numerous international campuses.
“There is ever increasing competition among business schools to attract talent, improve their reputation and grow resources.”
International business and strategy is one of six academic areas within Henley Business School, which is home to two of the world’s premier research centres in international business and international business history, the John H. Dunning Centre for International Business and the Centre for International Business History. For over 40 years, Henley has been at the forefront of teaching and research in international business. It continues to help define the research agenda in the fields of international business and international business history.
Lisbon-based ISEG is another school that focuses on internationalisation. It is one of the best schools of economics and management in Portugal, with a strong international reputation. ISEG fosters international mobility by providing the conditions to attract and retain international students, teaching staff and researchers of merit. It offers international courses in conjunction with similar institutions abroad. It also organises and runs conferences and other international events, and it has established special relations with reference partner institutions.
ISEG traces its roots back to the School of Economics and Management (Instituto Superior de Economia e Gestão), which was founded in Lisbon in 1759. It offers seven undergraduate degree programmes, over 20 masters programmes, various doctoral programmes and the ISEG MBA. All are fully recognised and accredited. It also has accredited research centres, and scientific and cultural exchanges at a national and international level play an important role in ISEG’s activities.
The world is shrinking as progress in technology and transportation rapidly increases global opportunities and challenges for businesses. In addition, developing markets are becoming more and more important, creating new challenges. This is where business schools step in and prepare graduates to work in and with these markets. An international business education can change mindsets and increase students’ ability to address these new challenges.