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The Bird's Nest Effect Makes it Hard to Choose a Business School
Choosing a business school should be easy with more than 10,000 institutions worldwide, but new research from CarringtonCrisp suggests that students find few characteristics that clearly differentiate one school from another. Andrew Crisp, author of The Business of Branding report, supported by the Association of Business Schools (ABS) and EFMD, comments ‘When you plot the characteristics of schools, they tend to be muddled together like the interwoven twigs of a bird’s nest – there’s little that stands out”.
Internationalism is often highlighted as a strength by business schools, but most students take this for granted today. Asked what should be a priority for future investment, ‘Delivering a better international experience’ was in the bottom three out of 14 options offered to respondents. Top of the list were improving rankings and stronger ties to business and industry.
Two areas highlighted in the study where business schools could differentiate themselves are sustainability and career services. Sustainability still doesn’t have a dominant role in decision making among prospective students, but it is growing in importance (32% of specialist business Masters said they looked for a program that provides a range of modules on sustainability).
In the current economic climate the student focus on their post-graduation career prospects is even sharper. The main motivation of business students is to enhance their career prospects, so a school that can demonstrate support and success in this field will stand out, especially if part of their offer is around entrepreneurship and starting your own business.
Despite the importance, of career services only 60% of first degree students say their experience of using them has been useful or very useful and this declines to around 43% among full-time MBAs and other business Masters.
The Business of Branding study was first run in 2004 and has covered more than 100 business schools in 20 countries with over 70,000 respondents. More than 2,000 business students from 90 countries took part in the 2012 Business of Branding study.
An Executive Summary of the full results is available to download free of charge *here*:
For further details, please contact:
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7229 7373