It was just 15 years ago that the voices of outraged dons reverberated through the corridors of the University of Oxford, in protest at the mere thought that the ancient institution would have a business school. Now, it seems, departments are lining up to take advantage of a scheme for their students to learn about business.
The university is in the final stage of approval of a “1+1” programme, which will enable students to study an Oxford specialist master’s degree and an MBA in two years. It is all part of the strategy of Peter Tufano, Saïd Business School’s newly appointed dean, to enable the school to take on the big guns in the US, including Wharton and Harvard, Prof Tufano’s alma mater.
His logic is hard to fault. It is, he says about “depth plus breadth” – the deep dive of a master’s degree in a specialist subject, such as environmental management or education, and the breadth of a business degree.
After the core courses, students can choose from more than 100 electives.
At the Kellogg school at Northwestern University, 85 of the 629 students are on an accelerated one-year degree. And Wharton and the Haas school at the University of Berkeley have schemes to extend study, offering executive education programmes to students several years after graduating.
Flexibility and wide coverage are the keys. The double major fit the need for specialized leadership as it adds something diff on the resume