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Business schools standards very diverse, says Council for Excellence


A report in today's Daily Telegraph looks at the role of the Council for Excellence in Management and Leadership in improving and maintaining standards in Britain's business schools.

Since the council was set up in April to 'ensure that the UK is able to develop the managers and leaders of the future to match the best in the world and to sustain the UK’s competitive performance', it has been undertaking research into the way that management education is organised and delivered, focussing in particular on business school provision for smaller firms. The initial report on its findings, conducted using interviews with those involved in providing and undertaking study at business schools across Britain was completed at the end of July.

Michael Becket, the author of the article, says that although there are more than 100 business schools in Britain which offer MBAs, they are a 'pretty mixed bunch'. Although a number of colleges have global standing, such as Cranfield, Warwich Manchester and Imperial College, the Association of MBAs has commented itself on the variation in standards, saying that "There is considerable diversity within the business school sector."

Nevertheless, Britain's business schools across the board are successful both at home and internationally, according to the Association of Business Schools. The 'better schools' are almost all full, although Becket notes that there is a shortage of both lecturers and funding to pay for them and other facilities at market rates. By contrast, American business schools have excelled in raising funds from business and alumni alike.

When looking at the provision of services to small business, researchers for the council have so far found that the Business Link facilities are failing to act as a single source of advice and help, as was intended for them to do. Instead, they would like to see a system of internet-based learning combined with mentoring provided by business schools, and are looking towards the newly-launched Small Business Service to fill the gap.

The Council is currently looking for participants for the next round of research into Further Education and management. Interested parties should complete the e-mail form at


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