Study in the UK MBA Panel: What We Learned |

Study in the UK MBA Panel: What We Learned

By Pavel Kantorek

Updated May 3, 2016 Updated May 3, 2016

The UK is the world’s second most popular study destination for international students, with only the considerably larger (and more influential on the world stage) US attracting a greater number of students.

It is perhaps no surprise that so many choose to study in the UK. The UK can, after all, offer a host of highly ranked institutions, a capital city in London, which is among the few that can vie for the title of world’s capital, cultural and economic power which belies the country’s relatively diminutive stature, and of course, the advantages offered by being able to study, live and work in an Anglophone environment (albeit one which is also one which is profoundly multicultural).

In terms of the history of the MBA in the UK, the UK was one of the first countries outside of the US to take to the MBA, with London Business School and Manchester Business leading the charge in the 1960s. The country’s schools can therefore boast a rich pedigree in the world of business education.

When the QS World MBA Tour came to London recently, Manchester Business School, Cranfield School of Management, Imperial College Business School, Cass Business School, Aston Business School, and Oxford Saïd Business School all got together for a panel discussion, entitled ‘Study in the UK’. With many UK schools moving to offer an online MBA, this became a key area of discussion.

Key Points from the Study in the UK MBA Panel

Here are the some of the key points from the panel…

1. UK schools – and European schools in general – are very international. You can work with faculty and peers from around the world. It’s a very good mix for both international students and UK students who are looking to gain more international exposure.

2. Most programs in the UK and Europe are one-year MBA programs, targeting more experienced candidates. It’s a different starting point. Your fellow students become a learning resource – it’s not the same mindset as being taught.

3. Many of these older candidates have a different attitude to those just starting out, in that many are close to being done with the corporate world. They’ve done their due diligence and now, not necessarily straightway given they’ll have an MBA to pay off, are looking to work towards becoming entrepreneurs.

4. The friends you make, the relationships you build, and the interpersonal skills you develop are central to the MBA experience. You learn about yourself and how to deal with difficulties when working with other people in a classroom setting,  but it remains to be seen if the online MBA can replicate this.

5. There are mixed reviews from employers on online MBA programs at present – the feeling is that an EMBA might currently be held in slightly higher regard, since it affords better opportunities to network.

This article was originally published in May 2016 .

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Written by

Mansoor is a contributor to and former editor of He is a higher and business education specialist, who has been published in media outlets around the world. He studied English literature at BA and MA level and has a background in consumer journalism.


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