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AMBA – MBAs should be taught face-to-face

May 13, 2014  |  
Karam Filfilan

businessman resizeMBAs should continue to focus on face-to-face learning despite the rise of distance programs and internet technology, the Association of MBAs has claimed.


Speaking at the accreditation providers Deans & Directors Conference, AMBA chief executive Andrew Main Wilson cited the benefits of face-to-face learning and revealed that even major international companies like Google prefer face-to-face communication.


“Despite the rise of online learning, the face-to-face element still remains the strongest part of the MBA learning experience”, said Andrew Main Wilson.


His thoughts were echoed by speakers from Google France.


“Google’s corporate culture relies on the concept ‘Food, fun, data’, and we encourage the idea of our employees eating together and enjoying one another’s company, as that allows ideas to spread easily”, said Nick Leeder, managing director at Google France, who urged business schools to create the right conditions for stimulating creativity and innovation.


Nevertheless, Leeder reminded the business school audience of the importance of the world’s largest network and the benefits of utilising breakthrough technology: “If the Internet were a country, it would be 5th in the world’s GDP rankings, ahead of Germany and France.”


The Association of MBA’s International Conference for Deans and Directors, which took place last week in Paris (from 28 to 30 April), had the highest ever attendance, attracting over 250 delegates from 127 business schools in 47 countries. Under the banner ‘MBA Education – Views from the Top’, the conference discussed the challenges and opportunities business school Deans and MBA Directors face in MBA Education in 2014/2015 and onwards.  


Speakers from the leading business schools around the world, as well as senior representatives from companies such as Google, Apple and Infosys and researchers from GMAC and ETS discussed the current and future trends in MBA education and business.


Andrew Main Wilson pointed out that in just one generation (20 years), one million MBAs will graduate from 215 AMBA-accredited schools, highlighting that the MBA is a multi-billion dollar industry, equalling $25 billion revenue over 20 years. “Those 1 million MBAs form a huge group of global leaders who will play an enormous role in shaping the future of business, politics, environment and even the future of many countries”, he said.


The MBA business education trends for 2015 and onwards will revolve around:


  • Global partnerships between schools
  • Further differentiation in the design of the MBA programmes
  • The rise of MBA programmes in emerging and developing countries (“Learn business where business is being done”)
  • The rise of online learning
  • Further integration of entrepreneurship and sustainability elements into the MBA curriculum
  • Experiential learning
  • Design thinking

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