SEE pro­vides nu­mer­ous op­por­tu­ni­ties for MBA train­ing

Top 100 See - - See Leadership - By Liliya Chau­sheva

SEE hosts 61 busi­ness schools across ten coun­tries, ac­cord­ing to com­piled data in a sur­vey car­ried out by SeeNews Re­search & Pro­files on MBA train­ing in English in the re­gion. Th­ese uni­ver­si­ties of­fer some 90 MBA pro­grammes, ei­ther full-time or part-time. While not wide­spread, dis­tance learn­ing, which pro­vides more flex­i­bil­ity, is also avail­able.

In terms of num­ber of busi­ness schools, the sit­u­a­tion varies greatly from coun­try to coun­try. Turkey and Greece have es­tab­lished them­selves as re­gional busi­ness train­ing hubs with 16 and 13 busi­ness schools, re­spec­tively. They are fol­lowed by Ser­bia, Ro­ma­nia, Croa­tia, Bul­garia and Slove­nia, which have be­tween four and nine busi­ness schools each. By con­trast, the low­est num­ber of busi­ness schools was reg­is­tered in Mace­do­nia, Moldova and Bos­nia and Herze­gov­ina. Turkey is also the coun­try with the long­est tra­di­tion in MBA train­ing, as some of its busi­ness schools have been of­fer­ing MBA pro­grammes for sev­eral decades now. By com­par­i­son, the busi­ness schools in Sofia, Bel­grade and Sara­jevo were all set up after 2000. Statis­tics shows that most stu­dents who opt for an MBA de­gree are al­ready ex­pe­ri­enced man­agers. In other words, they have gained sev­eral years of ex­pe­ri­ence be­fore en­rolling in a univer­sity pro­gramme. The av­er­age pre-en­rol­ment ex­pe­ri­ence ranges from five to eleven years, with most man­agers hav­ing worked for seven years. Although in some cases no ex­pe­ri­ence is re­quired, stu­dents at th­ese schools have ex­pe­ri­ence of up to three years. SEE busi­ness schools are open to for­eign stu­dents. The share of stu­dents com­ing from abroad may reach the im­pres­sive 90% but in the vast ma­jor­ity of the cases the fig­ure is more mod­est. It is com­mon to see a share of for­eign stu­dents of not more than 12-15% of the over­all num­ber of stu­dents.

When it comes to gen­der is­sues, ap­par­ently MBA progammes are no longer ex­clu­sively re­served for men be­cause more and more fe­male man­agers de­cide to pur­sue MBA stud­ies. In some cases, the share of fe­male stu­dents ex­ceeds 50%. In other busi­ness schools the share of fe­male stu­dents stands at 35-39%. Re­gard­ing the es­ti­mated num­ber of stu­dents for the 2013/2014 aca­demic year, fig­ures again vary to a large ex­tent but they prove that the in­ter­est in MBA stud­ies has not faded. The num­ber of new stu­dents de­pends on many fac­tors, among which the size of the busi­ness school, the plans of the school, the in­ter­est in spe­cific stud­ies, etc. Thus, the num­ber of new­com­ers ranges from 27 to 120 for the 2013/2014 aca­demic year.

With­out doubt, mo­ti­va­tion is a ma­jor fac­tor for all MBA stu­dents. In some cases, they feel mo­ti­vated be­cause their em­ployer fi­nances their MBA stud­ies, ei­ther par­tially or fully. Most of­ten, the share of com­pa­nies which fully pay the tu­ition of their em­ploy­ees stands at be­tween 21% and 32%. There are ex­cep­tions to that rule as the share may come in un­der 10% for some schools or it may jump to 50% for oth­ers.

Mo­ti­va­tion to pur­sue MBA stud­ies may also be trig­gered by prospects to climb the cor­po­rate lad­der after grad­u­a­tion. It is dif­fi­cult to ob­tain spe­cific fig­ures about that in­di­ca­tor in par­tic­u­lar but there are cases in which 60% or even 70% of MBA grad­u­ates were of­fered a promotion three years after earn­ing the MBA de­gree. The in­di­ca­tor is dif­fi­cult to fol­low be­cause of­ten the promotion does not oc­cur right after grad­u­a­tion. An­other ma­jor is­sue for all po­ten­tial MBA stu­dents is the tu­ition fee. Fees start from 10,000 euro and may reach 35,000 euro a year. Usu­ally, the tu­ition fee is lower in the Western Balkans and Bul­garia, while the amount is higher at Turk­ish busi­ness schools.

Im­age by Jenny Rollo

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