IVY League University of Chicago plans to expand it graduate business education in South East Asia by offering a new executive MBA programme to tap the rising unemployment rate among senior executives, says its managing director Beth Bader.
Most people go to school during the slow times. We expect applications for our MBA programmes to increase this year, she told StarBiz in an interview in Kuala Lumpur.
We see a lot of downsizing in the corporate world and it makes individuals take a step back and analyse the bleak state they are in.
They are concerned about their job and would want to make a change, she said, adding that it received on average, 170 to 200 applications per intake for a programme in its Asian campus, which is based in Singapore.
The new Executive MBA programme offers a part-time structure that can be stretch up to four years and is available in the North America, Europe (Barcelona) and Asia (Singapore) campuses.
The programme consists of 16 residential sessions and participants are expected to work about 10 to 15 hours per week on course-related readings and assignments and keep in contact with faculty and colleagues through electronic communication.
Courses are identical to those taught at the North American and European campuses but are offered on a different schedule.
The school takes in only 84 applicants for each programme.
Bader said employed individuals were less likely to get financing for their education.
It would also mean less time off from work to study.
Increasingly, the costs in acquiring and hiring faculty members had became an expensive affair to the non-profit making school.
We have to continue to attract them (faculty members) in order to remain competitive in the education market.
Besides offering a lucrative salary package, we have to provide a good environment for them to teach and conduct research, she added.
Ranked as one of the top three US business schools and rated number two globally for its graduate programmes by BusinessWeek last year, University of Chicago had secured quality faculty members to boost its global education ranking for the past few years.
We are careful not to dilute our education quality. We have to limit our programmes and students because our world-class faculty members have to shuttle between our Barcelona, US and Singapore campuses, Bader said.
Faculty members include Robert Fogel, a Nobel Prize Winner, Ronald Burt, a behavioural scientist specialising in business networking, Ray Ball, an accounting and corporate governance expert and Lars Stole, a micro economist.