Monday, September 11, 2006

European Masters in Management v. M.B.A

Not long ago, J2T noted that the French are surprisingly good at maths if you consider the world’s most prestigious prize for mathematics – the Fields Medal (often described as math's equivalent of the Nobel prize).

We also noticed that the best French mathematicians came from the famous French Grandes Ecoles, particularly the Ecole Normale Supérieure (also known by its acronym of ENS), probably the most prestigious higher education establishment in France.

Today, The Financial Times ranked the best European Masters in Management programs and there too France does well because of its Grandes Ecoles:

France’s dominance is not surprising, as management studies have always attracted the brightest and the best through the country’s elite Grande Ecole system.

However, the story is quite different when it comes to MBA programs where the US dominates as excepted. In the top 10 MBA programs, all are American but one (INSEAD which is Franco-Singaporean).
The #1 MBA program is
Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, the first American business school established in 1881. France only rabks #22 there with HEC (also one of the most prestigious French Grandes Écoles, founded in 1881 by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Paris.)

The difference between MBAs and Management programs is that the MBA degree usually requires years of work experience whereas masters in management programs are usually intended for those who have recently graduated from undergraduate degrees. In this light, the results are not very surprising, and they say a lot about the differences between France and the U.S.

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