Studying business abroad is a popular choice for students who want to study industry and gain experience and qualifications with an international focus. Not only are European business schools the ideal place to learn about marketing, operations and management, among other skills, but the value of courses attracts cost-conscious students who do not want to cut down on quality.
Jorge Gutierrez Brenosa at Cesine in Spain agrees. “Price is something that students analyse a lot and European business schools are much cheaper than in America, for example.”
Ann-Kathrin Fortmann at Gisma Business School in Germany explains that since the institution was taken over by Global University Systems (GUS), it is making courses even more appealing to overseas students. “In a ‘typical’ full-time MBA class, it is not unusual to have students from 20-to-30 different countries,” she says. When looking to improve and create new programmes, Fortmann reveals that Gisma tries to capitalise on local resources, and adds that one of their most popular courses is How to Design a Factory. “It is taught in conjunction with the PZH (Hannover Centre for Production Technology) an industrial design research facility...affiliated with the Leibniz Universität, and includes a tour of an award-winning ‘flexible factory’ at Sennheiser Electronics here in Lower Saxony.”
Over the border in France at Audencia Nantes School of Management, around 30 per cent of students are from overseas. Andrew Taylor from the school says, “There are just under 50 nationalities among these students.” He explains that Audencia Nantes has strong partnerships with nine universities in China, and that it is very active in its recruitment drive in the country. “Students from China account for 11 per cent of international students at the school. By being able to offer programmes of a high standard available in English and to reassure students with a triple quality accreditation (AACSB, EQUIS and Amba), Audencia Nantes sends out the right message to Chinese students.”
Kevin Mac Gabhann from EM Strasbourg Business School in France says that they have recently seen an increase in their Chinese students numbers. “[This is] due to our Peking office and our recruiting efforts and strategic partnership with six Chinese universities,” he says, adding that German, North American and Irish students are also key nationalities. “Our two-year Master of International and European Business programme has been inundated with requests from Asian and most notably Chinese students in the past two years,” he adds.
The most popular programmes at Audencia Nantes are those available in English, including international masters’ programmes in Management and a full-time MBA in Responsible Management. “The aim of the programme [the MBA] is to train managers who can embrace responsibility in every aspect of their work, and can therefore innovate for companies, as their differences of approach will generate new ways of doing business,” explains Taylor.
Courses delivered in English are particularly sought after by international students. Elaine Bowman from Neoma Business School in France says, “We have opened up an English track on the BSc in International Business giving students the opportunity to follow a bachelor’s course 100 per cent in English from the first year onwards. The international students appreciate this as it is one of few in France to allow them to study in English from the first year.”
Didier Bouvet from SKEMA Business School in France says that all of their MSc programmes are designed to appeal to international students. “The most recent addition would be MSc Luxury and Fashion Management, launched four years ago, which has been a massive success,” he says, adding, “Many of our MSc programmes are available on several campuses [in the USA, China and France].”
In terms of recruitment, each school has different methods. Brenosa says that at Cesine, they use agents or liaise between universities and colleges. Fortmann says that Gisma does much the same, using their internal education consultants “who are very familiarised with our products and able to provide a tailored service and advice to each student. The consultants are the main connection between the student and the school.”
Audencia Nantes takes a slightly different approach in their recruitment, using the internet and word-of-mouth to publicise their courses. Taylor explains, “The recruitment methods employed by the school include both on-site and online fairs, the extensive use of internet with a stress on education portals and also a greater presence on social networks. At the same time, the impact of word-of-mouth cannot be underestimated.” firstname.lastname@example.org
Europe’s business diversity
Although the price difference between courses in different countries might be a deciding factor for students, why else should Europe be considered for business studies? Andrew Taylor at Audencia Nantes believes it is down to the diversity of courses on offer. He says, “In one relatively small area, students can find many of the world’s major economic players, as well as markets that are ripe for expansion. Such a mix makes Europe attractive and interesting but also complex. Nowhere else in the world can a student find such a dynamic mix of cultures so close together an important factor in business relations.”
Learning about the different cultures means that a student can gain a feel for countries and learn about economics first-hand. Ann-Kathrin Fortmann relates this to Gisma’s home of Germany. “The country offers a wide range of sectors, industries and careers options for international students who aim to stay in the country after graduation.” She also notes that students should be wary of immigration policies if they want or plan to stay for an extended period of time after graduation to find a job.