Insead MBA
Photographic evidence from the early days of Insead, the first European school to offer an MBA, suggests there was fun to be had amid the number crunching and late-night report writing © Dreamstime

Students’ decisions about where to study are more than academic

Choosing where to study abroad is complicated. Would-be students must weigh up costs, visas, schools and languages – but what about the weather?

An FT poll of business graduates who moved countries to study in Europe found that less practical considerations play a part – and that their experiences conform to national stereotypes. The 855 graduates surveyed completed an MBA, masters in management or masters in finance in 2010 in the UK (37 per cent), France (25 per cent) or Spain (17 per cent). After the school itself, quality of life was important to 32 per cent.

Most (90 per cent) who chose Spain reported a high quality of life during study, above those who moved to France or the UK (78 per cent and 82 per cent respectively). And, while 66 per cent and 82 per cent of alumni of French and UK schools respectively saw the cost of living during study as expensive, only a third of those who studied in Spain agreed.

Asked what they enjoyed about Spain, 70 per cent cited the climate. Food and drink were the best aspects of non-academic life in France (69 per cent). The UK fared badly on these measures – 64 per cent disliked the weather – but the culture and people were rated most highly.


Getting a perspective on the business of art

Art for art’s sake, insisted the 19th-century French slogan. It did not work out quite that way, and art is now also a major asset class.

The University of Cambridge’s Judge Business School has launched an elective for MBA students with an interest in art and commerce. The course gives an insight into key players in the art market – including artists, auction houses, dealers and galleries – and looks at artists’ creative life cycles and the value of authenticity.

The elective is no soft option – quantitative models are used to value art schools and compare investment risks and returns relative to stocks and bonds.


Baroness Thatcher gets Oxford honour in the end

24th January 1950: Miss Margaret Roberts busy with her work as a research chemist. Margaret Roberts went on to become Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
Baroness Thatcher, who died in April, studied chemistry at Oxford in the 1940s © Getty Images

The University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School is to pay tribute to Margaret Thatcher by naming its new building in her honour.

The former British prime minister was acrimoniously refused an honorary doctorate by Oxford dons in 1985, amid government cuts to higher education spending. Baroness Thatcher, who died in April, studied chemistry at Oxford in the 1940s.

Wafiq Saïd, the institution’s eponymous benefactor and a “long-time admirer” of Baroness Thatcher according to the school, is behind the naming of the £28m extension, below. Mr Saïd has donated £70m to the school’s development since its foundation in 1996.

The Thatcher Business Education Centre – which formally opened in February – gives Oxford Saïd greater capacity to deliver lucrative executive education courses.

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