Melbourne Business School, one of the best-known business schools in the Asia-Pacific, has redesigned its full-time MBA by adopting many of the techniques it has fashioned in its executive education programmes.

Zeger Degraeve, recently-appointed dean of MBS, says the new MBA is the first step in the school’s 10-year plan to build a top-ranked business school in Australia. “Preparing the school to be in that league will take time - attracting top students and faculty and reviewing research.” But he believes Australia has real business advantages: “There is energy in Australia and high employment.”

The 12-month degree - it replaces a 16-month programme - will enrol two classes a year, in September and January, and will have fees of Aus$75,000. The shortening of the programme will be compensated for by a heavy workload during the day. But instead of the usual string of lectures, the students will experience a range of pedagogical techniques - lectures, seminars, small group activities, role-playing, case work and so on. “It’s something we see as very effective in executive education,” says Prof Degraeve. “We want our students to work hard.”

Students on the new degree will also learn the sort of personal effectiveness skills taught in executive short courses, such as negotiation skills, career development and communications and they will have mentors and coaching. They will also be able to take part in an internship.

There will also be “integration Fridays” in which faculty from different departments in the business school will team teach, making the connections between marketing and finance, for example.

The programme will begin in September and is already attracting interest, says Prof Degraeve, who joined MBS from London Business School. “We haven’t seen the same interest for a decade.”

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