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Poll points to rise in online delivery of customised courses in 2013

Nearly half of companies polled by the FT expect the proportion of customised executive education delivered online to rise in the coming year from relatively low levels to date, writes Adam Palin.

Among the 120 corporate customers that completed the survey, the majority (82 per cent) of courses commissioned with business schools in 2012 had less than a quarter of content delivered online. Only 8 per cent had the majority of their tuition and assessment co-ordinated online. However, 49 per cent of companies expect more of their customised courses to be conducted online in 2013.

Convenience is the greatest advantage of online executive education, according to 38 per cent of respondents. A further 23 per cent and 21 per cent cited time and cost savings respectively.

Reservations about online delivery relate mainly to perceived losses in interaction and networking opportunities, cited by 35 per cent and 26 per cent of companies respectively.

Commissioning organisations hold great sway over the direction of executive education. Those polled allocate an average of 25 per cent of learning and development budgets to business schools’ executive courses.


Executives now have a ‘greater appreciation of exercise’

Executives often fail to get enough exercise and relaxation, writes Charlotte Clarke, but they are better than they used to be, says one expert. Howard Berg, director of the Columbia Business School executive wellbeing programme, says that when the programme was launched in 1976, executives tended to be heavy-drinking, heavy-smoking men. Now, executives – male and female – have a “greater appreciation of exercise”, he says. “Wellbeing components enhance the academic performance of executives, making them more robust, sharper and healthier, with a better work output.”


Tailored teaching for Africa’s managers

Africa’s first Mooc ( massive open online course) is to be launched next month by the African Management Initiative, a Johannesburg-based non-profit organisation dedicated to tackling the continent’s shortage of trained managers, writes Adam Palin.

The web-based non-degree programme will be tailored for Africa’s managers – a market poorly served by traditional business schools, which are often too expensive, says Rebecca Harrison, AMI programme director. ­

As people in Africa access the internet principally by mobile device, the course will be designed “mobile first” and will not require high bandwidth.

Two leading business schools – Gordon Institute of Business Science in Pretoria, South Africa, and Lagos Business School in Nigeria – will collaborate with the AMI on Africa-specific content.

Like other Moocs, the course will be free, although students can pay for a certificate of completion.


Niche markets: specialist courses around the world

Advanced certificate in luxury

Do you struggle to differentiate between Primark and Chanel? Then this course is probably not for you, writes Laurent Ortmans. For more glamorous executives, it is offered by HEC Paris and Bocconi University in Milan.

Election campaign management programme

There is apparently more to an election campaign than empty promises, fake smiles and handshakes. This course, taught by Iese Business School in Spain, aims to give you the keys to electoral success.

Advanced leadership in action: Kilimanjaro

A must for chief executives who want to get rid of their middle managers for a while, this programme from Michigan:Ross takes managers on a gruelling mountainous trek through Tanzania.

Penn executive veterinary leadership programme

Bored with treating cats and dogs? This programme from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton business school and veterinary school covers topics from species-hopping diseases and food security to disaster preparedness and poverty.

Management diploma for athletes

Intended for sportsmen and women who did not make it as TV presenters, this programme at Stockholm School of Economics will accelerate their move from action hero to business hero.

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