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Saïd Business School has moved to underline its global credentials as fears take hold among UK business schools that Brexit will damage their international standing.
The school at Oxford university has joined the Global Network for Advanced Management to emphasise its links with the rest of the world.
“Joining this network is part of a commitment to saying that we think we have to work together with other schools and we have to be open,” said Kathy Harvey, associate dean responsible for Saïd’s MBA degree programme. She was put in charge of building international ties before the June referendum, but said the task has now gained an added urgency.
Widespread concern has been expressed by business schools that applications from overseas students will drop and staff will leave after Brexit. According to the Higher Education Statistics Agency, 13 per cent of academic business school staff in the UK are EU nationals.
Saïd’s business school building was completed in 2001 with a £23m gift from Wafic Saïd, the Syrian businessman, and its current cohort on the postgraduate degree programme includes students from 58 countries, 94 per cent of them born outside the UK.
Peter Tufano, Saïd’s dean, said: “All great institutions — even Oxford — benefit by working with others.”
Some UK schools hope that the decline in the pound will make their fees cheaper compared with overseas rivals, but most are worried that the UK appears less welcoming to foreigners.
Gnam has eight schools in Europe, nine in Asia and the Pacific Islands, five in the Middle East and Africa and seven in the Americas. These include Insead, whose MBA programme topped last year’s Financial Times global ranking, the London School of Economics and UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business in California.
The network was the brainchild of Ted Snyder, Gnam’s chair and dean at Yale School of Management. He described Oxford as a “global leader with unmatched intellectual resources”, adding that it would strengthen the network’s existing work, sharing case study material and organising student exchange programmes.
Gnam initiatives include an agreement between Yale, HEC Paris and Egade, in Mexico, making it mandatory for first-year MBA students to collaborate across the three continents on certain projects that earn degree credits.
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