News roundup

Poll on where the graduates go; getting women on boards; the wisdom of Confucius

Poll: what happens to overseas students leaving European schools?

The reputation of Europe’s business schools may attract international students, but they stay on for job opportunities and quality of life, writes Adam Palin. More than one-third of non-European graduates of European schools continue to live in the region three years after graduation, an FT poll found.

In a survey completed by 815 individuals who graduated from European schools in 2009 with MBA, masters in finance or masters in management degrees, 35 per cent live in Europe today – half of whom reside in the UK. Asked why they stayed on, the majority cited employment prospects and standard of living.

Among the 65 per cent who have left Europe since graduating, job opportunities were the leading reason. For half of these, wanting to return to their home country was a decisive factor.

Pessimism about the European economy is also likely to have been significant for many. Among those surveyed, 68 per cent predicted a negative outlook for the eurozone economy over the coming year.

This contrasts with only 13 per cent who believe the global economy will be in worse shape in 12 months.

When asked which European economies they are most pessimistic about, Greece and Spain came top, cited by 83 and 76 per cent of respondents respectively. Nearly three-quarters (73 per cent) have an optimistic outlook for Germany.

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Getting balance in the boardroom

EU justice commissioner Viviane Reding’s plan for mandatory quotas of women on company boards may have been watered down but the campaign continues with business schools’ help, writes Charlotte Clarke. On December 12, the Global Board-Ready Women database will launch on LinkedIn, the networking site. Companies will be able to search the database, while women will be invited to join based on their experience.

Iese in Spain for example, has identified 900 women in top executive positions. IMD in Switzerland has recommended 348 alumni, London Business School 330 and Bocconi in Italy 300 alumni and faculty.

So far 40 members have been approved to join the group with another 42 pending approval. The FT Non-Executive Directors’ Club is assisting with the admin process.

www.ft.com/b-school/women

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New thinking from an ancient name

Study the past if you would define the future, wrote Confucius, the Chinese philosopher and teacher. It is a lesson that the UK’s Leeds University Business School might put into practice as it opens its International Business Confucius Institute, writes Della Bradshaw.

The Institute is just one of three in Europe that have a focus on business – the other two are at LSE in London and in ­Copenhagen. Like other Confucius centres, the focus will be on the language and culture, says Peter Buckley, professor of international business at Leeds.

“We’ll have a range of courses for those who know nothing about Mandarin right through to those who know a lot but want to know business language in Chinese.”

Many business people find Chinese language and culture daunting, says Prof Buckley. “There’s something quite terrifying about China.” So the institute will try and adapt its courses to what UK businesses need when they plan to move into the Chinese market. Prof Buckley also hopes the Institute will act as a meeting place for Chinese companies that want to work in the UK.

To set up the institute, which Prof Buckley says should eventually be self-financing, two fellows will move from China to the UK, though not until the spring of 2013.

“One of the first things we will be teaching people [about the Chinese culture],” says Prof Buckley, “is patience.”

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