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Red No. 1 sign. (Maksym Bondarchuk/Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Red No. 1 sign. (Maksym Bondarchuk/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Business School News

The Economist ranks Canadian executive MBA program No. 1 globally Add to ...

The Globe’s biweekly business-school news roundup.

The Economist magazine has ranked the Kellogg-Schulich Executive MBA program No. 1 globally in its first survey of top executive MBA programs.

The Kellogg-Schulich EMBA program, which is also ranked No. 1 by the Financial Times of London, is a partnership between the Schulich School of Business at York University in Toronto and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.

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Other Canadian business schools’ rankings are McGill-HEC Montréal EMBA at No. 29 and the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management’s Omnium global executive MBA, offered in partnership with Switzerland-based University of St. Gallen, at No. 35. Montreal-based Concordia University’s Molson School of Business was ranked No. 47 and Rotman’s one-year EMBA ran No. 50. The Economist notes that the school that enrolls the most women is a Canadian one: Concordia’s Molson School, where 41 per cent of students are women.

The Economist comes up with its ranking based on two general criteria: personal development/educational experience and career development. Within those categories, it measures 27 criteria, including the quality of the faculty, the quality and diversity of students, the average salary increase graduates can expect and the percentage of students who receive a promotion after they graduate. The data are a mixture of student- and alumni-reported figures and ratings and data provided by the schools. Joint degrees that are separate to schools’ standalone EMBAs are ranked individually.

Joint programs did particularly well, the Economist says, adding they often rank higher than universities’ standalone programs. It notes this is likely because they are more international and enroll more experienced students.

The Economist plans to run this ranking every two years.

Latin American partnership

Latin America is an increasingly attractive recruitment target for many Canadian business schools. Brazil, for example, ranks as the world’s seventh-largest economy and outranks India and China combined as a source of Canadian overseas investment.

Given the mutual interest, forging alliances is as important for Canadian schools as for prospective students from Latin America.

To that end, McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management this month became the sixth Canadian business school to establish a partnership with the Latin American MBA Alumni Network. Established three years ago, the network now has a membership of 450 Latino students and alumni along with Canadian business schools and employers.

“McGill has hosted students from Latin America for their MBA for many years and found they are great ambassadors to McGill during their studies and beyond,” says Catherine Awad, senior adviser in MBA career management at Desautels. She estimates that up to 20 per cent of Desautels MBA students come from Latin America, with Montreal home to a significant Latino community.

The alliance with the alumni network, she adds, “is a natural partnership that will support our current students as well as our alumni for years to come.”

This year, Desautels ranked first in Canada (and 12th in the world) in a global ranking of MBA programs by América Economica, a major Latin American business publication, according to Desautels spokesman Ron Duerksen.

Through social and other events, the alumni network provides a setting for students and graduates to connect with each other and to meet prospective Canadian employers interested in Latin America. The network is “gaining momentum,” says Alfredo Suarez, the network’s vice-president of membership and university relations, whose organization also assists Canadian business schools eyeing Latin America.

Canadian school joins global network

The Global Business School Network, founded 10 years ago by top international business schools to develop management leadership training in developing economies, has accepted its first Canadian school: Wilfrid Laurier University’s School of Business and Economics.

“We saw a nice alignment with the things we value here,” says Hugh Munro, the school’s MBA director. Business “is not just about for-profit; it is about making a difference and delivering economic and social value.”

The 55-member network includes top-ranked U.S. business schools, such as Columbia University, Cornell University and the University of Chicago, but also includes major institutions from France (INSEAD), Spain (ESADE) and the National University of Singapore.

Prof. Munro hopes that, through the network, Laurier business students will be able to work with their peers from other schools on projects in developing countries. Other schools in the network have collaborated on projects to distribute birthing kits and improve access to potable water.

“I’d like to see more of that brought in to the curriculum and for more of our students to do that kind of stuff,” Prof. Munro says.

For Laurier’s MBA program, he has plans to develop a concentration in sustainability, building on existing courses in strategy, design and innovation, and expanding opportunities for students to work on projects abroad. He expects to have some new initiatives in place by January of 2014.

With some developing countries among the fastest-growing global economies, Prof. Munro says companies have to find new ways of doing business that serve the bottom line and the needs of overseas communities.

“There will be a lot more pressure put on us [in the developed world] and higher expectations of companies, be they in the extraction business or whatever, when they go into these developing countries,” he says. “It is about going in there to do your business and at the same time make a difference in the community. It is in your best interest to do so because you will have a more sustainable economy to support your business.”

Meanwhile, in a separate development, the Canadian Association for Co-operative Education has granted accreditation to Laurier for several of its undergraduate, graduate and specialty business programs that include work terms with employers as part of the program.

Executive-in-residence appointment

A New Brunswick organizational leadership consultant, entrepreneur and business professor has been named to the newly created position of executive-in-residence at the Sobey School of Business at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax.

Merv Symes is president and chief organizational designer of Symplicity Designs, a business consultancy established this year. He is a former vice-president of organizational change at J.D. Irving Ltd., and is a professor of practice at the University of New Brunswick’s technology, management and entrepreneurship program.

At Sobey, Mr. Symes will mentor students on case competitions and assist the school with industry and research partnerships, according to the school.

Queen’s business appointments

Two long-time officials with Queen’s University School of Business have been named to fill two posts. Lori Garnier, formerly director of operations for the school’s undergraduate commerce program has moved up to become executive director. Salman Mufti, who joined the school in 1997 and held various posts, has been named executive director of the school’s executive education program.

With a report from Christina Varga

Follow Jennifer Lewington and Business School News by subscribing to an RSS feed here.

Contact Jennifer at jlewington@bell.net.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect that Concordia University is in Montreal and with the correct name of the McGill-HEC Montréal EMBA program.

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