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Seven Canadian business schools have made the list of 39 “elite global” institutions sought out by international employers who hire MBA graduates, according to a new survey.

The QS Global 200 Business Schools Report, billed as an alternative to rankings, evaluates schools by region, specialization and other criteria based on responses from 3,300 employers around the world who actively recruit master of business administration graduates.

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Harvard Business School, INSEAD of France and the London Business School lead the pack of “elite global” schools that are international in focus, admit only experienced candidates with high marks on the graduate management admission test (GMAT) and are highly valued by employers. The seven schools from Canada make up the second-largest contingent on the list, compared to 15 from the United States and three from Britain.

The Canadian schools are: Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University in Montreal; HEC Montréal (affiliated with the Université de Montréal); the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto; Queen’s School of Business in Kingston, Ont.; Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ont.; Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver and the Schulich School of Business at York University in Toronto.

Despite Europe’s financial woes, MBA graduates of top European schools have higher average salaries than their North American counterparts, according to the report. “Despite the ongoing Eurozone crisis, graduates of Europe’s top business schools are increasingly in demand for their ability to lead and innovate in the workplace,” QS managing director Nunzio Quacquarelli comments in a statement. “This year’s report finds record numbers of companies turning toward hiring MBAs, underlining the value of the qualification in today’s global economy.”

In other categories identified in the report, three Canadian schools are named as “emerging global” business schools whose reputation among employers extends beyond their geographic region. They are the University of Saskatchewan’s Edwards School of Business; Simon Fraser University’s Segal Graduate School of Business and the University of Alberta’s School of Business.

Among 20 “elite regional” business schools identified as well-regarded by employers within their region, three Canadian institutions make the North American list: the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University in Hamilton, the John Molson School of Business at Concordia University in Montreal and the University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business.

The report confirms a growing trend among global business schools – the rise of specialty graduate programs. European schools scored well on employability and graduate studies, but U.S. schools dominate the list with Harvard rated first by employers in four of 10 subject areas, including corporate social responsibility, entrepreneurship, leadership and strategy.

Ivey and Rotman are the two Canadian schools recognized most frequently by employers for their specialty programs (including finance, information management and innovation), with Ivey listed in nine of 10 subject areas compared to eight for Rotman.

Managing the arts

A chronic complaint by – and about – not-for-profit culture organizations is their lack of expertise in management and administration.

In response, the Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary has developed a new certificate program in collaboration with the Rozsa Foundation, an Alberta-based philanthropy dedicated to building administrative capacity in arts organizations.

This fall, 24 representatives of arts groups in Calgary and several other Alberta communities were selected for the inaugural program that runs for six formal sessions between October and March, with additional one-on-one coaching.

“We have to appreciate the way the arts community works,” says Derek Hassay, academic director of the Rozsa Arts Management Program. “People often fall into it, then start running something and never have a chance to develop their skill sets.”

The foundation recruits the candidates and largely subsidizes the registration fee, while Haskayne delivers the content for a varied group of arts administrators from startup puppet companies and long-established theatre and ballet groups.

“The responsibilities and roles that arts managers play is even more crucial now than it used to be,” observes Mary Rozsa de Coquet, president of the foundation that holds an annual event to honour top arts managers in Alberta. Ms. Rozsa de Coquet teamed this year with the Alberta School of Business at the University of Alberta in Edmonton to develop a new course in arts management, the only one of its kind in Western Canada.

The centrepiece of the new program at Haskayne is an “action learning project” that requires participants to work on a problem or opportunity facing their organization. The project has to be supported by the organization’s board, whose directors are in the audience for the final presentation made to Prof. Hassay and Ms. Rozsa de Coquet.

Her foundation, which has invested more than $80,000 in the program, has big ambitions for expanding its reach. “Our goal is that everyone working in the sector will have an opportunity to become a graduate of this program,” says Ms. Rozsa de Coquet, whose ultimate goal is to make Alberta the leader in arts management in Canada.

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

Contact Jennifer at jlewington@bell.net.

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