When The Financial Times’ ranking came out in January, one of the biggest winners of all was Yale University’s School of Management. The school climbed four places to finish in the world’s Top Ten for the first time in seven years.
The reason for the upswing? Dean Edward “Ted” Snyder’s highly successful efforts to make SOM the most global of the U.S. business schools. Now the school is upping the ante yet again on Snyder’s strategy. Yale announced yesterday (Feb. 27) that it is introducing a global studies requirement to its MBA program.
The school’s faculty voted to expand an existing International Experience course requirement into what it is describing as “a broader, more flexible” prerequisite for all MBA candidates. Now students will have to complete before graduation at least one of the following:
- An International Experience course
- A Global Network Week
- A Global Network course
- The Global Social Entrepreneurship course
- The Global Social Enterprise course
- A semester-long international exchange with a partner school
A NATURAL OUTGROWTH OF THE SCHOOL’S NOVEL PARTNERSHIP
Anjani Jain, senior associate dean of SOM’s MBA program, says the new requirement is a natural outgrowth of the school’s novel partnership among more than two dozen business schools across the world that share research, teaching materials and students called the Global Network For Advanced Management.
The schools range from the Asian Institute of Management in the Philippines to the University of Indonesia Faculty of Economics. But there are a number of highly prominent members as well, including IE Business School in Spain, IMD in Switzerland, INSEAD in France and Singapore, HEC Paris in France, the London School of Economics in Britain, the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore, and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Business School in China.
“This was a fairly active discussion over the last year. especially with the launch of the new global network which has already begun to engage large numbers of students,” said Jain in an interview with Poets&Quants. “It is something that we were thinking about for awhile, and it supports our aspirations to be the most distinctly global of the U.S. business schools.”
Among other things, the new requirement encourages SOM students to take one of an increasing number of anti-MOOC courses that are a direct result of the network. Dubbed SNOCs, rather than MOOCs, by Dean Snyder, the acronym stands for Small Networked Online Courses which are offered virtually by a member school and open to students from throughout the network.
Launched as a pilot last fall, the first couple of SNOCs were on mobile banking, in which students from six schools enrolled, and global antitrust law. So far this year, two more courses are being offered: Natural Capital: Risks and Opportunities in Global Resource Systems and New Product Development. The former course, says Jain, has 66 students in it from 11 network schools. The latter is being offered by a professor from Technion, the Israel Institute of Technology.
“Instead of trying to do it all on our own, we are much more effective using a network as a basic resource and a tool of innovation,” explains Jain. “In these courses, students are divided up into teams with members from different schools and had to work across boundaries.”
The network, in Jain’s view, has an added benefit that derives from the fact that business schools are coming of age in a wide range of countries and regions in the world. “Students in Shanghai and Bangalore now often see the best economic opportunities right in their own regions. They no longer see a U.S. school as the only or best alternative to economic opportunity.” So the network, he believes, is able to tap into some of the world’s best business students and faculty no matter where they are.