Saïd Business School dean: MBA students motivated by more than salary
Nick Moore
China's business schools may have performed strongly in MBA rankings published last year, but that does not necessarily mean they are outperforming Western institutions in terms of research or student satisfaction, Dean of Saïd Business School at Oxford University Peter Tufano told CGTN on Thursday.
In an interview on the sidelines of the Boao Forum for Asia in Hainan Province, Tufano said that recent Financial Times' rankings of global MBA courses were driven primarily by graduate salaries – a factor that doesn't represent business schools' “fundamental mission”.
Tufano said that most young MBA graduates were instead motivated by more personal factors, beyond how much they could go on to earn.
The Financial Times Global MBA Rankings have seen a growing number of Chinese business schools climb the list alongside Saïd Business School and Harvard Business School in recent years.
The 2019 list saw the Shanghai-based China Europe International Business School ranked fifth in the world.
However, Tufano highlighted that more than 40 percent of the rankings are based on salaries three years after graduating, compared with just three percent from student satisfaction and 10 percent from research.
Tufano looked to praise the work of China-based business schools and called them “vibrant and competitive”, pointing to a cooperation program between Saïd Business School, MIT in the U.S. and the Guanghua School of Management at Peking University – “three great universities” on three continents.
The Saïd Business School has set up several start-up programs in recent years, with Tufano pointing to potentially groundbreaking projects at Oxford, such as using 3D imaging to detect metastatic cancer cells or the formation of a travel platform for disabled travelers which was bought out by Airbnb.
The startup sector is no longer concentrated on one hub in Silicon Valley, with various centers of creativity emerging worldwide in the U.S., Europe and China. “With so many ideas in the world,” Tufano said he was not worried about the future of entrepreneurship at Oxford, adding that it was natural for China to produce more startups, given its size.
Asked whether young Chinese entrepreneurs would face a greater burden of social and environmental responsibility in future, given the size of China's economy, Tufano said, “the burdens that we bare are not defined by nationality.”
While people living in areas with greater sustainability problems are evidently more aware of such issues, Tufano said people who had grown up fortunate had “a special burden,” adding that having “privilege came with a great deal of responsibility”.