During a recent trip to Latin American, I moderated a roundtable on the future of management education in Brazil. When the transcript is done, we will post it on this blog, as we did with our roundtable on the future of management education in Germany.
I came away with some general impressions and initial contrasts with the situation in Germany. First, whereas Germany has created many new MBA programs in the last few years, most of which are full-time and often extensions of their first degrees, new programs in Brazil and Latin America in general are part-time and many are long-established.
I found that the topics covered in both German and Brazilian business schools are converging to a more or less worldwide norm with best practices coming through in text books and cases that are common across many countries.
In Brazil with regard ...
In Brazil with regard to research emphasis, there seems to be a difference between the traditional, university-based business schools and the newer business schools that do not usually have a university affiliation. Traditional scholarship in peer reviewed journals seems to be more rewarded in the former than in the latter. Both types of schools, however, strive for relevant teaching, with the newer schools having much of the teaching done by practicing professionals.
A very interesting question involved the balance between educating students for local and regional opportunities and/or educating them to join world companies. Many of the most promising students who want international opportunities still go to Europe and North America for the MBA degree and a high percentage work elsewhere for several years.
In Germany, the deans predicted that the faculty model of the future would emphasize scholarship more, while in Brazil there was no consensus with predictions of both more scholarship and a continuation of part-time faculties.
In Latin America, the mood is cautiously optimistic for political and economic stability; and Brazil, as always, seems to be poised to play an enormous role in the economy of the region and the world, and, as it has been seen in Asia, business education will follow economic growth.
On this trip to Peru, Chile, and Brazil, we saw many well-prepared and enthusiastic prospective MBA students who are investigating programs around the world. I wish them all the best and I know that we will see many of them at Tuck in the future.