Welcome to our new look MBA-Zine

Newly appointed MBA Director, Dr Colin Higgins talks about the challenges facing MBA programs globally – and outlines what Deakin is doing to ensure its program remains valued by employers and the community.

Dr Colin Higgins

It’s a delight to present our second MBA newsletter for 2014 as we welcome back the students for Trimester Two. There’s lots going on for us in the education sector – you would have read about changes to higher education policy announced in the federal budget, but there are other broader socio-cultural changes occurring too.

The MBA has been recognised the world over as providing a solid grounding in the vocabulary of business – but this is now changing. The MBA is now over 50 years old – it having developed in a time when few managers had undergraduate business qualifications. The picture is now different – most managers have studied business and now have a basic background in business. Does this mean the MBA has to change? What is its role? Who are the students of the future? What are their expectations for postgraduate study?

It is not just the content of the MBA that is changing – there are also changes afoot in how we teach. You might have heard of MOOCs (Massive Online Open Courses) – units (and indeed whole courses) offered online, mostly for free by many reputable universities. Universities from all over the world are offering units in areas as diverse as statistics, philosophy, history, marketing and sociology – all online, all free. We’re wondering what that means for us – universities in Australia – with classrooms, large investments in libraries, and bureaucracies associated with student administration, assessment and examination. Will we still be relevant in 20 years time? Is our business model sustainable?

We know that business education requires more than just ‘content’ and the ‘basics’ of business – it also requires experts who are active researchers and practitioners who are able to ‘curate’ the educational experience for students. Our approach is increasingly about ‘experience’ and ‘integration’ – we strive to expose you to business situations in which you need to work with others to solve real business problems. We’re in the business of ‘value-adding’ business knowledge – what works? Why? How do all of the bits of business fit together? How do you deal with the ‘messy problems’?

Next year we’re introducing our new MBA Capstone Unit - the eight unit to be completed as part of the MBA core. We’re very excited about this development – we’ve had a custom designed computer simulation developed that provides a real, hands-on and tailored business experience. Our MBA students will complete their core by running a company, responding to contemporary issues, and reflecting on their management style and value-creation logic.

We also know that an MBA education is not just about sitting in the classroom – we’re also striving to extend the learning beyond the classroom – and beyond graduation – with a range of career-oriented and professional development events that ensure you stay career ready, networked, and in touch with new thinking and new ideas. Check out our new ‘MBA Connect’ site – sign up and connect with current and past students – and other key industry contacts.  

MBA Connect
One major innovation we’re relaunching is our very own professional social networking site ‘MBA Connect’ – this is a dedicated site, connected with LinkedIn, that enables you to connect with MBA graduates and current students. Perhaps you have a job opening – share it with you Deakin colleagues. Perhaps you want to draw on the expertise of your peers to start up a business, access professional advice, or solve a business problem. It’s free to join – and it is a community free of junk and advertising.

 

Dr Colin Higgins
MBA Director

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