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The Oldest and Most Innovative Business School in Korea
Korea University Business School looks ahead to its future years with a new vision of becoming Asia’s top-ranking business school
The Oldest and Most Innovative Business School in Korea
  • By matthew
  • December 15, 2009, 00:00
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KOREA University Business School (KUBS) runs five different MBA programs, the most number of programs offered among all business schools in Korea, and reflecting the various needs of students in today’s fast changing business environment.

The school’s MBA program was the first in Korea to be accredited by both AACSB (the U.S) in 2005 and EQUIS (Europe) in 2007, and has been recognized as Korea’s top MBA program, ranking No.1 for three years consecutively in the Brain Korea 21 evaluation carried out by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology of Korea. The Ministry annually conducts the BK21 evaluation with the aim of fostering world-class graduate schools and an excellent research workforce. In order to be competent as a research oriented institution, KUBS has 84 full-time professors on its faculty, including nine full-time foreign professors, the highest among all business schools in Korea, as well as boasting a solid human network in political, financial, economic and academic circles.

The five MBA programs offered by KUBS include S3 Asia MBA, Global MBA, Finance MBA, Korea MBA and Executive MBA. The S3 Asia MBA program aims to develop experts in Asian business and economy while the Global MBA program aims to foster the future leaders of the global economy. 70% of S3 Asia MBA’s students and 20-30% of Global MBA’s students are international students, with the classes conducted only in English. 60% of the total MBA classes at KUBS are conducted in English only, and the school offers various types of English education and training courses aimed at fostering globally competent future entrepreneurs and leaders. Students of the S3 Asia MBA spend one semester at each of the following three universities; Korea University, Fudan University of China and National University of Singapore. Korea University, Fudan University and National University founded the S3 University Alliance (S3 UA) in 2005 after establishing a common vision for the global economy. Research and education programs initiated under the S3 UA are globally-oriented, with a significant focus on Asia. Students end up receiving the dual MBA degrees when they finish the program.

The Global MBA, comprised of six modules for one year, is an intensive course consisting of practical curriculum that emphasizes case studies and problem-solving rather than business theories. Key features of the program include ABCLP (Action-based Collaborative Learning Project; industrial collaboration), the Student Exchange programs at 58 universities in 22 countries, field trips at home and abroad, a duel degree program with Ohio State University, and the International Residence Program which lasts six to seven weeks. In 2009, the International Residence Program was conducted at Boston University in the U.S. and Bocconi University in Italy for seven weeks. More than 90% of the international students from 27 countries received scholarships under this one year course.

The Finance MBA is a one year program specializing in finance and emphasizing education, and aims to foster financial professionals and leaders who are competent with today’s financial market internationally as well as domestically. In order to achieve this goal, the KU Finance MBA only accepts competitive applicants with at least two years work experience and offers a curriculum specializing in finance and related business practices such as work ethics, theoretical studies, and practice-oriented case studies. The program offers students opportunities to visit foreign financial institutions and prestigious universities and learn on the spot. This year, students studied at the Wharton School for six weeks as a part of the Student Exchange program. And students also visited renowned financial institutions in New York and Hong Kong such as Morgan Stanley and UBS as a part of the International Residence Program to understand and learn up-to-date financial techniques and working processes through the international financial systems. Strictly selected students from renowned financial institutions and finance related government agencies are currently studying the Finance MBA and being trained to become qualified future leaders in their institutions.

The Korea MBA was the first MBA program in Korea. Founded in 1965, the program boasts strong ties with industry and alumni networks due to its long history of business education in Korea. The most attractive characteristic of Korea MBA is that students can still keep their day jobs while taking night classes with the same faculty, curriculum, and electives as full-time students. The Korea MBA continuously develops specialized courses in response to global trends, especially in the areas of technology and information systems. Almost every class takes the team learning approach to train students with collaborative leadership skills, and through this approach students learn to develop leadership abilities while inspiring each other. The Korea MBA was the first in Korea among all night time MBA courses to adopt English lectures, and in fact 30% of all lectures are conducted in English. Student Exchange programs, dual degree MBA programs and field trip opportunities are also available.

The Executive MBA (E-MBA) is a two year master’s program targeting current CEOs and executives who want to become leaders, not just managers. This program helps students shape their capacity to think both functionally and critically, while building the essential knowledge of business functions and innovative thinking. This program is designed for those with at least 10 years work experience and is suitable for those who have the potential to play an important role in their organization. To fulfill the goal of the E-MBA, which is to provide quality education to foster specialists and leaders during an age of competition, the school not only offers educational classes but also courses such as table manners, winetasting and art-viewing. E-MBA students will achieve confidence and competence through these non-academic but essential courses in becoming global leaders.

KUBS, despite the global economic recession, is quickly growing and admissions to the school are becoming increasingly competitive. This increased competition has been driven by the recent economic downturn in which working professionals are turning to MBA programs to prepare for an uncertain future. KUBS has led the increased interest in MBA programs by recording the highest competition. For the past several decades, MBA programs in the Western Hemisphere were many students’ preference. However, with the global economic recession and uncertainty surrounding the U.S. economy, many students have turned to Asia to look for alternative and possibly better options in terms of tuition and proximity. With the rapid emergence of global Korean corporations, international students’ interest is turning to Korea’s economic development and is one of the reasons why KUBS is a popular choice among foreign students. Foreign students at KUBS get to learn the know-how behind the growth of Korean companies through internship opportunities at SK Group affiliate companies, LG Electronics, POSCO, and Hyundai Capital, etc. The sold domestic network of KUBS, which has produced the highest number of CEOs in Korea, is another advantage and strength of KUBS. The employment rates of graduates, which is probably the most important measurement regarding the effectiveness of the program, have been a testimony of KUBS MBA’s high-quality curriculum and competitiveness.

85% of those taking the 2008 Global MBA and Finance MBA in September had received job offers upon graduation despite the economic downturn. Most graduates of the Finance MBA successfully changed careers to the financial sector. These results prove that KUBS MBA is fulfilling its role as the leading MBA program in Korea and is on the way to fulfilling its vision of becoming one of the top three Asian business schools and one of the top 50 global business schools by 2010. Last August, KUBS formed a partnership with the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) Institute, the world’s foremost authoritative institute, for the first time in Korea. KUBS was able to partner with the CFA Institute as it proved world-class curricula that emphasize the financial ethics and its theoretical and practical education. CFA is a certificate that tests one’s mastery of knowledge on investment information through a series of exams.