Some schools are already trying to actively tap into talent in emerging markets. The University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School, for instance, is increasingly focused on recruiting students from developing countries, particularly those in Africa. Many students from developing countries in Africa and Asia currently opt to stay in the United States after they receive their M.B.A.s, in order to secure a job that allows them to pay off their typically high student loan debt, according to Kenan-Flagler's dean, James Dean. (Tuition for international students is $45,599 at the school.) Generally, international students aren't eligible for federal aid, so they usually have to pay full cost.
Dean says one of his primary goals in the coming years will be to make it financially viable for students hailing from developing countries to return home. "We don't send very many back," he admits. "I wish we could find a way, maybe through some kind of scholarship or grant, or something like that, to make that more possible. But right now that's pretty tough."
[Learn more about the global business school gap.]
Dean says a small but growing number of students have received their degrees and promptly returned home to apply their newly honed business acumen. Ashok Jayaram, who received his M.B.A. from the school this year, is one such student. He hails from Bangalore, India, and has returned there to work with Belaku Eye Hospitals, which helps provide affordable eyecare to the nation's poorest citizens.
Jayaram claims he learned how to prioritize and make effective presentations in school, abilities that have already served him well in his venture into the budding business market in his home country. "The core courses that are covered in the first half of the first year have been extremely relevant for my business," he says. "The concepts from my operations courses have been very useful."
The world needs more students who apply their M.B.A.s as Jayaram has, the Global Business School Network's Pfeffermann claims, and he's working with business schools in the hopes of cultivating more. "In [developing countries], it's hard to find enough competent and honest local managers," he says. "Our job is to broaden the pool of M.B.A.s in [these markets]."
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