The Evolving Perception of International Business Schools

Business Insight







Speaking of international business education, perceptions vary significantly based on cultural and geographical perspectives.

For Japanese MBA applicants, the typical destination for “international” business schools  has traditionally been the prestigious institutions of the United States.

Names like Harvard Business School, Stanford Graduate School of Business, and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania have long been synonymous with top-tier global business education.

In contrast, the American perspective of ‘international’ has traditionally referred to Europe.

For example, schools like INSEAD in France, London Business School in the UK, and IE Business School in Spain have represented the pinnacle of global business education.

These European schools were seen as the gateways to international business fields, offering diverse cultural experiences and a global perspective. In non-English-speaking countries, even though business school classes are conducted in English, everyday conversations are held in the local language, raising the language barrier.

In recent years, this perception has broadened considerably. The rise of economic powerhouses in Asia, particularly China and India, has reshaped the global business landscape.

Today, top business schools in Asia, such as CEIBS (China Europe International Business School) in Shanghai, the Indian School of Business (ISB) in Hyderabad, and the National University of Singapore (NUS) Business School, are gaining recognition and respect from MBA candidates.

As the world becomes more interconnected, the definition of what constitutes an “international” business school will likely continue to expand.

Moreover, business schools in Asia are attractive options for Japanese applicants because their tuition fees are relatively lower than those in the US and Europe.