American University of Cairo
According to the 2012 - 2013 QS Global 200 Business Schools Report, which rates business schools in different countries according to employer opinions, The American University in Cairo’s Master of Business Administration program is ranked among the top 200 MBAs worldwide, along with prominent universities such as Harvard, Stanford, Kellogg, INSEAD and London Business School. AUC’s MBA program also came in second in the Middle East and Africa region, after the University of Cape Town. These rankings are part of an international survey of more than 3,300 MBA recruiters, who were asked to identify business schools they believe produce excellent hires.
“This is a reflection of the trust of employers in the quality of the program, its faculty and its graduates,” said Khaled Dahawy, director of the MBA program at AUC and chair of the accounting department. “AUC’s MBA program has some of the highest admission criteria in the region, which allows us to select the best students and work to make them better.”
This is not the first time that AUC’s MBA program receives such high rankings. According to Forbes Middle East, AUC has the top MBA program in the region, ranking first last year among similar programs in 37 private universities in the Arab world. The magazine issued its ranking of MBA programs in the region based on the number of concentrations, cost, length of the program and accreditation.
“AUC’s MBA program has been offered for 30 years now and has produced some of Egypt's leading executives, CEOs and experts in different fields and sectors,” said Sherif Kamel, dean of the School of Business. “Since its inception in 1982, it has been regularly updated and the curriculum has been revisited several times to cater to the changes taking place in local and global markets. Over the last few years, there has been increasing input from faculty, alumni, industry professionals and businesses as part of the continuous improvement efforts in the program. Case studies are becoming integral to the teaching approach, study tours have been introduced, visiting scholars from universities around the world are coming to Egypt and interacting with our MBA students, and course content is constantly updated and adapted to changing market dynamics.”
Dahawy noted that what makes AUC’s MBA program unique is its extracurricular activities. “The program is a lot more than just the classroom experience,” he explained. “Our MBA students, who come from leading multinational companies across the region, interact with international faculty, chief executive officers and former government officials through events such as Meet the CEO and the MBA Debate, as well as international competitions and real-life consulting projects for a client company. In addition, the MBA Exchange Program and international study tours to countries such as Turkey and Spain allow students to make site visits to factories and companies in different parts of the world, exposing them to various academic, corporate and cultural perspectives by spending time in diverse and foreign business environments.”
Accreditation is also a distinctive factor. Since 2006, AUC’s School of Business has been accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International. It is among only 5 percent of business schools around the world that meet the rigorous standards for AACSB accreditation. The school is also currently seeking accreditation by the Association of MBAs and the European Quality Improvement System. “Out of 13,670 business schools worldwide, only 58 are triple-accredited by these three largest and most influential accreditation associations,” said Dahawy. “AUC’s School of Business is on its way to receive such triple accreditation.”
Continuing on its upward trajectory, the School of Business has also launched its Executive MBA program, which began this spring. While the MBA program requires at least three years of postgraduate work experience, the EMBA is intended for those with a minimum of eight years. “It is very encouraging that the MBA program is regularly going up in global rankings, which has been part of the school's strategic plan and its 2010 - 2015 objectives,” said Kamel. “We look forward to having the program reach higher grounds in the years to come, especially with the launch of the EMBA program, which began in Spring 2013.”
For students, the value of the MBA program lies in its applied courses, which offer a rich learning experience based on real-life case studies. “The emphasis at AUC is different,” said Ahmed Diab, a graduate of the MBA program. “The emphasis here is on hands-on learning. We are always encouraged to be creative and are provided with opportunities to combine academic life with practical applications.”