UNC Chapel Hill Seeks MBA Students from Emerging Markets

The business school of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill expects its new online MBA program will help it recruit more students in emerging economies from Brazil to China.

The goal is to have a majority of developing country nationals among international students, said Jim Dean, dean of UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School. Non-U.S. citizens account for 35 percent of the school’s current full-time MBA students, with 49 percent of those coming from developing countries. Only 4 percent of the online students are non-U.S. citizens.

As part of the university’s efforts to become a global business school, UNC Kenan-Flagler identified Brazil, China and India as priorities, Dean said in an interview in Sao Paulo.

“It is not a surprising list, but it is an important list for us,” said Dean, who visited Mumbai in June. “We would like to be able to attract students from Brazil into our programs, and we would also like our students to have access to come here and study.”

Dean said the UNC online MBA program, the first among major U.S. business schools, allows students to remain on their jobs and eliminates relocation costs. The program has the same curriculum, professors and admission policy as the full-time program, he said.

“For most people who go to a full-time program who leave their job, the biggest financial sacrifice is not the tuition; it is the loss of income,” he said.

UNC currently has 582 students in its full-time MBA program and 255 in the online MBA program, according to information sent by e-mail.

Among Brazilians between 25 and 64 years old, 41 percent had attained at least upper secondary education in 2009, according to information compiled by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and released in its Education at a Glance report last week. This compares with a 74 percent OECD average.

To contact the reporter on this story: Fabiola Moura in Sao Paulo at fdemoura@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Adriana Arai at aarai1@bloomberg.net

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