The Merits of Manchester

Associate Admissions Director Rachel Tufft says a new merger will triple the faculty and help MBS be a broader, more innovative program

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Rachel Tufft is the associate director of MBA Marketing & Admissions at the Manchester Business School in Britain. A graduate of Lancaster University, where she earned her degree in French and German studies, she also has a postgraduate diploma in marketing through England's Chartered Institute of Marketing. Prior to joining MBS, Tufft worked as a marketing manager with the Blenheim Group in London. She has been with MBS in a variety of roles since 1992. Tufft recently spoke with BusinessWeek Online reporter Mica Schneider by phone and e-mail. Here's an edited transcript of their discussion:

Q: The B-school is currently looking for a new dean. What can students expect in the interim from the school's administration?


We're searching internationally for a dean to lead the new, bigger Manchester Business School, which will be the largest business and management school in the U.K. Meantime, professor John Arnold remains at the head and plays a key role on the Interim School Leadership Team, which is laying the foundations for the new school.

Q: How is application volume this year at MBS?


Up until Christmas, our applications were on a par with last year. January has seen a 10% drop in applications compared with this time last year. It's still very early in our admissions cycle. Traditionally, British applicants apply later. In general, when the global economy is growing, candidates prefer to stay in their jobs, so this drop isn't unexpected after a period of layoffs and uncertainty.

Despite this, our application levels are still 30% higher than they were in 2001. We've also seen a 25% rise in applications for our part-time executive MBA program.

Q: How competitive will MBA admissions be at Manchester Business School this year? To enroll a class of about 123 MBAs in 2003, your office accepted 53% of its 518 applicants.


We see that trend continuing. Our aim is to continually increase the quality of the students in the program. We've invested heavily in advising people before they get to the application stage, talking to them about their suitability. This has resulted in increasing strength in our application pool.

Q: Fewer than half of your accepted applicants choose to enroll at MBS. Which other schools are they opting to attend?


They tend to go to London Business School , Rotterdam School of Management, Cranfield School of Management, and Warwick Business School.

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