Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Class numbers

As far as I understand, the Cambridge MBA is undergoing some changes with regards to class size.

I have my own view on increasing the class size. I understand the Cambridge MBA needs critical mass and a good alumni network and that can only be achieve by increasing the numbers and aiming to compete with the 300-plus-student MBAs across the world. It all makes perfect sense from the programme’s point of view and in the future, the alumni community will benefit a lot.

However, it also contributes to killing one of the things that made the Cambridge MBA unique. One of the reasons that made me choose Cambridge was exactly the class size. I thought with the class size of 150, it would be possible to know all my colleagues and get more of a family feeling when attending the course. And that was spot on! I feel like I know a lot about most of my colleagues and I learnt a lot from them.

There’s a lot to be learnt from your colleagues and fewer students also allows us to get to know our colleagues, share experiences, spend time together and connect with them. There is a very strong bond between most of us and we keep in touch regularly. I’m not sure how that would be possible with 300 students.

I think there’s a big trade off between getting the right scale and providing a great experience to the students. I just hope Cambridge is able to keep the right balance and doesn’t become like some of other business schools which resemble more of a mass production MBA-making machine.