UCLA Anderson Global Strategy



With accelerating globalization of markets and institutions, a management school can only remain world class if it is engaged in a serious way in the larger world beyond the borders of the United States.  As described in UCLA Anderson School of Management's Strategic Plan, one of the key objectives is to ensure that students emerge from our educational programs with 'global brains' - an intuitive bias toward examining management, operational, and policy issues from every angle.  They must also become adept at functioning in countries which are entirely foreign in culture, language and comforts.  Similarly, our faculty must continue to develop a world view by collaborating across national borders, teaching across the globe, and incorporating globalization into their research agendas and teaching content. 

In parallel to the growth of global markets has come the explosive expansion of business education and business schools.  The Global Foundation for Management Education - a joint venture of AACSB International and EFMD, the premier global accrediting organizations -- estimates that there are today at least 8,000 institutions world-wide that offer business and management undergraduate, master's or doctoral degrees across 37 countries.  These include over 1,400 institutions in China, 1,200 in India (estimate from AACSB), almost 1,300 in the Philippines and 1,500 in Mexico, compared to over 2,500 in the United States.  These global business schools offer both competition for UCLA Anderson, as well as rich opportunities for collaboration when they serve as hosts to our students, our research colleagues, our faculty and centers, and also serve as partners in our executive program ventures.

A great deal of what goes on at the UCLA Anderson School of Management has a global flavor.  The amount of global activity is quite extensive. It includes individual research collaborations with faculty abroad, faculty institutional collaborations with foreign universities, foreign visitors and groups hosted at UCLA Anderson, executive programs conducted abroad and with multinational companies, student exchange relationships and foreign travel, and on and on. Many of these activities are purely entrepreneurial and largely opportunistic and, up until now, we have lacked a true cohesive strategy.   Hence the call for a global strategy for UCLA Anderson that organizes these threads and resources into areas that will make a difference, and that are seen as strategically important, aligned and promising.

In developing a global strategy for UCLA Anderson, we will leverage the school's substantial strengths: a strong reputation and globally known UCLA brand, the presence of Anderson alumni everywhere, a world-class research faculty, outstanding degree programs with existing global content, and the Dean's global leadership roles.  We will also leverage our unique geographical location in one of the capital cities of the Pacific Rim, spanning both Asia and Latin America. 

To advance our global strategy, we will engage in a variety of initiatives that will enhance global learning by our students in class and in situ, faculty research on global content, and faculty first hand engagement with global corporations through executive education. We expect to develop one 'deep' partnership in Latin America and to nurture our existing 'deep' partnerships in Asia with strong academic institutions whose values and culture are compatible with ours.  Partnerships are deep if they are multi-faceted, and facilitate convenient movement of faculty from UCLA Anderson to the partner institution, or vice versa, student immersion opportunities, and/or executive education partnerships.

Overall Strategy
The proposed global strategy has three primary objectives:

  1. To enhance the global dimensions of our thought leadership vis-a-vis learning, teaching, and research;
  2. To enhance the global visibility of our brand;
  3. To expand the independent sources of revenue for our school provided these opportunities satisfy the first two objectives.

General Areas for Further Consideration


To supplement and complement existing global content that is already embedded in our existing curriculum, we will develop a global core course for all of our MBA programs that will enable students to develop a better understanding of the challenges and complexities of managing across global borders.  We also will continue to further expand the presence of global content in a variety of forms across all of our courses and programs.    As part of the flavor of student's learning experiences, we will encourage more global Applied Management Research projects (AMR) in our full-time MBA program, modeled around the Global Access Program (GAP) in the fully-employed MBA program and the microfinance projects in which some of our students are engaged.

2. Degree and Certificate Programs

The dual degree UCLA - National University of Singapore (NUS) EMBA partnership has been successful in establishing a footprint for UCLA Anderson in the Asian business hub, enhancing our global brand recognition especially in Asia, attracting a highly diverse population of students from all over the world. The program is distinguished through its mobility across three Asian business epicenters (Singapore, Bangalore and Shanghai), its time intensive format and is a clear demonstration of how such a partnership can work.  It serves as an excellent framework for future partnerships if there are strategic reasons to pursue a similar model.  It is also a very useful launch pad for expansion of non-degree programs in the region, whether executive education (e.g., corporate governance) or certificate (e.g., financial engineering) programs that leverage our existing strong relationships and presence in the region.

3. Research Collaborations

The caliber of UCLA Anderson is world class, and we have an opportunity to expand the global footprint of the school through the power of our faculty.   We also need to enhance our faculty with new hires that have significant global interests and expertise.  Not only will this add to the richness of the research, but it will enable us to offer more globally-oriented courses. There is a great deal of high-quality global, comparative and collaborative research that our faculty conducts with colleagues around the world, depending on their individual interests.  As befits a world-class research-oriented management school like UCLA Anderson, faculty sovereignty is the guiding principle for research.  However, a focused global strategy would help faculty steer their activities into preferred regions and partnership arrangements, to the extent aligned with their own research agendas.

Proprietary opportunities for close collaboration with institutions and sources of research data should also be pursued.

Finally, faculty exchanges with our preferred university partners will provide opportunities for research collaborations among faculty counterparts with similar interests.

4. Student Exchange Programs

At first blush, there may appear to be competing needs regarding student exchanges.  On one hand, it is tempting to consider the requirement that all of our students experience a least some portion of their studies abroad, in parts of the world that represent powerful learning opportunities to learn and understand distinctly different business and social cultures.  Many of the top private schools are headed in that direction.

We currently engage in exchanges with many partners and should seek to engage in a more limited number of exchanges with select high-quality partner institutions located in a smaller number of preferred countries or regions.  Our objective is deeper and more strategic relationships.

We should also seek to make the exchange experience rigorous for our students, e.g. by requiring a substantial report, diary or blog either during the exchange or upon returning to UCLA Anderson. 

We should continue to explore further opportunities for our fully-employed and executive MBA students to travel and globalize their perspectives by engaging in exchange programs with high-quality partner business schools (along the lines of LBS, HEC and Bocconi) and companies (as our Fully Employed MBA program has been so successful in doing with its Global Access Program), but with more of an explicit focus on the chosen strategic regions and institutions.  We could also better exploit the natural "global community" that forms each year within UCLA Anderson as a direct result of the rich mix of international, exchange and domestic students. 

5. Executive Education

Executive Education can be a powerful means of strengthening relationships between our faculty and global corporations, as well as globalizing the brand recognition of UCLA Anderson.  We will seek to expand the school's executive education partnerships with leading multinational organizations, along the lines of our relationship with Westfield headquartered in Australia and GKN headquartered in Britain. The same regional focus, per above, would be an added advantage though does not need to be as geographically constrained as in our degree programs.   UCLA Anderson's Office of Executive Education will be closely involved in developing these customized programs.

A powerful opportunity for globalization occurs through reciprocal hosting of student and executive groups. Executive Education and our Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) both host visiting groups from other universities. If we seek to expand and build upon our existing International Management Seminars (IMS) program whereby universities in other countries send their full time or executive students to UCLA Anderson for short programs, and to the extent that there is enough demand that we can be selective, we will choose additional institutions on the basis of location, quality of the institution, and interest among our own students to interact and learn with the participants in these programs.

Moving Forward

  • Consider the feasibility of a second EMBA degree program partnership in another strategic region of the world.
  • Further the process of globalizing our curriculum.
  • Continue to hire faculty with global expertise.
  • Seek funding sources to support the development of deep partnerships and global initiatives including naming the Center for Global Management, a Global Initiatives fund, and funding for student exchanges.
  • Explore executive education opportunities, primarily customized programs, in Asia and Latin America and launch new global custom partnerships.  
  • Continue to expand the EMBA program exchanges with our preferred partner institutions in Mexico, China and elsewhere.
  • Form an international advisory board.
  • Focus and deepen our student exchange partnerships.
  • Increase the number of field study projects that are globally oriented across all of our MBA programs and which may include projects in foreign companies operating in Los Angeles.