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Business Schools: Internationalization towards a New European Perspective

Business Schools: Internationalization towards a New European Perspective
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Author(s): Volker Rundshagen (Cologne Business School, Germany)
Copyright: 2014
Pages: 26
Source title: Handbook of Research on Trends in European Higher Education Convergence
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Alina Mihaela Dima (Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies, Romania)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5998-8.ch007


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This chapter offers a conceptual contribution to the debate of European business schools and their future directions within the context of higher education internationalization. On the one hand, European business schools represent a continuous success story in terms of enrolment figures and increasing visibility on international rankings. On the other hand, particularly driven by overarching competitiveness paradigms, they are on a path of conformity and obedience to external pressures, leading to dangerously homogenous institutions. Furthermore, they are losing their esteem within society and face increasing criticism in the wake of financial and social crises, as business school contributions have come under scrutiny. Four drivers of European business schools internationalization are identified: globalization, EU policy, rankings/accreditation, and student consumerism. Opportunities and risks arising from all four drivers are highlighted in this chapter, and the subsequent discussion outlines potential future pathways of a more beneficial internationalization that allows for new perspectives beyond apparent Americanization tendencies. It is argued that, despite manifold ambiguities associated with such concepts, through a strategic elaboration of a distinct European identity, business schools could better meet their responsibilities and also develop propositions that are competitive in the global marketplace as well as inspiring constituencies beyond this continent.

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