First Russian MBA Students Graduate In Moscow

February 26, 2001

Studying for an MBA takes dedication and determination. To achieve an MBA by distance learning often involves balancing studies with full time work and family responsibilities. So to complete an MBA while studying in a second language, when your country is undergoing dramatic political and economic change, and the cost of your degree quintuples because of the fluctuating exchange rate is nothing short of miraculous.

But that is just what 13 Russian students have done over the last three years and on Thursday, February 22 they will be rewarded for their efforts when they are presented with their Open University Business School MBAs by the Universitys Vice-Chancellor Sir John Daniel.

The students have studied through the Business Schools partner in Russia, the International Institute of Management LINK, a partnership formed in 1992 with the help of UK Government KnowHow funding.

LINK has engineered a massive expansion of management development training throughout Russia and now offers the OUBS Certificate in Management, Diploma in Management and MBA through 90 study centres covering eight time zones with more than 5,000 students a year.

Those on the Certificate and Diploma courses study in Russian with local tutors who have been trained by LINK to offer the Business Schools acclaimed system of ‘supported distance learning. MBA students study in English with OUBS tutors flying out to Russia for face-to-face tutorials as well as a residential school in the UK where they get the chance to meet and network with MBA students from across the globe.

Each student has paid $10,000 in course fees to complete their MBA, a huge commitment compounded by the value of the rouble rising from six per dollar to 30 per dollar during their studies.

Dr Andrea Frame, the OUBS Regional Manager for International Operations, says the students have overcome tremendous cultural and financial obstacles to achieve MBAs which, in turn, will help their career progression.

After the fall of Communism there was an influx of western-managed companies and subsequent demand to learn about western management practices.

Our partner organisation LINK was able to capitalise on this interest and initiate a system of management development training based on Business School principles, teaching methods and resources. We are very proud of their success, and that of the first MBA students who are graduating, she said.

Currently there are 163 MBA students studying through LINK, with another 4,488 students on the Certificate and Diploma in Management programmes. Since 1992 around 10,000 Russian students have studied OUBS courses through LINK.

The OUBS also has international programmes throughout central and eastern Europe, in India, Ethiopia, Eritrea, South Africa, Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia.

The graduation ceremony at the British Embassy in Moscow included Open Universitys Vice-Chancellor Sir John Daniel in one of his last overseas visits before he takes up his new post as Assistant Director-General for education at UNESCO (United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organisation); Professor Roland Kaye, Dean of the Open University Business School; the British Ambassador to Moscow Sir Roderic Lyne, Russian Deputy Education Minister Boris A Vinogradov and LINK Rector Sergei Schennikov.

The Open University Business School (OUBS) is one of Europes leading business schools and a major provider of management development programmes, delivered by supported distance learning. Since its inception in 1983, more than 150,000 managers have studied an OUBS course at Certificate, Diploma or MBA level. Currently the OUBS has 30,000 students based in the UK and more than 40 countries.

The OUBS MBA programme was awarded the prestigious European quality accreditation (EQUIS) from the European Foundation for Management Development (efmd) in 2000, only the eighth UK school to pass the rigorous assessment process, and has been accredited by AMBA (the Association of MBAs) since 1994.

The School is based at the Open Universitys Milton Keynes headquarters in Buckinghamshire. Its World Wide Web site can be found at:

Contact Details

Open University Media Relations
Fiona Leslie

01908 653256

Open University Business School
Jessica Magill

01908 655042