A discussion of business education in brazil
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Title: Brazil Roundtable
Author: Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth
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A Discussion of Business Education in Brazil
On November 18, 2005 a business education roundtable was held in S?o Paulo, Brazil
and included the following participants:
Paul Danos, Dean of the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth and the Laurence
F. Whittemore Professor of Business Administration;
Elatia Abate, Executive Director at Funda??o Estudar
Claudio Haddad, President of Ibmec SP
Heitor Penteado, President of BSP
Yoshiaka Nakano, Director at FGVSP-Economia
Antonio Batista, Associate Dean for Faculty at FDC
Ricardo Betti, education consultant
Journalists in attendance included:
Stela Campos, Valor Economico
David Marcus, former Latin American correspondent and education writer
Maria Tereza Gomes, Voce S.A.
The intent was to have knowledgeable participants in the Brazilian business school world
share their views on business management education topics. Themes that were discussed
during the dialogue included the definition of an MBA program, full-time versus part-
time MBA programs, MBA employment, and the emphasis placed on faculty and faculty
research. Dean Paul Danos of the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth moderated the
discussion. The following gives highlights of the roundtable.
Topic 1--The nature of the MBA program in Brazil
Executive Summary--Topic 1:
? There are no strict regulations as to what defines an MBA program.
? The number of companies funding students' MBA educations has decreased.
? MBA programs are moving to include more soft skill training.
? It is difficult to get students to enroll in two-year, full-time programs. The
majority of programs in Brazil are two-years, but are part-time and generally in
? Part-time programs abound because they cost less and can provide specific
Questions and Comments:
Can you describe the nature of the MBA programs in Brazil?
I can give some facts about the Brazilian Business education system as I see it.
? Most MBA programs in Brazil are "lato sensu," that is, not strictly regulated by
the Ministry of education. A few are "stricto sensu" and are more regulated and
? In the MBA world there is a dominance of the part-time format, mostly in the
Executive MBA style.
? In the past, MBA education was maybe 70% company supported. Now it is less
? Major reasons for the dominance of part-time programs are cost and need for
? Those wanting full-time, more general management programs go abroad.
? More soft-skills are being covered, whereas programs used to be finance and
? Brazilian MBA programs have very low tuition as compared to U.S. or European
? Some of the top schools would like to set up an accreditation system to ensure
It is hard to get students to choose two-year, traditional full-time programs. One-year
full-time programs will probably evolve.
There has been an adverse selection in Universities where poor students selected the
Our MBA is not a "master's degree," in the formal sense of the phrase in Brazil. To teach
you need to have a sanctioned degree, and the MBA is not a sanctioned degree. There is
a proliferation of specialty programs. Anyone can use the term "MBA" and there are no
regulations that say what that is.
Topic 2--Employment opportunities for business school graduates
Executive Summary--Topic 2:
? There is growing demand for increased quality and soft skills among managers.
? In large part, Brazilian companies seem to prefer training their employees via in-
house programs, or using customized MBA programs as opposed to sending
employees to business school to acquire specific skill sets. The later is more
unique to America.
? Some companies however do make recruiting MBAs a part of their overall
Questions and Comments:
What is the employment landscape for business graduates?
Companies now want a custom MBA for their employees, whereas before they would
send people to general enrollment programs.
Undergraduate programs are weak so companies support training for their workers and
don't rely that much on hiring undergraduate business students. Companies don't seem
to give differential rewards to those with MBAs. They "lock-in" their employees with in-
Companies don't believe that the MBA makes a big difference.
But different companies have different attitudes about the value of the MBA.
I agree, some companies believe in the MBA and it is part of their strategy to hire MBAs.
American companies are most willing to sponsor employees who work on the MBA.
The market is slowly recognizing the need for more sophisticated MBA's.
Most large companies have corporate universities and ask, "Why are we investing in the
Yes, but there is growing demand for quality.
I believe that corporations are demanding more and more soft skills of their managers.
The demand for real sophistication is limited. U.S.-educated MBAs here get finance
sector jobs. Most Brazilian companies do not demand a lot of sophistication.
Topic 3-- Growing relations between employers and institutions
Executive Summary--Topic 3:
? Over the years the gap between companies and institutions has closed, and now
companies choose to create and maintain close relationships with business
? Most Brazilian corporations are family-owned and value their relationships with
institutions because they are looking for the top talent with international and
Questions and Comments:
Do companies get what they want in business graduates?
A large sector doesn't care because they don't need to be truly competitive.
Schools are close to companies. Before this a big gap existed between businesses and
academics. That gap is closing.
Human resource directors really want talent but can't get it. Banking and consulting are
different than domestic corporations in this regard.
I believe that Brazilian companies value custom solutions and long-term relationships
with schools. 84% of Brazilian corporations are family-owned. Purely public sector,
large companies are not that common. But we now see companies wanting to have more
international and leadership orientations.
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