SINGAPORE - If you are looking for to get a master's degree in business administration, you might get more bang for your buck if you enrol at a local university rather than prestigious American universities such as Harvard and Wharton.
According to a list by British news magazine The Economist, Nanyang Technological University's (NTU) Master of Business Administration (MBA) programme offered by Nanyang Business School offers better returns on investment to its students than the two institutions.
Using 2013 data from its annual global MBA rankings, the magazine derived the figures by taking into account tuition fees and forgone salaries in addition to the salaries post-MBA employees reported.
MBAs at Wharton and Harvard cost on average $330,000 and $280,000 respectively, but the immediate returns on such degrees are small, where graduates land jobs that do not pay signifcantly more than the ones they left.
The Economist reported that Nanyang MBA holders gain a 31 per cent return on their investment one year after graduation, ahead of Harvard MBA alumni who gain returns of 15 per cent. Wharton counterparts realise gains of just 6 per cent.
France's HEC Paris topped the list of 20, with a return on investment of 67 per cent. University of Hong Kong was the strongest Asian entry at 60 per cent.
The results led Economist writers to conclude that cheaper and shorter MBAs around the world offer better returns.
In January, the Financial Times' 2014 MBA ranking placed the Nanyang MBA at 12th place globally and number one in Asia in delivering value. University of Hong Kong placed 46th, while National University of Singapore was 37th. The Wharton School came in 98th and Harvard Business School, 86th.
Nanyang Business School Dean Ravi Kumar said: "It is gratifying that our commitment to our students' interests is recognised. I am glad that the world class education our students receive is paying dividends in their lives.
"We have revamped our MBA curriculum to sharpen the focus on leadership development and industry application, particularly in the Asian context. A shortened duration of 12 months will increase the value proposition of the Nanyang MBA," he added.
The Nanyang MBA rose eight places to 64th on The Economist's 2013 global ranking of full-time MBA programmes, the highest placing ever by a Singapore business school. It was ranked 38th this year by the Financial Times.
About 80 students are admitted each year to the full-time Nanyang MBA programme, with another 40 taking the course on a part-time basis. More than 80 per cent of a typical Nanyang MBA class are internationals hailing from more than 20 countries, with a significant proportion from Europe, India, China and other parts of Asia.