LBS move to state of the art new location
The debate around the practical value of an MBA is not likely to finish anytime soon. However, for leading Business schools today, a full time MBA is only one aspect of a successful business model. With continuous education rapidly becoming the norm for leaders in private, public and charitable sectors, leading business schools need to offer a large range of tailor-made solutions to go alongside traditional Masters’ programmes in order to remain relevant and competitive.
Higher level education is one of the pillars of a forward-looking society, and a conduit for economic growth and personal development. The links and relationships which we develop while at university shape the rest of our lives. With this in mind, I was very pleased to see how London Business School’s magnificent new building is developing.
First announced back in 2012 (FT), the plans involve LBS taking on a 50-year lease on the Old Marylebone Town Hall whose expansive buildings will provide space for several 100-seat lecture theatres and thus a 70% expansion of the school’s teaching space. LBS was founded in 1965 and celebrated its 50th anniversary last year, and as dean Andrew Likierman stated at the time, this move will serve as an excellent base for the next 50 years.
The institution is already ranked by Poets & Quants, a website devoted to news regarding business schools from across the globe, as the second best business school outside the US. Furthermore, as the contractor for the £60 million refurbishment was appointed in spring last year, the project could open as soon as 2017.
The new building, The Sammy Ofer Centre, will expand LBS’ footprint in London, giving it a location at the heart of the business capital of the world. With a £5m library, an Alumni Centre, and a wide range of lecture theatres, social spaces, seminar rooms and studying facilities, the new building will provide LBS’ students with an immersive and fruitful experience during their time at the school.
The move is also an additional sign that London’s business education sector continues to boom. As the FT reported last summer, UCL recently launched its own business school on its Bloomsbury campus, whilst Cass Business School has also increased its presence in the City. These developments ought to keep LBS on its toes, and the expansion into Marylebone is a positive move which will certainly receive the full backing of many proud alumni such as myself.
Traditionally, LBS has had one of the most vibrant and engaged alumni communities amongst its peers and has always been keen to look into new fundraising opportunities. The school offers alumni access to proprietary research and data that for me is second to none, especially in the field of Emerging Market Private Equity. As I remain convinced of the importance of first class tertiary education (see here and here for examples), I am excited to see how this new chapter in the school’s remarkable history will play out.