Professor Edward Snyder, dean of Yale School of Management
Professor Edward Snyder, dean of Yale School of Management © FT

The Haas school at UC Berkeley has become the latest business school to join the Global Network for Advanced Management (Gnam), the initiative established at Yale School of Management by dean Edward Snyder in April 2012.

Haas brings the number of participating schools in the network to 28, including many of the world’s top institutions, such as HEC Paris, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and Insead. The US is now the second country that has two participating schools. In China, both Fudan in Shanghai and Renmin in Beijing are Gnam members.

The location of Haas in the San Francisco area has obvious appeal to network members, says Prof Snyder. “When we think about taking the next steps with technology and entrepreneurship, Haas is just a great addition.”

A second reason for Haas’s appeal is that many of the students at Yale’s partner schools would like to study in the US as part of their overseas experience, and there was excessive demand for study in New Haven.

Haas dean Richard Lyons says the relationship between Berkeley and the network has been some years in the making.

“We reached out to Ted [Prof Snyder] some years ago and expressed an interest,” explains Prof Lyons. “Every business school is getting more and more international, as we must.”

The big appeal of Gnam to Haas is its flexibility, says Prof Lyons, with each school contributing in its own way across a wide range of degree and executive programmes, as well as Moocs (massive open online courses).

In addition, “There are just some great brands,” says Prof Lyons, who has become a scourge of the management education sector by predicting that many low-quality schools will go out of business. “You have to be global but you have to be selective.”

One of the first contributions from Haas to Gnam will be its programme to train entrepreneurship professors through its Lean Launchpad Educators seminar. “I would imagine take-up will be significant,” says Prof Lyons, who believes there will also be reciprocal benefits to the California school. “Getting a better sense of how lean is playing out globally will be quite interesting to us.”

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Most of all Prof Lyons sees potential for collaboration in digital learning, particularly asynchronous courses. He points to the potential for students from partner schools to take courses provided free by the Philanthropy University at Haas, where close to 10 Moocs are openly available, on topics such as Essentials of Nonprofit Strategy and How to Scale Social Impact.

The Haas dean envisages Gnam partner schools breaking down these courses and using components in their own credit-bearing courses.

Members of the Gnam network are also developing other types of collaborative ventures, says David Bach, senior associate dean at Yale. The US school is working with HEC Paris and Egade, in Mexico, to ensure that from 2016, it will be mandatory for first-year MBA students to collaborate across the three continents on for-credit projects.

“When we started the network we just didn’t think about [benefits] like this,” admits Prof Bach.

As well as Yale and Berkeley Haas in the US, Gnam now includes Egade (Mexico), FGV (Brazil), PUC (Chile), Incae (Costa Rica), UCD Smurfit (Ireland), LSE (UK), Insead (France/Singapore), IE (Spain), UCT (South Africa), UGBS (Ghana), AIM (Philippines), Fudan and Renmin (China), HKUST (Hong Kong), SNU (Korea), Hitotsubashi ICS (Japan), IIM Bangalore (India), Technion (Israel), Koç (Turkey), Universitas of Indonesia (Indonesia), NUS (Singapore), IMD (Switzerland) HEC (France), ESMT (Germany), UBC Sauder (Canada) and Lagos Business School.

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