The University of Melbourne's faculty of business and economics is to expand further into executive education, potentially treading on the turf of the Melbourne Business School.
Last year the MBS spurned at the last minute a merger deal with the university, which has a 45 per cent stake in the school.
The push into executive education extended to other university faculties such as education, engineering and medicine. The move is to focus on providing lifelong learning and see a need to extend into the post-experience market.
However, the faculty has made no plans to deliver an MBA program to rival that delivered by MBS. Such a move would only confuse the market.
Faculty dean Margaret Abernethy in her statement said that the faculty's new graduate school would continue to develop higher degree courses, including possibly an advanced level management degree.
MBS dean Jenny George was untroubled by the move, saying it didn't pose a threat to its Mt Eliza executive education arm. Mt Eliza was different in that it designed and delivered custom courses for business clients. We operate in quite a different way, Professor George said. It's not something to be worried about.
Professor Abernethy said the new push into executive education was still at the embryonic stage because it had to be co-ordinated with other faculties. What we want to do is ensure that we work with other faculties who are also starting to think about executive education, she said.
However, plans were already advanced for a masters in supply chain management that would be aimed at the logistics industry, including the related retail and airline industries.
I'm going to invest in [executive education] to ensure that we meet the needs of industry, Professor Abernethy said, noting strong demand from executives to upgrade their skills. The offering will extend from short courses to credentialled qualifications.
The faculty has run limited courses in executive education, while the university runs programs through its Melbourne consulting and customer programs.