The New Rye High MBA

Canadian Universities Forum (discussion group)

Subject: The New Rye High MBA
The Globe and Mail
Report on Business: Canadian Special Report

New kid on the block; School kicks off new MBA degrees in crowded Toronto market
Byline: Ed Pearce

Ryerson University´s faculty of business has a new dean, a new high-profile building in downtown Toronto and a new, more aggressive outlook.
The university that is home to Canada´s largest undergraduate business school is about to launch two innovative MBA programs in the most crowded market for MBA programs in Canada. With little time left to attract new students and a minuscule advertising budget, Ryerson is going up against some of the biggest names in Canadian MBAs, including Schulich, Queen´s, Ivey and Rotman.

Of the two new MBAs, one focuses on management of technology and innovation, while the other will be more general, with specializations such as retail and commercial development.

Ken Jones, dean of the faculty of business, believes there is demand for specialized Canadian MBA programs. He says Ryerson´s technology and innovation MBA will be the only one in Canada to offer specializations in media management or supply network management, while the retail and commercial development specialization takes advantage of one of Ryerson´s major research centres, the Centre for the Study of Commercial Activity and the school´s established links to the retail and development industries. Richard Powers, assistant dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, is open to the challenge. He agrees that there is room in the Toronto market for another resident MBA program and says that Ryerson´s new programs will be good for students.

??We welcome Ryerson´s entry to the market,?? Mr. Powers said. ??Ryerson has made a concerted effort to ensure the quality of their programs, and they will add another dimension for students looking for programs that fit their particular needs.??

The timing may be right. While the market for MBAs across North America has been flat for a few years, there are signs it is heating up again.

Sources at the major business schools say applications for MBA programs have increased in the past two years and potential students have shown renewed interest in the fairs and websites that promote MBA programs.

In addition, Ryerson´s research indicates a demand for a third residential MBA program in Toronto.

Mr. Jones points out that Montreal has four such programs while Toronto has just two. He adds that the greater Toronto area is growing at a rate of 80,000 to 100,000 people a year and that 45 per cent of immigrants to Canada settle there, many with entrepreneurial expectations.

There is no doubt that Ryerson will face formidable competition from Schulich and Rotman, the two top ranked MBA programs in Canada. In addition, Queen´s school of business and the University of Western Ontario´s Richard Ivey School of Business both view Toronto as a key market, as do McGill, Concordia, HEC of Montreal and other regional schools. None of these schools are willing to give up market share to the new kid on the block without a fight.

Ryerson´s aim is to have an initial intake of about 50 to 60 students enrolled in the management of technology and innovation MBA and another 50 to 60 enrolled in the generic MBA. Enrolling 120 students a year is an ambitious undertaking for any MBA program but even more so when the school is relatively unknown outside Toronto and lacks the kind of marketing budget enjoyed by the likes of Schulich, Queen´s or Ivey.

But having the largest undergraduate business program in Canada ?? with more than 6,200 full time and an additional 2,500 part time students ?? gives Ryerson an untapped and potentially lucrative market for its new MBA programs. The school is relying on its undergraduate alumni to help fill the programs, and indications are that they will support it. The school advised them of the new programs through a direct mail campaign and information sessions that had huge turnouts, Mr. Jones said.

Ryerson will do some promotion in greater Toronto, but there will be very little across Canada and virtually none outside the country. More than 85 per cent of Ryerson´s students come from greater Toronto and that is the market the school will concentrate on.

??International students want to come to Canada because of the quality of our education,?? Mr. Jones says. ??There is no reason to go looking for them. They will find us.??

Among the major factors drawing students to the school will be a large alumni base, its downtown location, its new and very visible building in the heart of the business district and the fact that Ryerson is a reflection of the cultural mosaic of the city.

Ryerson alumnus Bill Stone, executive managing director of Colliers International Hotels, agrees.

??The location of the new business building will be a great reinforcement of (Ryerson´s) positioning within the Toronto and Canadian business communities,?? he said. ??The development of its MBA program is part of a natural evolution.??

Ryerson is a logical choice for Toronto residents ??because they are going to get a high quality education at a price point that will allow them to maintain a quality of life,?? Mr. Jones says. ??It will be a different flavour of education. We are an inner city campus that is linked to industry in a vibrant community.??

At $10,500 for the one-year program, Ryerson´s MBA will be priced well below those of its major competitors in greater Toronto.

Rotman and Schulich are priced at $25,000 and $35,000, respectively, and both are two-year programs. Ivey´s one-year MBA costs $56,000, while tuition at other area schools is $14,000 at Brock University, $21,000 at McMaster´s DeGroote School of Business, $20,000 at Wilfrid Laurier University and $25,000 at the University of Guelph.

In addition to the launch of the new MBA programs, Ryerson´s faculty of business is moving into its new state of the art building on Bay Street that will open this fall with a series of community events and celebrations.

In addition to providing a higher visibility to the faculty, the building will also bring together for the first time all four schools within the faculty of business as well as its five research centres.

Ryerson, like other business schools before it, is looking for support from the business community. Mr. Jones says the school is offering the naming of the new building and of the faculty of business for $15-million. No negotiations have been made public to date.

(in reply to: The New Rye High MBA)
nice, ryerson is a good school. what would add to its edge would be a cool name instead of what it has now.

richard ivey school of business (western)
schulich school of business (york)
rotman school of management (toronto)
degroote school of business (mcmaster)
... school of management/business(ryerson)

and don´t take offence to this...the ryerson name right now is perfectly fine.

(in reply to: The New Rye High MBA)
John Molson School of Business
(in reply to: The New Rye High MBA)
This must be very depressing news for Ryerson´s competitors.
(in reply to: The New Rye High MBA)
rye high MBA is for all the reputable school rejects.
(in reply to: The New Rye High MBA)
Rejects or not, tuition is nearly half the price. Move over, Schulich and Rotman. The Walmart of MBA´s is moving in next door.
(in reply to: The New Rye High MBA)
3 mba schools all in the gta, nice
(in reply to: The New Rye High MBA)
i would get an MBA at ryerson before UofT
(in reply to: The New Rye High MBA)
wow, may i ask why?
(in reply to: The New Rye High MBA)
the truth is, both schools would reject my ass.
(in reply to: The New Rye High MBA)
lol, don´t talk down to yourself man
(in reply to: The New Rye High MBA)
lakehead mba is better

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