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CEMS Conference

13 Feb 2012

Fourteen of the University of Sydney's highest academic achievers have been recognised at the latest annual CEMS graduation ceremony and conference.

Held in Lisbon, Portugal, the lavish December showcase saw the graduation of around 600 Master's in International Management students from the 27 business schools belonging to the CEMS global network.

"The graduation was held in one of the large public spaces in Lisbon and was a spectacular event," says Professor John Shields, Associate Dean of Postgraduate Coursework at the University of Sydney Business School. "The three-and-a-half-hour graduation, which also featured addresses by the president of CEMS and other key dignitaries, was a fitting way to mark the notable achievements of all graduates."

As well as the actual graduation ceremony, the conference also provided the platform for meetings involving strategists, executives, governance specialists and academic directors from all CEMS partner schools.

"There were some substantial debates on policy matters to do with language requirements for incoming students," says Professor Shields. "It was a large and complex three-day event."

Characterised by its strong ties with participating corporate partners (Deloitte and QBE in the case of Sydney University), Professor Shields says the global CEMS alliance and its MIM programs represent an invaluable form of outreach learning. And with the CEMS MIM degree routinely ranking in the world's top three pre-experience management programs, he adds that the standard of applicants is extremely high.

"It's a program that has enormous prestige, so each potential student is closely scrutinised," he says. "To be accepted they must be bilingual, have a business bachelors degree, and have an outstanding record of prior academic achievement."

With the University of Sydney Business School being Australia's only permitted CEMS academic member, Professor Shields says the Business School is well positioned to take advantage of emerging trends in pre-experience management education and management-related research.

"Although CEMS was founded in a European-only context some 25-years ago, it now has global reach," he explains. "What we'll see very soon is a quite strong Asia Pacific network of CEMS members, and we're very excited about the possibility of building that regional alliance. The centre of gravity is definitely moving in our direction."

For those looking to gain access to the MIM program, the Business School's feeder program is the full-time, one-and-a-half-year Master of Management (CEMS). Professor Shields adds that the companion program, the Master of Management, will be offered in both full-time and part-time mode in 2012.