Graduate Management News

March 2015

The Newsletter of the Graduate Management Admission Council

MENA Business Schools: At the Heart of the Regions Dynamics

The countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region are very diverse, and yet nations all share the same key challenges, namely, creating wealth and jobs. Business schools in the region have a leading role to play to support these transformations.


There are many strong expectations concerning management education in the MENA region. The private sector plays the specific role of being a driving force that will create wealth, promote upward mobility, encourage success and build positive role models for youth.

The EFMD Conference in the MENA region is an excellent opportunity for the community of regional business schools as well as for business schools from other regions, to grasp these opportunities with companies, NGOs and the private sector. 

From April 12 to April 14, Doha will be the gathering point for deans and actors in the academic ecosystem to address this year's theme "Building Dynamic Networks and Partnerships for the Region", and cover the full scope of the agenda: 

  • Understand the regional geopolitical issues of the Arab Spring 
  • Analyze its consequences for the local business schools 
  • Meet the challenges of Management Education in the MENA region 

GMAC, a sponsor of the conference, will be represented by Ben Glover, Regional Managing Director, Europe & the Middle East, and Sara Strafino, Market Development Manager. They’ll be there to share understandings business schools in the MENA region to focus on bridging expectations of students and employers. 

Questions Addressed at the Event 

Some of the key questions to be discussed at the event include:

  • How can local business models for schools be innovative? 
  • What role should be assigned to Alumni and Businesses? 
  • Who are the different stakeholders and what are their expectations? 
  • What opportunities are in Management Education which we can capitalize upon? 
  • How will MENA-based business schools have to evolve to satisfy more complex student and business needs? 
  • Will they develop new entrepreneur profiles to meet the specific requirements, challenges and expectations of regional environments? 

I look forward to meeting you at the EFMD Conference in HEC Qatar to share best practices and decipher key trends.

About the Author

ThamiThami Ghorfi is dean of ESCA Ecole de Management in Casablanca, Morocco.