Good / international MBA program in the Philippines


SBarker
I'm in Manila for the next couple of years due to family reasons and I am looking to take some time and study for an MBA.

From browsing the forum here I understand the importance of international accreditation, and since I am especially interested in an MBA program that is internationally recognised (I am not planning on staying in the Philippines forever) this is especially important to me.

Looking at the list of programs here there aren't many schools with international accreditation.

https://find-mba.com/schools/asia/philippines

As far as I can tell the Asian Institute of Management is the only one. What does the community think of this school? I am also open to other suggestions if another program in the Philippines is considered stronger. Thank you for your time!
I'm in Manila for the next couple of years due to family reasons and I am looking to take some time and study for an MBA.

From browsing the forum here I understand the importance of international accreditation, and since I am especially interested in an MBA program that is internationally recognised (I am not planning on staying in the Philippines forever) this is especially important to me.

Looking at the list of programs here there aren't many schools with international accreditation.

https://find-mba.com/schools/asia/philippines

As far as I can tell the Asian Institute of Management is the only one. What does the community think of this school? I am also open to other suggestions if another program in the Philippines is considered stronger. Thank you for your time!
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Duncan
AIM is the best local option by far.

[Edited by Duncan on Oct 10, 2019]

AIM is the best local option by far.
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mba hipste...
Maybe also consider an Online MBA?

If you do a program at a well known school, the network you gain will potentially be better, depending on where you're headed in the future.
Maybe also consider an Online MBA?

If you do a program at a well known school, the network you gain will potentially be better, depending on where you're headed in the future.
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donho199
go AIM then go to Yale
go AIM then go to Yale
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SBarker
Can you somehow leverage the AIM degree to go to Yale? That would be great.

re: Online MBA. Maybe, this could be an option. I was really hoping for a classroom experience though. I will consider it...
Can you somehow leverage the AIM degree to go to Yale? That would be great.

re: Online MBA. Maybe, this could be an option. I was really hoping for a classroom experience though. I will consider it...
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Duncan
AIM has a dual degree with Yale.
AIM has a dual degree with Yale.
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mba hipste...
Yes, but the Yale degree isn't an MBA, but a "Master of Advanced Management" - if it makes any difference to you.
Yes, but the Yale degree isn't an MBA, but a "Master of Advanced Management" - if it makes any difference to you.
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SBarker
Thanks guys, I didn't see that you replied. That AIM / Yale degree sounds really interesting, thanks for letting me know about that!
Thanks guys, I didn't see that you replied. That AIM / Yale degree sounds really interesting, thanks for letting me know about that!
quote
Speaking as a Filipino who left the Philippines to study in the US and migrate to Canada, I can say without a doubt that AIM is not worth it. It has nearly zero recognition in North America. If the career you are after is located outside the Philippines, the AIM MBA is a waste of time. If you plan on staying in the Philippines to work, then it might be worthwhile for the contacts, but even among Philippine companies, a US degree (any school except an online for-profit) is valued significantly more than one done locally in the Philippines.

The worst part about AIM is almost all of the faculty are local professors who were educated in the Philippines and have not really experienced the global business world. I was sponsored by my company for a 2 week executive program at AIM and the professors I had were supposed to be the best at AIM. However, compared to my US professors (in a top 30 program) the AIM professors were unfortunately not as good. There was a time AIM was one of the best in the world, but that is no longer the case. In fact, I think of it as more a local Philippine school that is roughly on par with Ateneo de Manila, University of the Philippines, etc, which are significantly cheaper in tuition. If you want a Philippine education, an MBA from UP might be just as recognized as AIM for roughly peanuts in terms of tuition costs.
Speaking as a Filipino who left the Philippines to study in the US and migrate to Canada, I can say without a doubt that AIM is not worth it. It has nearly zero recognition in North America. If the career you are after is located outside the Philippines, the AIM MBA is a waste of time. If you plan on staying in the Philippines to work, then it might be worthwhile for the contacts, but even among Philippine companies, a US degree (any school except an online for-profit) is valued significantly more than one done locally in the Philippines.

The worst part about AIM is almost all of the faculty are local professors who were educated in the Philippines and have not really experienced the global business world. I was sponsored by my company for a 2 week executive program at AIM and the professors I had were supposed to be the best at AIM. However, compared to my US professors (in a top 30 program) the AIM professors were unfortunately not as good. There was a time AIM was one of the best in the world, but that is no longer the case. In fact, I think of it as more a local Philippine school that is roughly on par with Ateneo de Manila, University of the Philippines, etc, which are significantly cheaper in tuition. If you want a Philippine education, an MBA from UP might be just as recognized as AIM for roughly peanuts in terms of tuition costs.
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Duncan
Yes, unless this person's able to spend a year in New Haven, AIM doesn't have the weight internationally that it used to. An online MBA from a better school, with a more useful international network, will be a better option.
Yes, unless this person's able to spend a year in New Haven, AIM doesn't have the weight internationally that it used to. An online MBA from a better school, with a more useful international network, will be a better option.
quote
rfp
Speaking as a Filipino who left the Philippines to study in the US and migrate to Canada, I can say without a doubt that AIM is not worth it. It has nearly zero recognition in North America. If the career you are after is located outside the Philippines, the AIM MBA is a waste of time. If you plan on staying in the Philippines to work, then it might be worthwhile for the contacts, but even among Philippine companies, a US degree (any school except an online for-profit) is valued significantly more than one done locally in the Philippines.

The worst part about AIM is almost all of the faculty are local professors who were educated in the Philippines and have not really experienced the global business world. I was sponsored by my company for a 2 week executive program at AIM and the professors I had were supposed to be the best at AIM. However, compared to my US professors (in a top 30 program) the AIM professors were unfortunately not as good. There was a time AIM was one of the best in the world, but that is no longer the case. In fact, I think of it as more a local Philippine school that is roughly on par with Ateneo de Manila, University of the Philippines, etc, which are significantly cheaper in tuition. If you want a Philippine education, an MBA from UP might be just as recognized as AIM for roughly peanuts in terms of tuition costs.


100% agree with this. AIM is a waste of time and money. Course discussions are shallow. Professors are bragging that student population is composed of 70% foreigners but in fact, 70% Indians. Professors are graduates of local universities so student can get the same education from local universities at 1/4 of the price. Agree also that any UK recognized university or US state university is so much better.
[quote]Speaking as a Filipino who left the Philippines to study in the US and migrate to Canada, I can say without a doubt that AIM is not worth it. It has nearly zero recognition in North America. If the career you are after is located outside the Philippines, the AIM MBA is a waste of time. If you plan on staying in the Philippines to work, then it might be worthwhile for the contacts, but even among Philippine companies, a US degree (any school except an online for-profit) is valued significantly more than one done locally in the Philippines.

The worst part about AIM is almost all of the faculty are local professors who were educated in the Philippines and have not really experienced the global business world. I was sponsored by my company for a 2 week executive program at AIM and the professors I had were supposed to be the best at AIM. However, compared to my US professors (in a top 30 program) the AIM professors were unfortunately not as good. There was a time AIM was one of the best in the world, but that is no longer the case. In fact, I think of it as more a local Philippine school that is roughly on par with Ateneo de Manila, University of the Philippines, etc, which are significantly cheaper in tuition. If you want a Philippine education, an MBA from UP might be just as recognized as AIM for roughly peanuts in terms of tuition costs. [/quote]

100% agree with this. AIM is a waste of time and money. Course discussions are shallow. Professors are bragging that student population is composed of 70% foreigners but in fact, 70% Indians. Professors are graduates of local universities so student can get the same education from local universities at 1/4 of the price. Agree also that any UK recognized university or US state university is so much better.
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SBarker
I would rather not do an online program as I am looking forward to in-class interaction.

I'm not particularly opposed to the professors being local, nor the class makeup (I've sat in on MBA classes at a few US business schools with a similar class makeups and it was still dynamic.)

However, if you have other suggestions for a program in Manila that has international accreditation, I am all ears!
I would rather not do an online program as I am looking forward to in-class interaction.

I'm not particularly opposed to the professors being local, nor the class makeup (I've sat in on MBA classes at a few US business schools with a similar class makeups and it was still dynamic.)

However, if you have other suggestions for a program in Manila that has international accreditation, I am all ears!
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Duncan
I think AIM is the only option with accreditation now that Bradford has closed in Manila. Odd, considering what a huge market that is.
I think AIM is the only option with accreditation now that Bradford has closed in Manila. Odd, considering what a huge market that is.
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SBarker
That's what my research tells me as well.

From what I've heard from my friends / colleagues a lot of locals are either happy to study at a school even if it doesn't have international accreditation (University of Manila comes up often) or they go to places like Singapore or even further to do their MBA if they want something more high powered. However, I have heard good things about AIM as well so there's that.
That's what my research tells me as well.

From what I've heard from my friends / colleagues a lot of locals are either happy to study at a school even if it doesn't have international accreditation (University of Manila comes up often) or they go to places like Singapore or even further to do their MBA if they want something more high powered. However, I have heard good things about AIM as well so there's that.
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rfp
In the Philippines, the job market tend not to require MBA for an executive or management job. Skills and experience is the main factor. People take MBA with the main purpose of learning and having the title MBA and not to get a job. Even a lot of our executives do not have MBA. Investing for an MBA here for the sake of landing a good job is not advisable. And this could be the reason why UWA and Bradford closed their campus here in Manila.

[Edited by rfp on Oct 18, 2019]

In the Philippines, the job market tend not to require MBA for an executive or management job. Skills and experience is the main factor. People take MBA with the main purpose of learning and having the title MBA and not to get a job. Even a lot of our executives do not have MBA. Investing for an MBA here for the sake of landing a good job is not advisable. And this could be the reason why UWA and Bradford closed their campus here in Manila.
quote
Duncan
A good MBA will give you a range of skills and knowledge that almost no-one would develop just from experience in their daily work. There is a huge opportunity to improve the performance of organisations.
A good MBA will give you a range of skills and knowledge that almost no-one would develop just from experience in their daily work. There is a huge opportunity to improve the performance of organisations.
quote
rfp
And AIM cannot guarantee this. This is based on my own experience with 2 AIM alumni. How funny they are when making decisions.
And AIM cannot guarantee this. This is based on my own experience with 2 AIM alumni. How funny they are when making decisions.
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@SBarker - are you a Filipino citizen or a foreign resident? For local students, AIM usually gives a discount through a "scholarship" (at least when I still lived in the Philippines). That will make the value for money perspective better (if you are Filipino).

Regarding your question on local alternatives, keep in mind that AIM was founded by 2 local universities - Ateneo de Manila University and De La Salle University. In fact the first graduating class of AIM were enrolled as Ateneo students (you can research that in the school's history). I would consider AIM as around the same caliber as its founding universities (Ateneo and La Salle) and the other 2 locally strong schools - University of the Philippines and University of Santo Tomas. Those 4 universities in the Philippines are the ones included in international university rankings (see QS World University rankings). They might not have AACSB accreditation but they have international "recognition". For example, credential evaluation agencies like WES will equate degrees from those 4 universities as comparable to a degree at the same level as a US or Canadian school. Outside those 4 schools, your degree might or might not be recognized - your mileage will vary. I have seen some Filipinos who migrated to Canada from non-top 4 Philippine schools have their MBAs evaluated as equivalent to a bachelors degree. Keep that in mind if you are enrolling locally.

As an Ateneo graduate (I did my bachelors degree there before studying for an MBA in the US), I have nothing against AIM - it is a good school comparable to the big 4 universities. But it is priced significantly more than the big 4 - it is not worth the $ amount. AIM's tuition is comparable to international schools that are ranked much higher. Personally, if I had to do my MBA locally in the Philippines, I would do it at one of the 4 schools I mentioned. The faculty are the same (AIM professors also teach part-time at the big 4 schools) so why spend extra?

In addition, recognition of your degree is not the same as the degree being respected. WES might evaluate AIM, UP, Ateneo, etc. as equivalent to a North American MBA but a North American employer will still know nothing about these schools. An exception is if you are Indian and intend to live in India, then AIM is respectable because its board of directors include the founder of InfoSys and they have tie-ups with XLRI (a good Indian Bschool).

Lastly, while AACSB accreditation tells you something about the quality of a school, it is not as big of a deal as you seem to suggest. Chico State (the poster child for local schools) is AACSB accredited, but it doesn't mean it has an international reputation. In contrast, McGill University (one of the top Canadian MBA programs) is not AACSB accredited but everyone will probably agree it does not matter. Regarding AIM, it lost its EQUIS accreditation (and almost lost its AACSB accreditation) back in the 2000's and that fact does not change how I view the school.

[Edited by smartcanada on Oct 19, 2019]

@SBarker - are you a Filipino citizen or a foreign resident? For local students, AIM usually gives a discount through a "scholarship" (at least when I still lived in the Philippines). That will make the value for money perspective better (if you are Filipino).

Regarding your question on local alternatives, keep in mind that AIM was founded by 2 local universities - Ateneo de Manila University and De La Salle University. In fact the first graduating class of AIM were enrolled as Ateneo students (you can research that in the school's history). I would consider AIM as around the same caliber as its founding universities (Ateneo and La Salle) and the other 2 locally strong schools - University of the Philippines and University of Santo Tomas. Those 4 universities in the Philippines are the ones included in international university rankings (see QS World University rankings). They might not have AACSB accreditation but they have international "recognition". For example, credential evaluation agencies like WES will equate degrees from those 4 universities as comparable to a degree at the same level as a US or Canadian school. Outside those 4 schools, your degree might or might not be recognized - your mileage will vary. I have seen some Filipinos who migrated to Canada from non-top 4 Philippine schools have their MBAs evaluated as equivalent to a bachelors degree. Keep that in mind if you are enrolling locally.

As an Ateneo graduate (I did my bachelors degree there before studying for an MBA in the US), I have nothing against AIM - it is a good school comparable to the big 4 universities. But it is priced significantly more than the big 4 - it is not worth the $ amount. AIM's tuition is comparable to international schools that are ranked much higher. Personally, if I had to do my MBA locally in the Philippines, I would do it at one of the 4 schools I mentioned. The faculty are the same (AIM professors also teach part-time at the big 4 schools) so why spend extra?

In addition, recognition of your degree is not the same as the degree being respected. WES might evaluate AIM, UP, Ateneo, etc. as equivalent to a North American MBA but a North American employer will still know nothing about these schools. An exception is if you are Indian and intend to live in India, then AIM is respectable because its board of directors include the founder of InfoSys and they have tie-ups with XLRI (a good Indian Bschool).

Lastly, while AACSB accreditation tells you something about the quality of a school, it is not as big of a deal as you seem to suggest. Chico State (the poster child for local schools) is AACSB accredited, but it doesn't mean it has an international reputation. In contrast, McGill University (one of the top Canadian MBA programs) is not AACSB accredited but everyone will probably agree it does not matter. Regarding AIM, it lost its EQUIS accreditation (and almost lost its AACSB accreditation) back in the 2000's and that fact does not change how I view the school.
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mba hipste...
Good points here. I'd add that AACSB accreditation was traditionally US-focused, although this has expanded in recent years as the organization sought new revenue sources. So a number of 'local' (not high profile international) schools of course do have this accreditation.

That's why it's a useful indicator of baseline quality if considered along with the other 2 main international agencies (AMBA and EQUIS, which traditionally had a more European focus) - ie if a school has one or more of these three then it's probably safe to say that its curriculum and approach has been vetted and is of a certain quality.

When talking about the schools in Asia and elsewhere it's been somewhat of a goldrush on the part of these agencies, so a school might be accredited by AACSB or EQUIS or AMBA - but maybe not more than one, just because it's costly to go through the process.
Good points here. I'd add that AACSB accreditation was traditionally US-focused, although this has expanded in recent years as the organization sought new revenue sources. So a number of 'local' (not high profile international) schools of course do have this accreditation.

That's why it's a useful indicator of baseline quality if considered along with the other 2 main international agencies (AMBA and EQUIS, which traditionally had a more European focus) - ie if a school has one or more of these three then it's probably safe to say that its curriculum and approach has been vetted and is of a certain quality.

When talking about the schools in Asia and elsewhere it's been somewhat of a goldrush on the part of these agencies, so a school might be accredited by AACSB or EQUIS or AMBA - but maybe not more than one, just because it's costly to go through the process.
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