Aug 26 - New, expensive MBA program at Fuqua

Fact Checker

posted 8/26/09 @ 2:28 AM EST

Here's an opportunity for undergrads who want to avoid the reality of the job market: continue studying at Duke for $2,000 a day.

$2,000 a day? Come on Fact Checker, surely you are kidding.

Oh no, no. That's the price of Duke's new Cross-Continent MBA. Read on.

The 16 month program leading to this new degree costs $115,500 for the people just starting now in London. But for all future people, the cost jumps to $120,100.

So Fact Checker, how does that work out to $2,000 a day?

Simple. Despite the impression that Fuqua is giving, you only have Duke classes for 60 days.

There are two weeks in London to start with. Then you go home. Back to your job, your family, your dog.

Fuqua calls this next period "distance learning." This is the new term for what used to be called "homework."

You know, you crack the books at home, you talk to other students every so often on-line, and sometimes you consult with a professor. Homework.

After a while, you go to Dubai for nine days. Then home for homework. Then the cycle repeats: New Delhi, Shanghai, and finally St Petersurg (Russia, not Florida).

Total classroom time 60 days in 16 months!

Your $120,100 includes tuition, books, housing, meals. It does not include travel expenses.

They also want to sell you an overpriced computer, making you feel like a pauper and dunce if you come with your own.

Fuqua is also giving the impression that somehow, in dropping into these cities, you acquire "cultural experience"
in depth.

Dukies... these classes are in hotels! That's where you'll be morning, noon and overnight. My research associate spent two hours on Tuesday trying to find out the name of the London hotel where classes have just started, talking to 11 people in 15 phone calls to Fuqua in Durham.

The school is hiding the hotel name, not wanting you to know how thin this program is.

Though Fuqua talks of campuses in each of these cities, it's difficult to see how this will happen, given the fact that each city will only get 9 days use every 16 months. Of course by the standard of many professors, that may be full time!

Oh the Provost, who said he will be transparent in dealing with the fiscal crisis, dropped a bombshell at the May Academic Council meeting. He admitted that the proliferation of graduate level degrees at Duke stems from the loss of other revenues -- from the endowment, from contributions.

Our goal: to make a profit.

Get Arthur Frommer's new book: Duke on $2,000 a day!!

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