POSTGRADUATE SPECIALIST STUDY PROGRAMMES: A CASE OF MBA PROGRAMME AT FACULTY OF ECONOMICS AND BUSINESS, UNIVERSITY OF ZAGREB
, I. Perkov2
1University of Zagreb, Faculty of Economics and Business (CROATIA)
2University of Zagreb, Department for Croatian studies (CROATIA)
The primary objective of this paper is to describe and to examine the specific level of postgraduate education in Croatia – postgraduate specialist MBA studies. MBA studies in Croatia are on the same educational level as postgraduate specialist studies. While MBA programmes are well known around the world, postgraduate specialist studies are a specificity of the system of higher education in Croatia and it is difficult to compare them with the other types of postgraduate studies in Europe. Postgraduate specialist studies lead towards specialisation in a profession and last for one to two years. Upon completion, the student is awarded the title of University Specialist with reference to a specialisation (univ. spec.). Alongside with specialist studies, there are doctoral studies on the postgraduate level at Croatian universities.
The postgraduate specialist educational level is insufficiently researched phenomenon in Croatian higher education being present for about a decade. In this paper we shall make brief and comprehensive overview of the postgraduate specialist studies with an emphasis on MBA programmes. Our intention is to explain where this level of education belongs in both national and European education verticals with special regard of the fact that Croatia is a part of the European higher education area (EHEA).
The other goal of the paper is to examine position of postgraduate specialist MBA studies in practice. Our aim is to conduct empirical research on a representative sample of students of Business Administration MBA study at Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Zagreb, who attended MBA programme during last 10 years (400 students).
The research is focused on (1) students motives for enrolling in postgraduate MBA study (2) the level of their satisfaction with study programme they attended, (3) programme usefulness for the students’ job positions and further career development, and (4) the societal recognition of this level of education compared to the master level.
The survey on students' attitudes was conducted by using a structured questionnaire that was designed and developed by authors (28 questions). Survey results are interesting and point to the existence of different motives and views on the usefulness of the MBA programme for student career.
We believe, in conclusion, that MBA programme at University of Zagreb should change and adapt more rapidly to students' demands for relevance. New set of proposals for the future of this MBA programme might emerge from the results of our study.