Frequency Asked Questions & Answers

Question

Question & Answer

About Solvay and its partners

What is the profile of the Solvay professors?


Beside their faculty responsibility most of them have extensive business experience: they are directors, senior managers, advisors, lawyers, etc. They combine a solid theoretical background with an in-depth knowledge of the day-to-day life in business. They bring their practical experience in solving problems and share their best practices.

What is the ranking of Solvay Brussels School?


SBS-em is an integral part of the University Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), the university with more than one hundred years of history. Being the premier business school in Belgium, SBS-em is in the Financial Times Top 25 Business Schools in Europe for several years. All programs of SBS-em are accredited by European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS). EQUIS is among the top quality accreditation institutions in the Europe continent. The Executive MBA of SBS-em was ranked by Financial Times at the 72th in the Top 100 best E-MBA in the world. Every year, SMS-em recruits a number of 2700 students at both undergraduate and postgraduate programs. SBS-em alumni now serve at key positions both at the public and private sector in Belgium and elsewhere in Europe.

Who is organizing what? (between SBS-em and its partners)


Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management (SBS-em) is mainly responsible for all academic matters such as sending professors in Vietnam to teach and delivering course material and readings. Partners in Vietnam (NEU in Hanoi and OU in HCMC) deal with the facilities and support such as tutors for courses and final project, administrative work and all preparatory courses. We also have joint responsibilities with alumni network, marketing activities, recruitment and selection of candidates, etc.

How to assess if a school is reliable or not?


A main point is to look at the rankings of the school and its accreditations. In Vietnam,we also have a long experience. If the quality of the teaching would not have been meeting students expectations, then we would not have last for 15 years...

How is the level of English of the professors?


Our professors are Europeans, mainly French speaking. Most of them have stayed, studied or worked abroad. While all of them speak a good English, some of them might have a French accent.

Is the diploma internationally recognized?


The diploma is signed by the rectors of ULB (Université Libre de Bruxelles - in which SBS-em is part of) and rector of SBS. This means that the diploma has the same recognition as any other diploma signed in Belgium by ULB. The master level acquired in our program opens the doors to study any Ph.D program anywhere in the world.

Tuition fee

Why the tuition fee (2009-2011) is higher than before?


The tuition fee for the part-time MBA has increased significantly over the past few years; this is the result of several factors: Before 2006, all master programs were subsidized technically and financially by the Communauté Wallonie-Bruxelles and the Government of Belgium. Our programs were part of the Convention signed between the two Governments. Thanks to this support, we were able to offer the master programs at low tuition fees. Today, we are running our programs without any financial support. Therefore, we needed to increase the tuition fee to cover the costs. SBS-em and its partners believe it is important for our students to have a top international MBA; that is why we are now putting more financial means to improve our quality, image, and position. It is important to note that we are not working for profit and thus we derived the new tuition fee for the benefit of students only.

How will the tuition fee be collected?


The tuition fee is divided in three installments, each equals to 1/3 of the total fee. The first payment is made after recruitment; the second payment is due seven months after the start of the MBA program; the final payment is due 14 months after the start.

Is there any scholarships for the best students?


The tuition fee has been purposely kept as low as the costs of providing the programs, no scholarship could be provided until now. In order to keep access open to all students, we are currently studying the possibility of providing scholarships for students from rural and/or poor origins.

Requirement for entrance & selection

Do I need to follow the preparatory courses?


According to our experiences in Vietnam, having background in economics or business management is a good asset to learn most from our MBA programs. For the applicants who do not have the first degree in economics or business management, 2 preparatory courses will be taught for that purpose. These courses are compulsory for the applicants who do not have the first degree in economics or business management so as to meet the requirement of the Ministry of Education and Training of Vietnam.

I hold a BA in Economics or Management, can I join the preparatory courses?


If you feel like refreshing your background in economics and management, you could join these courses but you do not need to take the exams.

How is the selection process? Who take the final decision?


If the requirements are met (i.e. work experience, English proficiency, first degree or pass the preparatory courses), you will proceed with the SBS-em analytical test and the interview in English. The SBS-em analytical test is designed to test the math and logical ability of the applicants. This was originally designed by SBS-em in replacement for GMAT where GMAT test is not easy to take. The SBS-em analytical test consists of 30 minute multiple choice questions and another 30 minute writing. The interview in English will take place in front of a jury that consists of one SBS professor and one NEU (in Hanoi) or OU (in HCMC) professor. The interview will be about 15-20 minutes. With all results accumulated from application form to the interview, the same jury will draw the list of the best candidates who may join the program.

What kind of questions do we have during the interview?


Interview in English will take place in front of a jury consisting of one SBS professor and one NEU professor (Hanoi) or OU professor (HCMC). The interview lasts about 15-20 minutes. There is no standard interview format. The main focus of the interview will include, but is not limited to, information that you have provided in your application form, objectives of applying to our program, your expectations from the program, your knowledge about SBS-em and NEU, and your commitment to the program if recruited. Please note that the interview is often taken place in a very open and friendly manner. You are expected to express your self and convince the members of the jury why you are the best candidate for our MBA program.

May I provide my English certificate after the interview?


No. Applicants should submit their English test scores before taking the interview. To support the candidates, our NEU partner will organize some intensive English courses (in Hanoi) during the summer to best prepare the candidates for having their English test scores ready.

What evidences should I provide to show 2 years of relevant work experience?


We expect that all the information you provide us in the application form is correct to the best of your knowledge. In addition, the jury will be very interested to discuss the issues related to your work experiences.

I don't have much experience, can I apply?


Sure. We request minimum 2 years of experience. If you just have 2 years of experience, see that you have enough maturity in the business before you apply. We usually recommend very young candidates to apply when they feel they have enough experience so they can fully benefit from this kind of program. If you like to get the best return in terms of learning experience, you should have around 5 years of experience!

I don't have a BA in Economics or Management, can I apply?


Yes. Then you will have to sit for the preparatory courses.

What is a good profile for the Part-time MBA in Vietnam?


This program is open to all types of profiles, from pharmacists to engineers, from economists to entrepreneurs... diversity enriches the experience in the class. Though the average age tends to be lower than before (around 28 to 30 years old), maturity in the business field is required (5 years of experience is much better than 2 years); we recommend very young candidates to wait so they have the opportunity to directly apply the teachings of the program in their day to day job.

What is a good profile for the Master in Marketing?


Most of the students have experience with marketing in the broad sense: working in sales, in advertising, in marketing departments, ect. Although the course is open to everyone, we expect interested candidates to be working in the marketing field as their career. The average student is 30 years old and holds relative experience and maturity. In this program, we also select people with strong personalities.

Other questions

Is it possible to suspend the learning while in the middle of the program and resume later?


It is possible to suspend the learning process during the program, though we strongly discouraged it. Doing a master degree is a serious investment and a rather challenging process! This requires you to spend time and energy. Therefore, you should prepare your work and time in order to participate and complete the program. If you are a very busy businessmen and live your life in an airplane, you should consider very carefully before enrolling to one of our programs. In any circumstances, a maximum of 4 years are allowed to complete the program.

How to make a choice between MBA with major in Marketing and Master in Marketing program?


There are some aspects of these programs that are similar. The schedule and the structure of both programs are alike; courses are held in the evening and on Saturdays. In both programs all teachers are Belgian, except for the course in Philosophy. It is the content of these programs that differ. The Part-time MBA is dedicated to managers who want to improve their skills in all dimensions of management; there are courses in finance, marketing, business law, human resources management, etc. The Master in Marketing is focused on managers who want to specifically improve their skills in marketing; there are 5 courses on general management (accounting principle, HRM, etc) and 10 courses on very specific fields of marketing: brand activation, marketing of innovations, advertising & PR, etc.

Is it possible to follow 2 majors of the Part-time MBA?


Yes, but you'll have to succeed in both!

What is a good profile for the Part-time MBA in Vietnam?


This program is open to all types of profiles, from pharmacists to engineers, from economists to entrepreneurs... diversity enriches the experience in the class. Though the average age tends to be lower than before (around 28 to 30 years old), maturity in the business field is required (5 years of experience is much better than 2 years); we recommend very young candidates to wait so they have the opportunity to directly apply the teachings of the program in their day to day job.

What is a good profile for the Master in Marketing?


Most of the students have experience with marketing in the broad sense: working in sales, in advertising, in marketing departments, ect. Although the course is open to everyone, we expect interested candidates to be working in the marketing field as their career. The average student is 30 years old and holds relative experience and maturity. In this program, we also select people with strong personalities.

How many student in the classrooms?


The number of students in the Part-time MBA program is limited to 55. Elective courses are delivered to smaller groups. The number of students in the Master in Public Management and the Master in Marketing programs are limited to 45.

How is the written test for MBA program like? What do candidates need to prepare?


The entrance test (written) has two parts: analytical test and an essay The test aims to assess the applicants quantitative ability. It measures: • Basic mathematical skills and understanding of elementary concepts, • The ability to reason quantitatively, • The capability to solve quantitative problems, and interpret graphic data. It does NOT measure : • Knowledge of business, • Job skills, • Specific content in undergraduate or first university course work, • Subjective qualities such as motivation, creativity, and interpersonal skills, • Abilities in any other specific subject area. It consists in 25-30 multiple-choices that the applicant has to solve in maximum 30 minutes. Example: 1. If the average of five numbers is V. If one of the numbers is Z, another is Y, another is 2, one more is 37, what is the remaining number? a) ZY – V – 39 b) Z/V – 3 – Y – 41 c) Z/3 – V – Y – 37 d) 3V – Z – Y – 39 e) V – Z – Y – 35 2. If 1/Z > 1, then 1 > ZZ a) yes b) no c) impossible to say 3. Sales and earnings of consolidated conglomerate (in millions of €). During which year was the company earnings 10% of its sales? a) 2000 b) 2001 c) 2002 d) 2003 e) 2004 f) 2005