This article was originally published on February 27, 2015, by thepienews.com, ‘Hult, Ashridge finalise strategic alliance’.

A legal agreement has been finalised for a strategic alliance between two of the world’s largest business schools: Hult International Business School and Ashridge Business School.

Each with locations around the world and a combined annual intake of 3,000 degree programme students and over 6,000 executives, the intention is to work towards merging operations to create a full service business school.

The alliance was announced in July last year, however the agreement has been legalised this month and the schools have identified three clear objectives they will target together.

Efforts will be focused on expanding the schools’ combined undergraduate and graduate offerings including new online programmes as well as expanding Ashridge’s executive education to more clients around the world.

Research initiatives into the needs of corporate executives and the effectiveness of management education also tops the new growth agenda.

“Our priority is as ever to focus on the students and corporate clients at Hult and Ashridge,” Dr Stephen Hodges, president of Hult International Business School told The PIE News.

“Over the course of the next few months we will be working on how to bring the two organisations together in the most effective way to achieve the vision of being the world’s most relevant business school.”

Annually, Hult enrols around 3,000 students across its five campuses in Boston, San Francisco, London, Dubai, Shanghai, and a rotation centre in New York.

The alliance marks a new research direction for the school that until now has exclusively offered seven MBA, EMBA, and specialists Masters and Bachelors programmes.

“Ashridge and Hult share a philosophy that to be relevant, learning has to be informed by not just the latest theories, but also the realities of business,” Ashridge CEO Kai Peters told The PIE News.

“We are trying to differentiate ourselves in this manner based on extensive research we have conducted with businesses around the world.”

Established in 1959, Ashridge is a leading business school for working professionals. Each year it works with over 6,000 managers from 850 organisations in 60 countries. In the UK it operates from a 19th century neo-gothic house that also runs as a meeting and events venue.