Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to undertake a survey of the external and internal forces changing the nature of business schools and business education. It aims to investigate how management education responds to increasing productivity, innovation and capability challenges, examine how MBA programs currently meet these demands, and how these courses might redefine their identity and delivery and finally explore how to deepen engagement between business schools and business stakeholders, and to balance the imperatives of relevance and quality. Design/methodology/approach - This is a survey of business schools and business education in the context of evolving educational and industry policy in Australia in response to an increasingly international and competitive economy. The different potential roles and strategies of business schools are examined, and future strategies identified. Findings - The paper finds that management education is facing insistent pressure to change internationally, and that business schools need to become more dynamic, innovative and responsive to succeed. Research limitations/implications - This survey considers the implications of recent policy on business education and relates this to emerging practice. Further research is required on how innovative pedagogical approaches will deliver more integrated and relevant business education. Practical implications - The paper defines key business school strategies, and outlines significant new approaches to making business education more innovative, responsive, integrated and engaged. Social implications - The paper considers means to more active stakeholder engagement for business schools. Originality/value - The paper highlights the weaknesses of traditional business education strategy, and reveals the potential for significant change.