Country profile: China's flourishing field

Before Lenovo took over the personal computer business of IBM last year, 97% of its sales and all its employees were in China. Overnight, the company found itself with 10,000 employees outside its home country, a huge management challenge. Situations such as these are likely to be repeated many times over in the future, which is precisely why business education in China is a flourishing field.

by World Business

There are currently more than 16,000 students in China enrolled on some 230 MBA programmes. The quality varies, but a few schools have distinguished themselves over recent years (see rankings), particularly those associated with well-respected universities such as Tsinghua or Beijing University.

The striking thing about business education in China, however, is the omnipresence of western business schools and courses. Most Chinese schools have extensive alliance networks and arrangements vary from joint degrees to support for faculty. MIT Sloan School of Management, for instance, lends its name to three international MBA (IMBA) programmes at Tsinghua, Fudan and Lingnan (Zhongshan University). It also provides support to Yunnan University's MBA.

Most of MIT's work, however, has been in training Chinese faculty, and staff from its partner schools spend a semester at the US campus to work on their teaching skills. Alan White, dean of MIT, says this is an opportunity for them to develop their curriculum, teaching methods and course material. "It's something they never have the chance to do in China. They're just too busy teaching."

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