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Minding One’s Business...School

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A rapidly growing economy, such as China’s, increases the need for business professionals. The task of satisfying this demand rests on business schools. How do Asian business schools really respond to the demand for business professionals?

Business schools have flourished all over Asia in the last 25 years. Many capitalize on the growing trend of international collaboration, offering MBA programs that reflect the modern business preference of global partnerships.

Here’s a rundown of some of the best business schools in the China-Philippines realm.

China Europe International Business School
China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) was established in 1994 as a joint venture of the Chinese government and the European Union (EU). One of its primary aims is to bolster China’s economic development and penetration of the world economy.

CEIBS has an international exchange program with many top-tier business schools. Participating universities include those from EU states as well as business schools from Australia, Canada, India, Japan, and the United States.

During its first academic year, CEIBS offers students free, non-credit language courses to equip them with skills to deal with global and local business environments and perspectives.

For international students, CEIBS believes that learning Chinese is critical to their success as future business professionals in China. Hence their MBA program has a strong emphasis on learning the Chinese language.

The multicultural tenor of CEIBS makes for compelling academic appeal. Little wonder the school has caught the attention of business institutions worldwide.

The Financial Times reports that CEIBS is among the top ten schools that boast international diversity. With 60% of its faculty made up of foreigners and (as of 2007) 31.4%, students from other countries, it’s easy to see why.

Peking University’s Guanghua School of Management
Peking University’s Guanghua School of Management also prides itself in a global level of education. The University offers an international MBA program with partnerships between the following business schools: the National University of Singapore, France’s ESSEC, and the Schulich School of Business in Canada’s York University.

Taking up Peking University’s international MBA program entitles students to earn degrees from both Guanghua and the aforementioned partner schools.

The university also has partnerships with many other universities from Asia, Australia, Europe, and the US.

Tsinghua University’s School of Economics and Management
Another school that offers a dual degree is Tsinghua University’s School of Economics and Management. Together with HEC Paris, a top international business school, Tsinghua offers a dual degree MBA program, which aims to make use of the expertise of both institutions in management education.

What’s more, a student who completes Tsinghua’s international MBA program of business and leadership receives not only a degree from Tsinghua but also a certificate from the MIT Sloan School of Management and MIT Sloan affiliate alumni status.

And if this isn’t enough, Tsinghua has other options on its plate including exchange programs with Stanford University and Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.

Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business
In accepting 50 to 60 talented individuals from different parts of the world, Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business (CKGSB) has created a culturally and professionally diverse MBA class.

Its partners for international exchange programs are especially esteemed: the Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley, Darden School of Management, University of Virginia, Ecole de Management de Lyon, Indian School of Business, Instituto de Empresa Business School, Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota and Graduate School of Business, and the Seoul National University.

It’s no surprise that students and corporate recruiters recognize their MBA program as world class.

Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s Antai College of Economics and Management
The name may be a mouthful but Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s Antai College of Economics and Management’s educational programs are powerful. The university has joint programs with the University of British Columbia from Canada and Euromed Marseille Ecole de Management from France.

Completion of the Antai Euromed Marseille MBA program gives the graduate an MBA degree from the French partner school and a certificate from Antai.

The University also accepts domestic applicants who passed the Guanli Lei Xue Sheng Ruxue Zonghe Kaoshi standardized admissions test.

Ateneo Graduate School of Business
In the Philippines, the Ateneo Graduate School of Business (AGSB) offers a graduate program in partnership with Regis University from Denver, Colorado. Students of the program, through its highly interactive methodology, are able to interact with each other on advanced levels despite being miles apart, making it a truly international collaboration.

Ateneo also has significant partnerships with the Online Consortium of Independent Colleges & Universities, USA Bordeaux University, Bordeaux, France and Ecole Supérieure des Sciences Commerciales des Angers, Angers, France.

Asian Institute of Management
AIM spells business Proof of its world class reputation, the Asian Institute of Management has received numerous citations including the 1995 Ramon Magsaysay Award for International Understanding and the first Beyond Grey Pinstripes Award for Business School Innovation in Social Impact Management in 2001. Image courtesy of Enda Nasution.

For international exchanges, the Asian Institute of Management’s (AIM) International Student Exchange Programs (ISEP) provides qualified students with 35 internationally accredited MBA programs to choose from. The school is constantly beefing up its ISEP list by adding top-ranked international partners.

AIM, like all previously mentioned schools, offers a multicultural and international experience. Its ISEP allows students to spend a term in a partner school in Asia, Australia, Europe, and the Americas. Its international board of governors comprises international business and development leaders from 17 countries.

International Academy of Management and Economics
The International Academy of Management and Economics (I.AME), considered the Philippines’ pioneer international business school, also boasts stellar international partnerships.

Since starting in 1979, I.AME’s MBA program has attracted students from all over the world. Its worldwide affiliations include reputable universities such as UC Berkeley, University of Southern Queensland, University of London, Newport University, Warnborough University, and the Swiss Management Academy.

Choosing Wisely
With such a vast selection of business schools available, how are students to know what suits them best?

Each school has different criteria for enrollment, and standards for acceptance vary with each institution. Methods and overarching educational philosophies will obviously differ across institutions as well.

However, most MBA programs aim to fulfill what MBA programs were designed for: business training to propel you to your chosen career future. Here are a few insights into what the following schools offer.

The Asian Institute of Management offers a 16-month MBA program as an alternative to the usual two-year MBA programs available. Although shorter in quantity than traditional MBAs, the school says the quality of its program has vastly improved over previous incarnations.

Its redesigned courses are more rigorous, AIM argues, and new courses are patterned after those of world-class business schools. Non-classroom activities that are incorporated into this intensive program include live simulation, games, negotiations, and improvisations.

The Ateneo Graduate School of Business offers a more traditional MBA that can be completed in six months to three years. Its Middle Manager’s MBA can be finished in two years and its Ateneo-Regis program can be completed in one year and one term.

The school’s programs are characterized by an emphasis on building strategic reasoning and competitive management skills in both domestic and global settings. It makes good use of information communications technology and integrates it into its curricula. AGSB also focuses on team processes and learner-centered methods of delivery. Its faculty comprises workplace-based professors with tremendous amounts of real world experience.

Students who wish to have an overseas university education can take I.AME’s year-and-a-half bridging course, after which they may take one local term and complete a bachelor’s degree from any of the school’s foreign affiliates.

Redesigned to keep up with global changes in master’s education, the I.AME MBA program is a combination of project-research-based learning, classroom discussions, organized talks/seminars/ workshops, real-world case analyses, focused group discussions, and field research activities.

If you wish to further your education entirely overseas, Peking University’s MBA program may be right for you. The school offers full-time, part-time, and international MBAs.

The full-time MBA is a two-year program conducted during weekdays; the part-time MBA is a three-year program conducted on weekends or at night; and the IMBA can be completed not just at a student’s home school but at the partner school as well.

Social responsibility is the main thrust of Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business. The school offers an intensive 12-month program focused on, aside from social responsibility, developing entrepreneurial and leadership skills. The program is taught in English, but Mandarin courses are also available.

CKGSB’s unique MBA curriculum provides a management education experience that tackles global business perspectives, but with a Chinese focus that makes it relevant to the school’s region.

Tsinghua University’s IMBA program takes two years to complete. International students who have Chinese language skills may then opt to pursue an application for the full-time or part-time MBA program.

An intriguing feature of this IMBA program is conducting case studies where the school utilizes Harvard business school cases in their teaching system. Two other key features of this program are an emphasis on China’s business practices and a top-quality, culturally diverse student body.

International Accreditation
Out of several MBA programs available in the Philippines, only AIM is recognized by accreditation bodies such as the EFMD EQUIS (a Belgium-based accreditation body of quality in management education) and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) based in the USA.

In China, Tsinghua University is EFMD EQUIS-and AACSB-accredited. The China Europe International Business School is also EQUIS-accredited while the ZheJiang University School of Management offers accreditation from UK-based Association of MBAs (AMBA).

RP and China business schools fair better when it comes to global and Asian educational rankings. Quacquarelli Symonds, a global career and education network, ranks the MBA programs of CEIBS, 5th; Tsinghua University, 19th and AIM, 11th in the Asia Pacific region for 2007.

For the Financial Times 2008 global MBA rankings, CEIBS places 11th with Shanghai Jiao Tong University, ACEM 41st in the top 100.

Finished School, Now What?
The aforementioned MBA programs and schools that offer them are undoubtedly some of the finest in the Asia-Pacific region. But what happens after a student leaves school with MBA in hand?

According to a 2004 PSRC Research International Survey Report, graduates of AGSB have a 52% incidence of promotion after earning their MBA degree. It probably helps that the AGSB has an Alumni Association (AGSBAAI) to provide continued service to students and the school. As graduates and the institution maintain communication, mutually beneficial relationships flourish. The school’s credibility is strengthened as former students have a grassroots contact base that can help them as they pursue their careers.

An example of this would be in the use of the AGSB website. Members of AGSBAAI can promote their products or services at a discount by posting them in the Alumni Affairs section of the AGSB website. This is but one of many advantageous tools available to AGSB graduates.

The AIM has a similar aid service in the form of its Career Management Services office. This department facilitates on-campus and video-conference interviews by international companies for students ready for work. Student resumés are also made available for online viewing.

In 2007, the number of job offers exceeded the number of students at AIM by a 126% offers-to-student ratio. As a result, the entire MBA batch had placements in a few months’ time after graduation.

In China, Cheung Kong prides itself in having the most sought-after MBA holders in China. There was one time when 93% of two graduating classes accepted job offers before even graduating.

Furthermore, Cheung Kong graduates who studied while employed reported their salaries effectively doubled after securing an MBA, demonstrating a high return on investment.

Like the AGBS, Cheung Kong has an Alumni Association through which former pupils express their school spirit by mentoring future students. The Association is also a point of contact for students looking for work. Recruitment, full-time job placement, and partnering with various organizations are all facilitated within the organization.

The question now is, who’s smart enough to act on Asia’s current business opportunities by garnering the skills needed to tame China’s booming economy?

print ed: 05/08

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