china’s b-schools
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At Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business in Shanghai, students used to dig into case studies from faraway places—of Southwest Airlines’ strategy, say, to overtake major U.S. airlines, or BMW’s product line in Germany. These days, though, they’re examining business issues much closer to home—how beverage maker Wahaha grew to be a national brand in China, for instance, or how PC maker Lenovo has successfully expanded overseas. Foreign case studies haven’t been thrown out altogether, but the new emphasis on Chinese business reflects the changing priorities of the mainland’s B-schools. As the curricula become more relevant to Chinese students, the schools’ reputations are improving, and more mainlanders are choosing to stay home rather than earn degrees abroad. In an exclusive poll of 253 recruiters from such companies as Haier, General Electric, and Nokia, 34% of respondents called the supply of high-quality talent from China’s MBA programs “excellent” or “good,” up from 19% last year, according to BusinessWeek China’s third annual survey of Chinese B-schools. The quality of MBAs “is becoming better and better,” says Mike Wang, human resources manager at Morgan Stanley in Beijing.

BUSINESSWEEK I nove m b e r 16, 2007



Data: Univerum Communications Inc.

of recruiters called the supply of high quality MBA talent in China “excellent” or “good,” up from 18% in 2006

nove m b e r 16, 2007 I BUSINESSWEEK


That means companies are hiring more B-school graduates and paying them higher salaries than ever before. Recruiters offered jobs to an average of nearly five MBAs in 2007, up from fewer than four in 2006, according to BusinessWeek China’s survey. Some 29% of respondents paid their first-year MBA hires 8,000 yuan or more a month, up from 24% last year, and more than 7% said they paid graduates of top schools more than 20,000 yuan a month, up from 3% in 2006. In the survey, conducted for BusinessWeek China by employer branding consultant Universum Communications, respondents ranked the “best overall” MBA program and the best in teaching in marketing, analytical, financial, and operational skills. Business education in China has come a long way. The first MBA programs at nine Chinese universities started accepting students only 16 years ago. Today, 96 universities offer more than 230 MBA and executive MBA programs. Tuition costs as much as 240,000 yuan for a one-year program, more than any other degree in China. As China’s red-hot economy

sparks the growth of both local and foreign businesses, demand for MBAs is high. Next year, the government plans to increase MBA enrollment by 24% and accredit an additional 30 or so universities. In the BusinessWeek China survey, corporate recruiters singled out a handful of schools for their highest praise. China Europe International Business School (CEIBS), a joint venture of the Shanghai municipal government and the European Union, was named the top program by 38% of recruiters. Beijing International MBA (BiMBA) at Peking University, run jointly with a consortium of U.S. colleges, was a close second, with 31% of recruiters ranking it No. 1. Some 9% of respondents said the top program was Tsinghua University’s School of Economics and Management (SEM), a joint venture with Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management. These schools are attracting top students who may have headed overseas for an MBA not long ago. With the Chinese economy so hot, many students worry that spending time outside China may hurt rather than enhance their job chances. “I have colleagues and friends who are finding it hard to find a job after returning from overseas, says 27-year-old Ra” chel Zhang, a student in the CEIBS MBA program. “I thought of going overseas to study, but I realized that in the long run I wanted to come back to China. So I asked myself, ‘Why not choose a business school in China?’” Adds Rolf D. Cremer, CEIBS dean and vice-president: “If they go outside, they have a strong feeling they might miss the boat. There is a tremendous buzz radiating out of China. ”
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ToP oF ThE class
% of rESPoNSES *

Corporate recruiters gave these Chinese MBA programs high marks for the quality of their graduates:

China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) Beijing International MBA at Peking University (BiMBA) School of Economics & Management, tsinghua University School of Management, fudan University Antai College of Economics & Management, Shanghai Jiao tong University School of Management, Xiamen University Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business Guanghua School of Management, Peking University
*Percent of 253 respondents that ranked the school no. 1 in these skills 

8 1 9 6 4   

6 49 6 4 15 10 18 1

47 47 46 7 10 16 8 1

40 8 4 0 1 5 1 18 

7 9 46 1 4 14 11 15
DavID hartUng

Data: Universum Communications

BUSINESSWEEK I nove m b e r 16, 2007


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That buzz is also attracting international students to China’s MBA programs. About 9% of BiMBA’s students come from overseas. Cheung Kong GBS, which ranked seventh in the survey, boasts international enrollment of 15%. Of 118 students admitted to Tsinghua University’s SEM last year, 34 were foreign. “China attracts lots of attention from students who are looking for career opportunities or business opportunities,” says Pearl Mao, executive director of Tsinghua MBA programs. CEIBS is also wooing international students. About 30% of this year’s class of 191 comes from 25 different countries, including Italy, Russia, Malaysia, India, and the U.S. That’s up from 10% five years ago. For Isard Serra Balague, a 27-yearold Barcelona native, studying in China was an easy choice. He applied to CEIBS after working as a telecom engineer in Spain, where many of his clients wanted to set up business in China. “For me it was clear—I wanted to come to China,” he says. “A lot of people are now doing MBAs in Spain. So we have to find the added value for our degree. ” As China’s student body has become more international, so have the programs. About 60% of CEIBS’ full-time faculty of 50 professors are foreigners, from 19 different countries, while BiMBA’s professors are drawn from such top universities as Columbia, Stanford, and the University of California at Berkeley. Tsinghua’s program now has an international advisory board that includes such business luminaries as WalMart’s Lee Scott, former AIG chief Maurice Greenberg, and former Goldman Sachs President and Chief Operating Officer John L. Thornton. Just as important as international connections, schools are now tailoring their programs to serve the needs of managers in China better. In late October, CEIBS, along with Shanghai Lujiazui Development, opened a new research center that will

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provide consulting and educational programs for Chinese financial bodies and government agencies. CEIBS also recently set up a Research Center for International Entrepreneurship with Zhejiang University School of Management. Meantime, the use of Chinese case studies is on the rise. At top MBA programs, students now analyze the operations of Lenovo, Haier, Mengniu Dairy, and other mainland enterprises. In a course on competition strategy at BiMBA, readings include Sun Tsu’s The Art of War and cases on battles from ancient and modern China. “We are integrating Chinese philosophy and realities with Western management theories, ” says BiMBA U.S. Dean John Z. Yang. Perhaps no school has gone as far as Cheung Kong GBS, which runs its MBA program from a 70-year-old villa in Shanghai. Courses range from the globalization of Chinese companies to Confucian humanism. And while its faculty is drawn from top universities worldwide, the majority of professors are of Chinese origin. One of them is Zheng Yusheng, associate dean and a professor of operations at Cheung Kong GSB. After spending 20 years in the U.S. and becoming the first tenured Chinese professor at University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, he returned to the mainland in 2002 to help set up the school. His understanding of both Western and Chinese business cultures has made a mark on the MBA program. “In the U.S. there is almost no manufacturing, so what we teach there is how to manage retailers,” notes Zheng. “China is a center of manufacturing—so we focus on manufacturing here. I say: You need to produce the right product, at the right time, for the right customers. That’s exactly what we have been doing. ” -With Chi-Chu Tsang

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CopyDesk Header Info (Do not delete the sentence above) Slug: BWChinaMBA48 Reporter/Writer: NY Editor: Copy Editor: shepherd

COMPANY INDEX (Do not delete the sentence above)

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Mike Want, human resources manager — query name & title Mike Wang Tsinghua’s School of Economics & Management — pls confirm -School of Economics and Management, Tsinghua University 27-year-old Rachel Zhang — pls confirm age & name-correct co-president John L. Thorton — dotter shows President and Co-Chief Operating Officer -former Research Center for International Entrepreneurship — show Centre of Entrepreneurship -The Research Center for International Entrepreneurship Three more fixes: Should be U.S. Dean John Z. Yang
Isard Serra Balague, A 27-YEAR-OLD bARCELONA NATIVE Zheng Yusheng, associate dean of Cheung Kong GSB

possfurn Mainland B-Schools Expand their Horizons As our latest survey shows, the quality of China’s MBA programs is climbing smartly

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