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A degree that means business (6)

(China Daily)

10:45, November 04, 2011

Time to mature

MBA studies originated in the United States in the early 1900s as the country became more industrialized and companies sought scientific approaches to management - not unlike China in recent decades. Their proliferation in China, then, is no surprise.

"The MBA certificates seem to be very essential in China as criteria when employers try to recruit talented management staff members, so more people take the courses for the high-salary positions," said Xiong Bingqi, deputy director of 21st Century Education Research Institute.

Xiong said the rapid growth of MBA programs is a sign that society shows an interest in high-quality practical education. However, Xiong and others said the quality and design of the courses need improvement and time to mature.

"Even though 20 years have passed, China's MBA education still has a long way to go, especially compared with prestigious MBA programs in the US and Europe," said Wang, the AEMBA director in Shanghai.

"Strained by the current education system, business education curriculums are still academic-oriented and lack experiential learning. That cannot bring practical skills for students," he said.

Tsinghua, Fudan, Jiao Tong and other top universities with MBA programs started to improve them in 2008 with better application systems, course design and training methods.

"The future development of China's MBA education needs to focus on the development of leadership, entrepreneurship and experiential learning," Qian Yingyi, dean of School of Economics and Management at Tsinghua University, said in May when Tsinghua celebrated the 20th anniversary of its MBA program.

Deans of other business schools also mentioned the need for increased focus on corporate social responsibility to help cultivate comprehensive business education.

Wu Xiaobo, dean of the School of Management at Zhejiang University, stressed that MBA education should catch up with China's economic development and meet the increasing demand for talented business people who are familiar with both the global prospective and Chinese practice.

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