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A degree that means business

(China Daily)

10:42, November 04, 2011

Graduates of a program at Tianjin University of Finance and Economics celebrate, in 2010, that they can now put "MBA" after their names. [Photo/provided to China Daily]

Zheng Guanhua is not a typical Chinese MBA student. He is 41, manages the cargo terminal at Wenzhou airport and intends to stay with his employer.

But he wants to gain "professional, practical knowledge on management to further contribute at work". So he says it is worth his effort, money and time - including a weekly five-hour commute by bullet train - to attend part-time classes for 30 months at the MBA Center of Shanghai University.

Master of business administration degree programs have flourished in China since they were introduced in 1991. That year saw fewer than 100 students on nine campuses. Last year, more than 35,000 students were registered in MBA courses at 236 universities.

The programs are set up to offer professional and practical training for experienced managers. Some experts say China's programs need to reduce academic focus and improve their experiential training. And some students find the business contacts they make at least as valuable as their lessons.

Whatever the shortcomings, Chinese enterprises have come to value MBAs as they hire management personnel.


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