The first English-language Executive MBA program offered jointly by leading business schools in China and the US has started recruiting students ahead of the start of courses in September.
The Guanghua-Kellogg EMBA Program, jointly established by China's Guanghua School of Management at Peking University and the US Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, was formally launched in Beijing on Monday.
Sally Blount, Dean of Kellogg School of Management said the joint-degree program was established in China because of China's growing importance in the world economy.
“China is the second largest economy and the largest exporter in the world. If you teach students and develop the next generation of leaders for business and institutions, you should make sure that they understand the Chinese business environment. It's incredibly important,” she said.
Cai Hongbin, dean of Guanghua School of Management, said the program was set up to meet the new demand for high-level EMBA education and the program will be open to both international and domestic business leaders.
“China's GDP will be more than $10 trillion this year, or at the latest next year,” said Cai, who is also an economist in China. “With China's ever-increasing role in the global economy, more and more business leaders from around the world want to learn more about the Chinese markets.”
However, for business leaders from around the world, as Cai noted, “China is simply too different, huge, complex and dynamic for them to have a really good understanding of what is going on.”
Meanwhile, large numbers of Chinese firms are making overseas investments, and the volume is estimated to exceed $100 billion this year, and will accelerate in the future.
According to Cai, this means that Chinese business leaders are not satisfied with being the big fish in the small pond, even though the pond is becoming larger. They want to swim in the ocean and be fully engaged in the world economy.
“The program is designed to educate and equip business leaders in China and from the rest of the world with the knowledge, insight and the business skills for them to lead from the center stage of the global economy,” Cai said, adding that the program could be summarized as “deeper China focus, global outreach”.
To meet that goal, students will spend 22 months on the program in three locations: Beijing, Shanghai and Chicago.
Taught by Guanghua and Kellogg faculty, the program curriculum will align with five themes: megatrends and opportunities; analytical skills and decision-making; strategic leadership; globalization; and understanding stakeholders.
In addition to studying in different locations, students will also have opportunities to take elective courses at Kellogg's partner schools, including Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Tel Aviv University in Israel and York University in Canada.
However, Blount said that what distinguishes the program from other EMBA programs in China is that it will be the first joint-degree EMBA program between leading business schools in China and the US.
“We bring the unique Western perspective and deep knowledge of marketing, and the deep knowledge of customer focus and customer segmentation. And they (Guanghua) bring a deep knowledge of the economics, the politics and the system in China,” she said.
Though there are no specific figures yet on student numbers, the two deans said they are looking for the best possible students and those who fit the program — leaders with a deep understanding of the impact of business on society, as well as the ambition to lead their business to success.
The basic requirements for the applicants include a Bachelor's Degree, eight to 10 years' working experience and at least five years' working at the level of company executive.
Tuition fees for the EMBA may also be a factor in determining applicants — with the first intake facing a bill of $150,000 for the 2014-16 course.