Building MBA links with China

20 July 2011

L to R: Professor Steve McGuire from the Aberystwyth School of Management and Busness, Yuhuan Zhao, Xia Yu, Jinfu Zhu and Xueping Ji from the Beijing Institute of Technology and Ian Thomas, Director of Postgraduate Programmes and International Development at the Aberystwyth School of Management and Business.
L to R: Professor Steve McGuire from the Aberystwyth School of Management and Busness, Yuhuan Zhao, Xia Yu, Jinfu Zhu and Xueping Ji from the Beijing Institute of Technology and Ian Thomas, Director of Postgraduate Programmes and International Development at the Aberystwyth School of Management and Business.

Thirteen students and two members of staff from the Beijing Institute of Technology are at Aberystwyth University’s School of Management and Business this week as part of a pilot project to offer a greater international dimension to Masters in Business Administration (MBA) programmes at both institutions.

Ian Thomas, Director of Postgraduate Programmes and International Development at the Aberystwyth School of Management and Business, has been working on the project with Mr Meng Fanchen, Assistant Dean at the Beijing Institute of Technology.

“The idea originated from a chance meeting at a conference in China,” said Ian. “During discussions, it quickly became apparent that there was a shared desire to further internationalise both the MBA student experience and the programme content at both institutions and that we should stay in contact to try to identify suitable methods of collaboration to allow this to happen.”

In April 2011 Ian visited the Beijing Institute of Technology to meet with MBA staff, a visit that led to the development of the study and cultural visit which staff and students from the Beijing Institute of Technology are currently enjoying.

The programme consists of three days of lectures and workshops in Aberystwyth on International Management and Leadership delivered by staff at the School of Management and Business, including Professor Steve McGuire, Dr Andrew St George and Dr Anita Rogers. This is followed by a two day visit to London where they will attend a series of guest lectures at Somerset House delivered by leading business practitioners.

“Initial feedback from the students and staff is very favourable” said Ian, “they are all having a great time and enjoying the experience of spending time in Aberystwyth, both socially and academically, that is adding an extra international dimension to their MBA studies.”

Ian added: “I hope this will become a regular two way exchange event that will add to the existing MBA study visits that are offered by the School of Management and Business, which currently include visits to Hammonds and the House of Lords in London, and Erlangen in Germany. Discussions are also taking place on how to broaden the collaboration across a wider portfolio of subject areas in both teaching and research. “

Speaking of their experience at Aberystwyth University, Professor Yuhuan Zhao of the Beijing Institute of Technology said: “This has been a wonderful experience.  This is a beautiful place, with such friendly people, that is ideal for study.  The teaching has been inspiring and of a very high level providing a broad insight into international management issues. All of the students are so happy with the experience and they are all saying that they will tell of their friends and family to come here to study in the future."

Lu Ji Qiang, Executive MBA student, from the Beijing Institute of Technology said: "Aberystwyth already feels like home to us.  We all want to come back as soon as we can! The location is so beautiful.  The advanced knowledge and teaching have shown us a new way of thinking."

The Beijing Institute of Technology group arrived in Aberystwyth on Sunday 17th July and will return to China on Saturday 23rd July.

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