Deans from a number of business schools in China, Europe and the US gathered at the Shanghai campus of the China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) for a roundtable discussion on June 11. The discussion, moderated by Paul Danos, dean of the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, focused on differences in business education globally and the impact of globalization on the industry.
One concern among the deans was, as Rolf D. Cremer of CEIBS put it, the difficulty in hiring faculty who can “both teach very well and be knowledgeable about local environments.”
It was noted that there is an ongoing conflict between the specificity students demand in the classroom and the difficulty of hiring professors both well-versed in regional business issues and capable as researchers. This issue is not only common to business schools in China.
Dean of the Instituto de Empresa Business School in Spain, Santiago Iñiguez, added that a “brain drain” was afflicting schools in Europe as well, as Chinese professors are leaving teaching positions to return to China.
China’s overall human resources crisis stems from a critical shortage, caused in part by an exodus of general managers.
“The demand and supply are very imbalanced. The number of graduates from top business schools who come to or remain in China to work is so tiny compared to what China needs,” said Yu-Sheng Zheng, of the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business.
The shortages are partly explained by the struggle for accreditation experienced by business schools in China. Any school within China hoping to offer a business education program requires a license from the government.
There are currently 146 publicly funded business schools in China allowed to run MBA programs, compared with 1,800 in the United States. This points toward a need to reform higher education within China to meet market demand for more qualified managers.
Getting approval from the government also means difficulties with fundraising in China, where the practice of donating to universities remains relatively foreign. “Eighty percent of all money spent by Tuck comes from gifts, mostly from alumni,” Danos said.