[photopress:Jim_Little_MED1.jpg,full,alignright]The joint venture Executive MBA (EMBA) program between Washington University and Fudan University in Shanghai was ranked eighth on Financial Times‘ list of 2006 international EMBA programs, and ranked top on the 2006 list for programs in China.
An executive MBA is not quite the same as the standard MBA. It is normally taken by business excutives who have ten years or so experience. A combination of seminars and online tuition and some face-to-face tuition and case study is used to refine executive skills. But an EMBA is not an MBA, nor is it a superior form of MBA. Perhaps if you think of the E as standing for ‘experience’ you will more easily get the idea.
Jim Little, Donald Danforth distinguished professor in the Olin School of Business and the academic director of University EMBA programs (in universities short titles are frowned upon), said, ‘The joint venture program started in 2001. We were the first joint venture program in China, and Fudan is one of the leading, authorized universities in China.’
Fudan and the Olin School of Business started the joint venture in 2002. Taught in English, the program lasts 18 months and largely resembles the EMBA program at Washington University.
Talking of the difficulties of teaching to Chinese students Jim Little said, ‘Traditional Chinese education is more based on rote learning than ours. Even now in an undergraduate class, the professor lectures and the students take notes. That was a real concern. What you teach in a business school is discussion-based, particularly at executive levels.’
The differences in teaching methods proved less of an obstacle than expected. Jim Little said, ‘It turns out it wasn’t a problem at all. It may be a matter of self-selection; it may be that these people are in Western companies. These students had a thirst to learn this way. It was much less of a challenge than we thought it would be. The most difficult thing is, basically they’ve got to be working full-time and as full-time students.’
Source: Student Life