Last month, the Financial Times ranked the China Europe International Business School (Ceibs) among the top 10 business schools in the world for the first time, alongside names such as Wharton, London Business School and Harvard Business School.
The reality is that a group of business schools in Asia-Pacific has risen steadily in international rankings over the past six years.
In 2003, there were two business schools in the FT MBA rankings in greater China, ranked 90th and 59th respectively.
By 2006, these two had risen to 21st and 47th, with none from India and south-east Asia.
In 2009, four business schools in the region are ranked among the top 25: Ceibs, 8th; the Indian School of Business, 15th; Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, 16th; and Nanyang Business School, 24th. In all of Asia-Pacific, there were no schools in the FT top 50 in 2003, whereas there are six in 2009.
In addition, the leading Chinese business schools, Ceibs, Tsinghua University’s School of Economics and Management, Shanghai Jiaotong University Antai College of Economics and Management and Zhejiang University School of Management, have sought and achieved international accreditation.
More than 400 Chinese management faculty have participated in Harvard-led programs and are now building both the hardware and the software to develop management education to the highest pedagogical standards. There is thus a broad trend towards high-quality business education in Asia, among which some nations in the region stand out.
‘Business schools in China and in Asia at large are making genuinely new contributions to the way management is understood and taught’
The Financial Times states that taking China as the most relevant and successful case, three generic factors have contributed to its success.
The first is the opportunity provided by a significant catch-up situation. Business schools have found a large market at both high and low levels.
The second factor is the openness of China’s educational environment.
The third factor is the success and dynamism of the economic development itself.
Business schools in China and in Asia at large are making genuinely new contributions to the way management is understood and taught, not only in China but internationally. Made-in-China business education, with China- relevant case studies and China-focused courses as drivers, will change both the content of business education worldwide and the competitive environment for business schools in China.