[photopress:ningbo.jpg,full,alignright]In November a conference in Shanghai called Leading China’s Future — Future Chinese Leaders will be hosted by the European Foundation for Management Development (an European organization based in Belgium) and the China Europe International Business School, CEIBS.
CEIBS was the first business school in Mainland China to offer a full-time MBA program.
The problems faced by China for the future in advanced education are very large. The Ministry of Education estimates that 124 million Chinese will reach college age by 2008. Hu Ruiwen, president of the Shanghai Academy of Educational Sciences, a government research organization, ‘In the next 15 years, China has to establish at least 800 colleges to meet the need. An estimated capital of RMB550 billion ($68 billion) is needed. Obviously, it exceeds what the public coffers can offer.’
Ian Gow, provost of the Nottingham University of Ningpo, said, ‘The Chinese understand the need for foreign universities to come to China for capacity building. Every Chinese province is desperate to attract one major university and one middle-level university. It’s the internationalization of the province.’
The most common of the foreign higher-education ventures opening in China are graduate-degree programs — typically M.B.A.’s — sometimes offered in partnership with a local university. M.B.A. programs account for about 36 percent of overseas programs in China.
A good example of a foreign higher-education venture is the University of Nottingham’s Ningbo campus, which opened in 2004 at a cost of $35-million, offers a British-style curriculum and degrees, with classes taught by lecturers brought from Britain. Demand has been so strong that for a time it limited admissions to residents of Zhejiang province. It is designed to take 4,000 students.
But 4,000 students on this single campus is a very small step in catering for the future needs of China which will have 124 million students reaching college age in 2008. The conference will address some of these problems.