By Andrew Chow
"There is a specific goal of IMBA's future development in my mind, that is, to make it a unique MBA project in the world, which is incomparable to Sloan School of Management, Harvard Business School, The Wharton School, etc." A biannual tea party between Dean QIAN Yingyi and IMBA students kicked off with Mr. Qian's great confidence towards IMBA project on Dec 1, 2011.
In a cream-colored jacket and a pair of light blue casual pants, Mr. Qian walked, in a breezy manner, to the coffee house in ShunDe Building. The students became alive on catching sight of Dean's delighted facial expressions. After asking for a self-introduction of the each student presented there, Mr. Qian proceeded to say facetiously, "It is only a fair turn for me to do a self-introduction after hearing your introductions." As a matter of fact, Mr. Qian was one of the first undergraduates when the college entrance examination resumed after the Cultural Revolution. Before that, he also participated in the campaign of going and working in the countryside and mountainous areas. After college graduation, he went to the US for teaching and further studies. He didn't return to his homeland until he was appointed as president of Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management in 2006.
Dean Qian is listing to student's self introduction.
After a self-introduction, Mr. Qian got his topic right to the point by saying, "Prior to coming to this tea party, I received an email where some students were asking me my outlook on IMBA project in the next five years. And I am glad to share it with all of you here. " Mr. Qian answered this question from three aspects. First, not only for IMBA project, but more of a MBA project at large, there are three development trends at present—leadership, enterprising spirits, and experiential teaching. He emphasized the importance of leadership in particular. For example, in early times, schools were named School of Business and after World War II, emerging schools were named School of Management. As we can find, the name was changed from School of Business to School of Management, and it will be changed into School of Leadership in the future. Judging from the changes of the names, we could get a clue about where the emphasis would lie.
Second, as a school of business in a domestic topnotch comprehensive university, our School of Economics and Management has unparalleled superiority to other independent schools of business. In the future, we are going to make a better use of this advantage and achieve a tighter resource exchanges with other faculties, in a bid to make our international projects more competitive. Mr. Qian hopes that we could collaborate with Institute of Science and Technology, Academy of Fine Arts, or even Medical College to provide some Double Master Degree project for the sake of a comprehensive development of MBA students.
Third, although IMBA is an international project, it should be based on China's current situation, as Mr. Qian hopes. At present, most of the studies are with a view to international cases, but more domestic company cases can be provided for discussion and study. It is important not only for foreign students to have an understanding of China's situation, but also for Chinese students to have a more profound understanding of China's current situation.
Students are taking pictures during the tea party.
After Mr. Qian's outlook on IMBA project, the tea party entered the segment of Q&A. Some international student said, "The international project was initially designed to provide Chinese students with internationalized MBA courses at home; at present, more and more international students joined this project and they account for half of all the students. In this context, is there any change in the project's orientation? And how will the teaching body be improved accordingly? " Mr. Qian thought highly of this question and said, "At the very beginning of the cooperation between MIT and Tsinghua University, the mission of the project was to cultivate Chinese students, by making up the disadvantage of local MBA education, to an international level. Since our beginning of cooperation over ten years ago, the mission of MIT has remained the same. But we indeed made some improvement because the students we cultivate should not only be up to the international standard, but also be integrated with local realities, which can be interpreted by a popular word nowadays—Glocal. Evidently, some faculty members need to better adjust themselves to this transformation. Personally, I'm willing to drive this transformation and I'm convinced that we can make it a unique MBA project that is incomparable to other MBA projects.
Oversea students wish to know more about their potential career opportunities in China
Some students put it forward that Tsinghua University is often not in the ranking list of business colleges, which was conducted by some domestic magazines, and asked Mr. Qian the reasons. He explained, "We are reluctant to get involved in appraise and elect to be on the ranking list because each ranking is always characterized by tendency. If we do, it will affect our project orientation. For example, suppose one of the important factors is wage and it accounts for a big portion; if we encourage business establishment, many of our graduates' starting salary is nearly zero, whereas, if the majority of the graduates enter financial world, their salary is bound to be better than those who establish a business and go to underdeveloped areas. If we care about ranking, it will run counter with our project's development goal.
Students are asking questions, and wish to know the future of our IMBA program.
In addition, students asked other questions as to whether they could increase the amount of exchange schools, whether they could add more cases related to practices in soft class curriculum, whether they could make some of the hard classes optional ones, etc. Mr. Qian gave detailed answers respectively. During a short period of two hours, students held a pleasant and face-to-face talk regarding what they were concerned about with Mr. Qian. Meanwhile, the students also felt Mr. Qian's high expectations towards IBMA project.
Ye Sa Carol