CKGSB’s MBA Professor Training Program for Western China

August 26, 2021

Bridging the gap in management education between eastern and western China

Bridging the gap in management education between eastern and western China

In the last 19 years since our establishment, CKGSB has been growing with and witnessing the rapid development of management education in China. While we have seen a boom in business education in the country, we have also noticed areas in need of improvement, especially in western China, where educational institutions lack financing, talent and other resources that are critical for their success. Management education in western China lags behind that in eastern China, not to mention when compared with its international peers. For instance, universities in western China have often found it hard to retain experienced economics and management professors, and harder still to attract local MBA candidates. According to the Report on Market Prospects and Investment Strategy of China’s Higher Education Industry (2021-2026), the number of full-time professors in higher educational institutions in eastern China is 1.8 times that of western China, and the disparity increases to 2.4 times when it comes to senior professors. On top of this, professors who teach in universities in the remote parts of western China often have limited access to top-notch teaching methodology, lack cutting-edge and practicable case studies, and have limited management experiences.

As part of CKGSB’s social innovation initiatives, since 2007, we have been working with the China National MBA Education Supervisory Committee on an annual training for MBA professors from universities based in the less developed areas of western China, so as to narrow the gap in management education between eastern and western China.

This unique project draws on our school’s core strengths represented by our professors, who understand China business from a holistic and global perspective, as most of them are ethnically Chinese yet tenured at top global business schools, where they have spent two to three decades teaching. They have their fingers on the pulse of China’s economy through original research facilitated by our alumni’s companies. Many professors also sit on many companies’ boards, giving them first-hand access to China’s most impactful companies. In fact, CKGSB has generated three Chief Strategy Officers for Alibaba Group, Ant Financial and among our professors. These attributes allow our professors to produce cutting-edge China insights from a global perspective, while intertwining theory with practice.

Each year we send some of our most seasoned professors to share their teaching methodologies, latest research and case studies on topics like accounting, management and organizational behavior, with their peers in western China. These trainings are integral resources for teachers in those areas, where they lack research funding, access to thriving businesses and the global perspective needed to see a wider picture.

Through this campaign, we have trained more than 400 MBA professors from over 50 universities across 20 underdeveloped provinces in China. This campaign has had an exponential impact on the tens of thousands of students who were educated by the professors trained through our campaign.

In 2020, 69 professors across universities in western China took part in the training that our school offered. 90% of the participants found the training “relevant and useful to the challenges facing their MBA teaching”. In particular, one third of them found CKGSB professors’ tools and methodology shared at the training to be highly relevant to their field and directly applicable to their teaching. A quarter of the participants found the cases studies to be both timely and inspiring. Moreover, participants expressed that CKGSB professors’ abundant use of supporting materials made it easier for them to leave the training with concrete takeaways. The success of this campaign is evident in the feedback collected from the participating professors from western China, who described the training as “highly informative”, “valuable resource”, “inspiring and applicable”. In 2020, the most well-received sharing was on Tencent’s growth models and Huawei’s financial analysis, on which our professors were able to provide the latest knowledge and data they collected directly from these companies.

In line with CKGSB’s systematic advocacy of social innovation, we hope this project will maximize the potential of MBA education in western China to improve the educational level there and, ultimately, contribute to China’s national poverty alleviation campaign.

Leveraging CKGSB’s unique strengths in business education, we have committed to empowering MBA professors in western China through our seasoned faculty, exclusive China insights and alumni network, with the goal of helping develop a group of MBA graduates who can embrace innovation and one day become future business leaders who contribute to the economic and societal development of western China. We aim to generate this long-term impact by reducing inequality in management education in China, by improving the teaching proficiency of professors in underdeveloped regions.

With direct access to our strong alumni network—that represents one of the most vibrant groups of business leaders in China—our faculty co-develop research and case studies with students and alumni detailing the latest business models in China, cutting-edge trends across industries, China’s transformation and its global implications. Through this campaign’s trainings, our professors share with participants the most up-to-date and applicable teaching methods, research findings and cases. Our direct access to China’s business circle also offers us unparalleled industry teaching opportunities, which our faculty have gained through company visits, that they openly share with participants of the training, demonstrating a unique combination of methodology and industry best practices.

Looking ahead, we hope to deepen and enrich the activities in this region, building upon our existing efforts to improve access of better management education for professors and students, and help western Chinese provinces produce more business leaders who are capable of mobilizing regional economic resources and navigate the post-COVID global market.

CKGSB also offers a wide range of scholarships to disadvantaged groups for all of our programs to address inequality in education and support the development of all talents. 

Since our founding in 2002, we have been offering a full Philanthropy Scholarship for our Executive MBA program to non-profits’ leaders seeking to receive a management education to more effectively run their organizations and achieve wider impact. Since 2018, we extended this scholarship to all of our master’s programs.

Since 2014, our school initiated a Women in Leadership Scholarship awarding free tuition to talented female professionals seeking an MBA education. We also formed a women’s mentorship initiative convening 10 of China’s most successful female leaders from our network to mentor younger MBA students seeking to advance their careers.

We also offer a Western Economy Contribution Scholarship to those who have made outstanding contributions to the regional economic development of western China.

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