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Students to advise Chinese enterprises as part of unique MBA module


22 May 2013

In what is widely seen as a tertiary education first, students in the University of Sydney Business School's new MBA program will advise Chinese enterprises wanting to invest in Australia or do business with Australian companies.

The "hands on" consulting experience will form a part of the MBA's China module to be delivered in association with Antai College of Economics and Management at Shanghai's Jiaotong University, one of the nation's oldest and most prestigious tertiary institutions.

"Typically Australian students focus on doing business in China," said the Business School's Associate Dean, Management Education, Professor Richard Hall. "Our students will provide Chinese firms with invaluable advice while also gaining a deep knowledge of China itself."

The University of Sydney Business School's ambitious and innovative MBA, which was launched in March this year, has a strong focus on leadership skills and experiential learning or "learning by doing".

"We decided that an international element was vital and that the place to deliver it was Shanghai," said Professor Hall. "By working with local enterprises, our students will gain unparalleled insights into the Chinese environment and will be well prepared for future interaction with China."

"For their part, we believe that Chinese enterprises will see this as an opportunity to engage with high calibre students who have Australian business experience and who can add real value to their businesses," added the Business School's Co-Dean, Professor David Grant.

In addition to the planned consulting projects, the MBA's Shanghai module will include units delivered by the Business School's China specialists, Professor Hans Hendrischke and Professor Bruce McKern, as well as experts in various fields drawn from universities across China.

These units will cover China's economy and society, its business culture, corporate leadership and governance and international trade and investment strategies.

The relationship between the Business School and Antai College of Economics and Management, was cemented during a recent visit to Shanghai by Professor Grant, Professor Hall, Professor Hendrischke and MBA Director, Associate Professor Nick Wailes. Members of the Delegation have described the relationship as "a very good fit".

Talks were also held during the China visit that could lead to "a strategic partnership" between the Business School and the highly respected School of Management at Zhejiang University in the eastern city of Hangzhou.

The discussions, which covered possible joint or double degrees and an Australian element in Zhejiang's proposed agri-business MBA program, will resume later this year.

"Its essential that all of our students have a good understanding of China," Professor Grant concluded. "Our China module offers them a unique opportunity to benefit from our relationship with Antai and to work with major Chinese enterprises. Eventually, they will be very well placed to play a leadership role in Australia's future business and trade relations with China".


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Media enquiries: Trevor Watson, 9351 1918, 0418 648 099, trevor.watson@sydney.edu.au