Outstanding EMBA programs in China thrive in reform

A policy introduced last year that requires all applicants for EMBA programs to take the united national entrance exam has achieved initial success in improving quality.

Executive MBA programs once enjoyed rapid growth on the Chinese mainland, but they were criticized for focusing more on networking than on academic education.

As the universities organized entrance exams by themselves, some were also criticized for having set their requirements so low that they influenced the general quality of EMBA programs in the country.

However, a policy introduced last year that requires all applicants for EMBA programs to take the united national entrance exam has achieved initial success in improving quality, educators told Shanghai Daily.

The united exam was expected to set a relatively high threshold to ensure the weeding out of unqualified applicants.

Ren Jianbiao, EMBA center director at the Antai College of Economics and Management of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, said the policy has shown some effects and scared away many potentially unqualified applicants.

"Many people believed the united exam was too challenging and gave up their applications, while others were put off the EMBA program after failing the exam," he said.

“Only about 2,500 students were admitted into EMBA programs in 62 universities around the Chinese mainland this year, compared to 11,500 last year,” said Ren.

“About 40 universities recruited less than 10 EMBA students this year and decided to stop EMBA programs altogether next year,” he added.

Antai also admitted only 250 this year, compared to its annual enrollment plan of 300.

While some programs face challenges surviving, others of a high quality have gained international recognition.

In the FT Executive MBA Ranking of 2017 released on Monday, the Tsinghua-Insead Dual Degree EMBA was listed at second place, one place higher than last year.

The EMBA program at Antai also climbed one place higher to 6th in the latest ranking, the best among EMBA programs delivered by universities in Shanghai. It made its debut in the ranking in 2013 at 32nd place.

Among the 16 indexes included in the ranking, Antai’s EMBA program took first place in salary increase as the pay of its graduates had risen 107 percent on average after taking the program.

The School of Management at Fudan University has four EMBA programs among the top 50 on the list, while the Mannheim-Tongji EMBA, jointly delivered by Tongji University and Mannheim Business School, takes 46th place for the third year.

Ren said as unqualified programs are weeded out, the remaining programs are becoming more popular. He said Antai EMBA had already received more than 650 applications for next year’s EMBA program.


Special Reports
Top