CSOM partners with Chinese college for new MBA program

Thirty-five University students began attending their first day of fall classes in Guangzhou, China, today. The students, natives of China, are attending the University through Carlson School of Management’s newly developed China Executive MBA program.

Carlson partnered with Lingnan College at Zhongshan University four years ago to begin planning the program. Before the Chinese partnership, the Carlson School set up similar programs in Warsaw, Poland, and Vienna, Austria.

The Warsaw program impressed Zhongshan University officials and served as a model for the recent initiative, said Mike Houston, associate dean for international programs at the Carlson School.

Planners designed weekend classes for the two-year program to accommodate students who work full time and have families.

“Each class is taught jointly by a Carlson professor and a Chinese professor,” Houston said. “Our faculty member is the primary instructor.”

The classes take place at Lingnan College for the main portion of the two years. At the end of the second year, students participate in a two-week residency program at the University.

“They’ll be visiting and meeting with local executives to learn a bit more about Twin City businesses,” said Mary Maus-Kosir, assistant director of international programs at the Carlson School.

“There are a lot of Minnesota firms that have connections in China. China is becoming more and more attractive because of growth and spending power,” Houston said. “The University has a very strong alumni base over there.”

Maus-Kosir said she expects the program will allow the Carlson School to expand its “geographic scope.”

“This makes our presence whole. Now we have a presence in Asia,” she said.

Though the students will be thousands of miles away, Houston said Carlson faculty will be able to maintain the program from Minnesota.

Besides having a Carlson professor teaching alongside each Lingnan professor, Houston said Carlson will also control the program’s admission.

“We control who is admitted, so we control the quality of the students and the quality of the courses,” Houston explained. “And as a result of controlling these areas, we control the quality of the overall program.”

Houston said he is confident China’s program will follow, if not surpass, Warsaw’s and Vienna’s models of success.

“We expect this to be a very successful program,” Maus-Kosir said.


Latasha Webb welcomes comments at [email protected]