Fudan University's upgrades the MBA program with the addition of future-relevant course modules

SHANGHAI, Aug. 18, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Fudan University's MBA program, launched in 1991 and celebrating its 31st anniversary this year, has become one of the top MBA programs not only in Asia but also worldwide as a result of the university's continuous upgrades of its international education program in line with the latest development trends in the field. In the Financial Times' Top 100 Global MBA Programs 2022 Ranking, the program placed 32nd globally and came in first among the business schools of universities in Mainland China.

Fudan University's upgrades the MBA program with the addition of future-relevant course modules

On the afternoon of August 7, 2022, the press conference announcing the upgrade of the Fudan MBA program was held in a hybrid online and offline format, during which the university unveiled a new initiative to expand the program with the launch of the Fudan MBA Technology Innovation Youth Camp and the Future Development Module. During these times of uncertainty, the event focused on the characteristics of China's current stage of economic development and the business community's future demand for talented individuals while showcasing the program's new, innovative and future-oriented approaches to education.

Highlight 1: the Fudan MBA program further upgrades its curriculum to advance sustainable leadership skills

In order to to help students develop sustainable leadership skills to meet the expectations of leaders in the era of digital transformation, the Fudan MBA program has been committed to setting education goals according to future-oriented business and social needs and achieving these goals through innovation in the curriculum. The program, which has continuously witnessed enhancements to the course load and the learning system, has helped students build a complete knowledge structure, develop a forward-looking mindset and enhance capabilities in systematic learning. The program offers over 300 courses throughout the year, while modifying and upgrading the courses in line with the latest trends in economic and social development. In 2021, the average course satisfaction level reached 9.5 out of 10.

The MBA program is transforming its approach to education by upgrading the curriculum for the future through the addition of the Future Development Module that includes three mandatory courses: Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG), Organizational Behavior and Leadership, and Digital Management. The new module, reflecting major changes to the program's original curriculum in response to the new education goals, is designed to advance sustainable leadership skills. In addition, by relying on Fudan University's comprehensive disciplinary resources, the program, in cooperation with several schools within the university, has created the Fudan Humanities Elective Series and the High Technology and New Industries Series.

At the same time, Fudan's international MBA program plans to launch two new electives: Investment and Entrepreneurship as well as Business Analysis and Management. The former will focus on the management- and strategy-related challenges facing investors and entrepreneurs while the latter will help students who may become future managers become skilled at better predicting outcomes and undertaking more educated decisions based on structured data analysis.

The Fudan MBA program has integrated resources from top business schools worldwide by further expanding its curriculum partnerships with these schools. Notably, the program has rolled out four popular electives from MIT Sloan School of Management: Data Analytics by Prof. Robert Freund, Financial Innovation and Analytics by Prof. Hui Chen, Innovative Strategies by Dr. Erin Scott, and Leading Digital Transformation by Dr. George Westerman. Furthermore, the program has added to its electives system over a dozen short-term international courses covering six timely topics: Leadership and Strategy at Yale, Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Digital Transformation at MIT, Finance and Investment at London Business School, the Israel Strategic Mindset and Innovation Program, and Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley.

Highlight 2: the first Fudan MBA Technology Innovation Youth Camp is launched in response to China's technology innovation strategy

With an unprecedented level of innovation in technology taking place worldwide and the increasingly fierce competition across the technology sector, China is becoming one of the world's technology powerhouses by virtue of its latest innovations in science and technology. To respond to these development trends, the Fudan MBA program has upgraded its approach to education by introducing a technology innovation management course while launching the first Technology Innovation Youth Camp with the intent of enrolling part-time MBA students who aspire to a career as a technology innovator.

The Fudan MBA Technology Innovation Youth Camp will focus on technology innovation management with the goal of strengthening students' capabilities in four relevant areas. The selected students will take highly customized courses at the camp after completing the core courses of the MBA program during the first academic year. With a focus on the characteristics of technology innovation management, the customized courses will help students understand the top-level designs of companies at the forefront of technology innovation, grasp the trends in technology development and application, and explore the functional management and decisions of such firms. With an original, systematic and practical curriculum system, the camp is also designed to deepen students' understanding of the essence of innovation in technology while helping them enhance discernment in leveraging trends and business opportunities, augment understanding of the growth path of companies that lead in technology innovation, strengthen capabilities in addressing the practical challenges facing these firms, and develop leadership skills in empowering such companies' growth.

By leveraging the ecological technology innovation resources of the School of Management, Fudan University, the camp will create a dual-mentorship model that involves scholars and entrepreneurs in the field of technology innovation who will jointly provide comprehensive guidance to students so that they can learn new skills by participating in a number of integrated practical activities, among them technology innovation-themed reading sessions, company visits, lectures on innovation in science and technology, business challenges, and international study tours. At the same time, students of the camp who become part of the school's increasingly expanded technology innovation ecosystem are well positioned to empower innovation in technology by continuously conducting exchanges with entrepreneurs in the field, participating in internship projects and taking full advantage of career development opportunities. By doing so, students can realize their own value and become leaders in technology innovation by promoting the research, education and application of China's technology innovation management and contributing to the implementation of the country's relevant strategy.

Highlight 3: The Fudan MBA program integrates three major platforms for practical education by implementing the idea of putting learning into practice

Based on the concept of putting learning into practice, Fudan's MBA program attaches great importance to practical education by not only highlighting the connection between theory and practice in the classroom, but also providing students with numerous hands-on activities that help them understand the importance of practice and comprehensively improve their abilities. The hands-on lineup includes the iLab Business Challenge, the iLab Business Consulting Project and the 'JOIN' Start-up Competition.

After the completion of the upgrade of the education system, the two MBA iLab action learning platforms, iLab Business Challenge and iLab Business Consulting Project, will reach all of the program's students with a commitment to building a closed-loop system that unites knowledge and action and facilitates action learning for each of the students.

The iLab Business Consulting Project is a program that offers special consulting or research under the guidance of teachers from the School of Management, with the aim of helping companies grow by assisting them through the analysis of their specific challenges and the provision of corresponding solutions. The Project brings together multiple consulting groups made up of students from the Fudan MBA program and its international institutional partners, with 3-5 students forming a group. Since its launch in 2005, the Project has undertaken 304 iLab projects through collaborations with 252 Chinese and international firms, delivering positive educational outcomes and social impact.

This year, the Fudan MBA program launched the Fudan MBA iLab Business Challenge, a series of credit-based practical electives for in-service MBA students. During the one-month challenge, corporate partners suggested 2-3 development issues as research topics, 50-100 students then participated in groups to study the issue and propose solutions, while 5-6 teachers from the School of Management provided guidance to each of the groups. Through high-intensity training and a fierce competition model that sparks creative thinking and explores mindsets, the 10-20 participating groups came up with a variety of solutions and presented them to the corporate partners.

Most notably, the 'JOIN' Start-up Competition, founded in 2004, is not only a well-known, unique practical activity platform of the Fudan MBA program but also serves as a platform through which the program's students and alumni showcase their entrepreneurial achievements and receive guidance on entrepreneurship. In 2021, the event attracted entrepreneurs from over 150 higher education institutions in China as well as from nearly 40 universities and colleges abroad alongside 173 entrepreneurial projects, 60 per cent of which involved innovation in technology.

Prof. Lu Xiongwen, dean of the School of Management, Fudan University: It is essential to connect business administration programs with innovation in technology

During the press conference, Fudan University School of Management dean Prof. Lu Xiongwen reviewed the course of development and history of China's business administration programs and affirmed their achievements. "Business administration programs have contributed to China's economic growth and opening-up reform by training a large number of management professionals who have become leaders of foreign-funded companies, private and state-owned Chinese firms as well as Chinese government organizations, further promoting the development of various sectors and exerting a profound impact on the country's economic and social landscape," said Prof. Lu.

"Today, Chinese business administration programs are still hobbled by a number of shortcomings, including a lack of innovation in curriculum theory. We shall look into the future by navigating unprecedented challenges in a more volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA) world," indicated Prof. Lu. "Despite the uncertainty in world politics and in economic development, the yearning for a better life is unstoppable and there is an inevitable trend towards China's rise and technological innovation-driven growth. China's business administration programs can be expected to keep up with global trends over the next 20-30 years as the country's economy is bound to continue its rise and draw global attention."

"Military conflicts as well as political and economic competition between countries and regions worldwide are all about the contest of their technological strengths," added Prof. Lu who also highlighted the importance of innovation in technology. "Chinese business schools are advised to pay more attention to innovation in technology so as to help companies enhance their competence in this regard by empowering technology innovation through business administration."

Prof. Zheng Ming, deputy dean of the School of Management, Fudan University: The Fudan MBA program, which celebrates its 31st anniversary this year, leads the way in the Chinese business administration education sector

During the press conference, Fudan University School of Management deputy dean Prof. Zheng Ming reviewed the history (1991-2022) and achievements of the Fudan MBA program. "The program has made remarkable achievements since its launch in 1991," stated Prof. Zheng.

The Fudan MBA program has become a pioneer in MBA education by continuously exploring innovation over the past 31 years. In order to meet domestic demand for management professionals, the program has built a multi-tiered educational system that it is known for the thorough self-exploration of its students and by its capacity to learn from the world's higher education institutions with which the program has established partnerships.

As a pioneer in China's MBA education market, the Fudan MBA program, by leveraging the opportunity presented by the country's comprehensive reform of professional degree education, has delivered innovative outcomes in the areas of curriculum development, action learning, enrollment and international cooperation, including an enhanced curriculum, online prerequisite courses, iLab action learning as well as short- and long-term study abroad programs.

The Fudan MBA program has received a number of honors over the past 31 years, including the top prize at the Ministry of Education's 2001 National Teaching Achievement Awards (High Education) and the highest A+ rating in the country's first educational credential assessment by the Ministry of Education in 2018. In addition, the program entered the Financial Times' Top 100 Global Full-time MBA Programs Ranking in 2013 and moved into the Top 50 in 2015. This year, the program moved up to the 32nd position in the global ranking and first in the regional ranking for mainland China. 

Prof. Feng Tianjun, director of Fudan University's MBA program: The program leads the future by setting five educational objectives and making available six educational modules

Fudan MBA program director Prof. Feng Tianjun gave a detailed presentation on the work that went into upgrading the Fudan MBA education system in 2022. He pointed out that with a mission-oriented strategy, the program has been committed to nurturing business and social leaders who are able to change the world and benefit mankind.

In the VUCA era where future leaders must possess three qualities: erudition, spirit of scientific innovation, and a sustainability-oriented mindset, the upgraded Fudan MBA program aims to develop such leaders by focusing on five educational objectives:

1. The ability to grasp comprehensive, systematic cutting-edge theories, tools and methods relating to business administration, and to understand the underlying logic of management;
2. The ability to identify, analyze and address practical management challenges in the complex global business environment and cross-cultural context;
3. The ability to undertake organizational transformation, to predict outcomes and to be a leader;
4. An innovative mindset coupled with an entrepreneurial spirit alongside capabilities at innovation and entrepreneurial practice;
5. ESG awareness and a humanistic mindset.

Based on these objectives, the Fudan MBA program has formulated and put into practice a new education system defined by a pyramid stacking the six modules: laying the foundation, gaining insights into management, broadening horizons, refining professional skills, integrating practice, and leading the future.


Source: School of Management, Fudan University
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