In 1994, just as the Chinese economy was coming into its own, a business school was founded in the financial hub of Shanghai -- the China European International Business School. The model project has since become one of the world’s most prestigious business schools and number one in Asia.
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso at the China Europe International Business School in Shanghai
An online presentation for the China European International Business School (CEIBS) in Shanghai presents the campus of Asia's leading business school as an oasis of calm in the hectic financial hub -- with artificial waterfalls, lush lawns and modern low buildings.
The figures are impressive too. Its prestigious MBA Programme has been ranked Number 1 in Asia and Number 11 world-wide by the Financial Times annual global rankings of business schools for the fifth time in a row.
The German dean Rolf Cremer is pleased, even if there is still some way to go: "We can still not compare to the leading American business schools -- such as Harvard, Stanford or Columbia. They have a totally different resource base -- they're massive institutes with huge funding. But if we compare ourselves to European schools, I'm not only very satisfied but feel very comfortable among their ranks."
Cremer runs the business school with a Spaniard and two Chinese professors. The school's president, Dr. Zhu Xiaoming, is also the Vice Chairman of the Shanghai Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference -- a political position which could be of benefit to CEIBS.
As well as 200 MBA students, CEIBS has over 700 students in its EMBA programme, a special executive MBA. Two-thirds of the students are Chinese -- mainly from urban centres. The goal is to entice more students from diverse backgrounds, says Cremer.
"This new project, which was authorised last year by the EU, is worth almost 11 million euros. It's a project that promotes the training of businessmen and women in China's rural areas. It's a European idea. Groups which have been at a disadvantage in the past are now being supported.”
“That means people from neglected regions, or women, or people who don't have the means to attend a first-class business school. The question is no longer whether China is playing a leading role but how it is playing it," Cremer said.
The European Union is especially interested in training managers who have an international outlook. Meggen Wu, who came to Shanghai after studying German at Beijing's renowned Beida University for eight years, is one example:
"CEIBS is number 1 in Asia and that obviously played a great role for me. I want to stay here in China. CEIBS offers a good combination -- an international outlook and a good understanding of China."
As well as thousands of students and alumni, CEIBS also has about 50 partner organisations from industry, the media and the health sector, with whom the dean and his colleagues want to ensure the business school ranks among the world's top ten by 2010.