Few Chinese schools put the "international" in International MBA as much as BiMBA. Originally founded in 1998 through a consortium of American Jesuit universities, BiMBA's degree-granting institution is now Belgium's Vlerick Leuven Gent School of Business, one of the top business schools in Europe. Vlerick and BiMBA's previous partner, Fordham, give the program a constant stream of highly educated foreign professors. More than 80 percent of BiMBA's faculty comes from Europe and the U.S., far outstripping other Chinese programs.
"I came to BiMBA because the international experience is more authentic than at other schools," says Liu Hongfei, a full-time MBA student from Beijing. "Management science is
|Progam Length:||14-16 months|
|Work Experience:||7 years|
a purely Western discipline that has a very short history in China. It's best if it is taught in English by Western professors."
But BiMBA (BiMBA Full-Time MBA Profile) makes a trade-off to get its foreign faculty ratio so high—most of the overseas professors are short-term visiting scholars, making it hard for students to establish close relationships with their teachers.
A Taste of Wall Street
BiMBA, however, doesn't just bring the international to Beijing; it also takes the students overseas on research trips and offers unique opportunities for study abroad. After finishing their coursework in China, many students opt for a dual-degree at Fordham University, spending an intensive five weeks studying finance in New York to come out with an MBA and a master's degree.
BiMBA's goals for its students extend beyond business knowledge and worldly success—nurturing people of character is just as important.
"We don't have a course on corporate social responsibility," says John Yang, BiMBA's dean. "But we believe that CSR comes from within. And to that end, we work to make sure our students are of the highest moral character."
BiMBA is serious about its commitment. In a country where copying others' work often goes unnoticed and unpunished, BiMBA has been using anti-plagiarism technology for years on all student papers and presentations to ferret out any cheaters. BiMBA is also planning on bringing in Buddhist monks to teach Zen meditation as another way to develop what Yang calls "men and women of values and of love."
Some Military Discipline
The school takes character-building tips from West Point, another one of its overseas partners. Students have exchanges with cadets every year in which they have a crash course on leadership. "The best way to learn about yourself and build character is by seeing how you act in extreme situations," Yang says. "When they train with the West Point cadets—climbing mountains, fording rivers—the students are learning from people who are not only physically strong, but also morally strong. This is very important for business leaders, especially Chinese who do not necessarily have a solid moral education."
But with all these partnerships and exchanges, does BiMBA fail to teach its students about China?
"BiMBA is a great place to learn about China because of its host institution, the National School of Development," says Andrea Chen, a full-time MBA student from California who plans to work in China after graduation.
Established in 1994 by Justin Lin, the current chief economist for the World Bank and a co-founder of BiMBA, the National School of Development is a think tank that houses some of the most influential government advisers in China. Surrounded by so many experts, students are immersed in an interdisciplinary environment, with the school's professors teaching BiMBA courses on economics, political science, and even decision-making through Sun Tzu's Art of War.
"Complexity is the rule of the game today," says BiMBA's Yang. "Only by giving students a well-rounded education—not just business, but also values, and politics, and social sciences—can they be successful in the workplace and in life."