My thoughts on the Asian Pacific Conference for Deans and Directors 2018

 I had the pleasure of attending our recent conference in Harbin, China, and it is with equal pleasure I report that there were a record number of attendees. This event is fast becoming our flagship event in that part of the world.

The Chinese market for students is very important to AMBA because of the initiatives of the Chinese Government to re-assert itself on the world stage.

One way the government is doing this is through The One Belt and One Road initiative. The initiative is not just about trade, it is also about building layers of infrastructure which includes higher education partnerships with key institutions from all over the world.

Furthermore, the Chinese Government has stated an ambition to be the world leader in AI by 2030.

The, so against this backdrop, the theme of the conference was how Business Schools should respond.

One idea about how Schools should respond was that they should explore the ways in which the growth areas in China such as financial services, healthcare, and entertainment can become part of the MBA curriculum and how, for example, Fintech can enter mainstream MBA teaching.

AMBA’s support for Business Schools have led us to become partners with the Silk Road Entrepreneurship Education Network (SREEN), who have created a national competition to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship. The top five Business Schools in the competition will win a one week trip to Silicon Valley.

The winners will be announced in November this year.

Competitions like this and the willingness of Business Schools to collaborate is a sign of the growth aspirations of the Chinese economy. At the conference, there was a lot of ideas being promoted about how Business Schools should collaborate and become more involved in the corporate world. These are the themes which AMBA are keen to promote generally, not just in China.

AMBA is also keen to develop our student membership proposition in China. We’ve introduced the concept of ‘double happiness’, which means we will continue to support both Business Schools and their students, during and after graduation, and complement the alumni services that Business Schools offer.

It is clear that Chinese Business School education is hungry for success. As our conferences in China become more successful, AMBA is determined to maintain the support of our accredited Business Schools, and the wider international Business School community.

I look forward to AMBA becoming a significant driver in promoting China, and Chinese students, both nationally and abroad.