TWU Launches Great Wall MBA
On October 17th, Trinity Western University will celebrate the launch of The Great Wall MBA program at the Tianjin University of Finance and Economics (TUFE) in Tianjin, China. The program will make TWU the only foreign university approved in the city of Tianjin to offer a Masters of Business Administration program. Tianjin University is highly ranked in its field and has facilitated one of the longest-standing, foreign-delivered MBA programs in China. TWU currently teaches a Bachelors of Business Administration-Masters of Business Administration transition degree at TUFE. The purpose of the program will be to build on the established connection between the two universities, grow business relationships between Chinese and Canadian leaders, and allow TWU to have a voice in Chinese business development. Associate Provost Philip Laird, Ph.D., noted that The Great Wall program was a “natural extension” of what the two institutions have been doing together.
“It’s really quite a remarkable story, how we’ve been able to develop a relationship that has led to this new program,” said TWU Professor of Law, Kevin Sawatsky, J.D., who has been heavily involved in The Great Wall MBA program. The connection was built through a former visiting scholar to TWU who later went on to become the director of the foreign MBA program at TUFE.
The Great Wall MBA had been delivered by an American university, which became unable to continue their involvement. Through its relationship with TUFE, TWU was asked if they wanted to take over the delivery of the program. This began the process of negotiation and program-approval from both the Canadian and Chinese ministries of education.
The MBA is largely modeled after TWU’s local International Master of Business Administration program (IMBA). The course structure follows an executive residency model, which organizes concentrated course work, with lectures being taught over two consecutive weekends and reoccurring every six weeks.
The model provides streamlined logistics for professors travelling between Canada and China, and allows for greater student immersion in the course material. There will be two groups of students, known as cohorts, with up to 35 in each cohort. This is more students than the combined total of MBA students enrolled on TWU’s own campus.
The majority of the program will be taught by TWU professors in English, which means students will be required to pass an English proficiency test to be admitted into the program. The director for the MBA program, Murray Mactavish, Ph.D., is well-acquainted with China: in the last seven years he has made 22 trips there and has also studied Chinese leadership. He is confident in the program, saying, “The TWU faculty team have experience working and teaching in China, so they are well-prepared to deliver a high quality educational program in Tianjin.”