Several hundred Chinese students could be earning their MBA degrees in Texas soon due to formal partnership accords signed between the University of Houston-Victoria and five Chinese higher education institutions.
UHV President Tim Hudson, School of Business Administration (SoBA) Dean Charles Bullock and SoBA Professor Jifu Wang consummated the agreements with universities in Xi'an, Beijing, Nanjing and Hangzhou in China in mid-October, another initiative in UHV's goal of internationalization.
"With annual economic growth rates approaching 10 percent in a country of more than 1.3 billion people, we cannot and should not ignore China as a major player in every facet of the global economy, including education," Hudson said.
According to numerous sources, China is predicted soon to become America's leading business partner.
According to Wang, a native of China who earned his doctorate degree at Auburn University, the Chinese universities were attracted by the UHV School of Business Administration’s accreditation from AACSB International—The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International)—an organization dedicated to the worldwide advancement of quality management education, which accredits only about 550 of the estimated 7,000 business schools throughout the world.
"The Chinese Ministry of Education encourages these types of partnerships because they allow Chinese students to earn a Western education," Wang said. "And the first thing they look at is accreditation. UHV’s School of Business and its programs hold the highest endorsement."
Hudson, who has initiated over 40 study-abroad programs worldwide, said he was pleased with the outcome of the trip and the possibilities that lie ahead.
"The success of this trip was directly related to the efforts of the School faculty such as Professor Wang, the quality of our programs, and the leadership of Dean Bullock," Hudson said. "To sign five agreements in four cities in the course of a week is extraordinary and a testament to the value of having an international faculty."
The ceremonies associated with the agreements allowed for the discussion of linkages beyond the School of Business.
"The presidents I met were open-minded and ready to innovate. We've now found willing, able and interested partners that are eager to discuss further initiatives," Hudson said. Although new, the relationships could lead to faculty exchanges, student internships, and degree programs beyond those in business."
Dr. Huixia Pan, dean of the business school at Xi'an International Studies University (XISU), is excited about the relationship with UHV—so much so that her own daughter and future son-in-law will attend UHV beginning in January.
"Our school attaches great importance to the UHV program which we have built together," Pan said. XISU, where each of its 30,000 students must learn English, currently has 30 students studying in the U.S. and expects to send 100 students next year; half will attend UHV.
According to Bullock, students in China will take their eight Global MBA foundation courses from the Chinese universities, using textbook selections and syllabi approved by UHV.
"Our Chinese partners have agreed to rewrite their curriculum to complement the Global MBA," he said, adding that these foundation courses would be taught in English.
Wang said the Chinese universities consider using UHV’s accredited curriculum as a way to improve their quality of education.
Under these agreements, students will attend classes in the U.S. for one year after completing their bachelor’s degrees and Global MBA foundation courses with the Chinese partner universities.
After completing the foundation courses, Chinese students can fulfill requirements for the Global MBA at UHV in one year, Bullock added.
When fully operationalized, the agreements are expected to increase the School of Business Administration’s enrollment from 720 graduate students to over 1,000.
A faculty exchange will begin this January, when Hohai University sends its first visiting scholar to UHV, according to Jane Mims, director of services for the School of Business Administration at UHV.
"The professor will audit classes and work on research projects with UHV’s business faculty," Mims said.
UHV faculty will continue to have opportunities to use the partnerships to collaborate with Chinese faculty on global business research. Wang and Bullock are already co-authoring a book with Zhao Jinhua, dean of the school of business at Central University of Finance and Economics in Beijing, under the working title "Strategic Perspectives: Multi-National Corporations Operating in China."
American students enrolled in the Global MBA will benefit from engaging with Chinese students, both in class and working on team projects. In addition, Wang will take UHV students to China this summer for study abroad, which will allow students to experience the excitement of China’s last-minute preparations for the Olympics. The trip will be hosted by one of the partner institutions.
"What a great opportunity for our own students, a chance to study with and get to know the future leaders of the world's most populous country," Bullock said.