Financial Times ranks WUSTL-Fudan University executive MBA seventh in world

The Washington University-Fudan University EMBA Program is ranked the seventh-best international executive MBA program in the world and, for the second consecutive year, as the best program in mainland China, according to 2007 rankings released last week by The Financial Times, one of the world’s leading business newspapers.

A joint educational venture between the Olin Business School and the School of Management at Fudan University in Shanghai, the program was among the first U.S.-Sino joint MBA programs in China when it was founded in 2002.

Designed to prepare Chinese managers for global executive positions, the program attracts about 75 percent of its students from the People’s Republic of China. The joint venture also provides valuable experience for students in Olin’s St. Louis-based EMBA program, many of whom were in Shanghai last week for 10 days of joint course work. Students from Shanghai will travel to St. Louis in December.

“Our mission worldwide is to create knowledge, inspire individuals and transform business,” said Mahendra Gupta, Ph.D., dean and the Geraldine J. and Robert L. Virgil Professor of Accounting and Management at Olin Business School. “To achieve our mission, we need to be consistently excellent so that we attract the best faculty and students and provide the best learning experience.”

Gupta and Lu Xiongwen, Ph.D., professor and dean of the School of Management at Fudan University, attribute the program’s continued success to both partners’ commitment to excellence.

“We have consistently striven toward excellence in the research and educational environment that we provide because it takes excellence in everything we do to be a world-leading business school,” Lu said.

The Financial Times’ rankings are based on surveys of alumni conducted three years after graduation, including questions on satisfaction in career progress, salary percentage increase and aims achieved.

The survey also measures other program attributes, such as diversity and the scholarly activities of faculty.

The 2007 rankings included survey responses from the second cohort of graduates from the Washington University-Fudan University EMBA program — their success and the strength of the program’s faculty again placed the program among the top 10 programs in the world.

Notably, current salaries of program alumni ranked second in the world this year after adjusting for differences in purchasing power parity around the world.

James T. Little, Ph.D., the Donald Danforth Jr. Distinguished Professor of Business and the program’s academic director since its inception, attributes success to an emphasis on collaboration, noting that programs based on joint ventures once again claimed four of the top 10 slots in The Financial Times’ rankings.

“Both knowledge and expert faculty are now spread worldwide,” Little said. “I don’t see any way in which today’s top universities can remain vital, continuing to push the edge of thought leadership and knowledge creation, unless they partner with other premier universities.

“It’s clear to us that the major universities of tomorrow will be central nodes in networks of institutions located across the globe,” Little said.

Little said the program is playing a key role in preparing Chinese citizens for global management positions.

“These are the students who we think matter the most, both for China and the two schools,” Little said. “As China’s best companies grow into international companies, they are going to need internationally trained executives to lead them.

“Similarly, as China grows in importance in the portfolios of leading international companies, these companies will need local managers that can bring their rich understanding of China into the corporate strategy formulation process. Our program is really designed to prepare our students for these leading roles,” Little said.