The Fudan-MIT international MBA in Shanghai requires a dissertation, but anyone seeking a degree from an ivory tower need not apply: this is full-immersion, full-contact China. And the vast majority of graduates of the Fudan University School of Management collaborative MBA program with the MIT Sloan School stay and work in China after graduating.
At first, they generally make very little – average starting salary is a mere $39,000 per year. But the degree itself costs only $36,700, and by three years after graduation, Fudan MBAs are generally earning around $91,000, according to the Financial Times.
Although taught in English, the two-year, full-time MBA is mostly made up of Chinese students, with about 15 to 20 foreigners in each class of 110. “We just throw them into the Chinese student groups,” says Long Sun, executive director of the international MBA program. “They will immediately feel that there is a different angle from Chinese students, and different arguments.”
In the rankings, the Fudan SOM has been on the rise, last year breaking into the Poets&Quants best international MBA list for the first time, at No. 53, and this year leaping up in the Financial Times global MBA ranking to No. 55 from No. 83 last year and 89 in 2013. Last year, a team of Fudan MBA students won the $25,000 grand prize in the Boston University Grand Business Challenge in Digital Health.
A LONGSTANDING PARTNERSHIP WITH MIT-SLOAN
Fudan’s MBA program is modeled on those in top U.S. business schools. Since starting its partnership with the MIT Sloan School of Management in 1996, Fudan has been constantly updating its program and curriculum, bringing in – via exchanges of Fudan and Sloan faculty and students, and joint-study programs – teaching and administration practices, course content, and courses, while providing international exposure and networking opportunities for faculty and MBA candidates from both schools.
“This learning is not only shaping our school of management but also shaping China’s management education as well,” says Sun.
The Fudan content, however, remains focused on China. “Our faculty members will introduce more Chinese companies, cases, and practice and concepts here,” Sun says. The Fudan MBA differs from a typical U.S. MBA in its dissertation requirement: the last six months of the program are spent working on the dissertation, required for degrees from China’s state-run universities.
With the partnership between Fudan and Sloan approaching its 20-year anniversary next year, Sloan’s executive director of international programs David Capodilupo sees the collaboration as a profound two-way success. For Sloan, significant benefits accrue to students and faculty, Capodilupo says. Sloan sends about four faculty members per year to Fudan, and Fudan sends two or three professors to Sloan per year. The Sloan professors, whose areas of interest involve China, teach classes in topics including financial innovation, leadership communications, teamwork, advanced negotiation, and workplace resolution, Capodilupo says. They work closely with Fudan faculty, and learn about Fudan professors’ research. Sloan faculty and staff also share with Fudan administrative best practices, to increase effectiveness in the school’s admissions, career development, and student life offerings.