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Innovating to recruit MBAs

SHANGHAI universities are mapping out new recruiting strategies and admission plans for 2011 to compete for coveted, high-tuition MBA students.

Fudan University will hold interviews out of town for the first time to attract students across the country.

Shanghai Jiao Tong University will launch a preparatory school to pull in potential applicants. It is the country's first university to do so. Meanwhile, the tuition for MBA programs is expected to increase next year to improve faculty and facilities.

Fudan University currently charges at least 120,000 yuan (US$17,560). Jiao Tong University charges at least 118,000 yuan, and Tongji University charges more than 85,000 yuan. Shanghai International Studies University, Donghua University and East China Normal University all charge around 70,000 yuan.

"More and more people have applied for MBA studies in recent years," said Jacky Xie, associate director of Fudan's MBA program.

"But in the long run, MBA applicants may be diverted to other professional degree studies," he added.

Academic degree studies account for 92 percent of postgraduate studies in the country, while professional degree studies make up 8 percent.

The Ministry of Education plans to promote more professional degrees, so that the proportion is 50-50, Xie said.

Fudan University's School of Management plans to hold promotion fairs in Beijing and Shenzhen, Guangdong Province. School representatives will hold pre-interview sessions on site.

Outstanding participants can be admitted even if their scores in the national MBA written exam are not very high, Xie said.

From next year, graduates from China's top 39 universities can also apply to Jiao Tong University, even if they lack the generally required three years of working experience.

The university's Antai College of Economics and Management will launch preparatory schools - spring camp and autumn camp - to look for potential full-time MBA students. As with Fudan, Antai will admit excellent participants with great potential, despite scores that are less than stellar.

After three years of working experience, candidates can submit a performance reference when officially applying for admission.

"We favor young people with great potential and want to help them plan their careers early and prepare for MBA studies," said Jack Chen, program coordinator of the MBA office at Jiao Tong University. "College tutors will offer guidance free of charge and build connections with outstanding participants in preparatory schools," he said.


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