University adapts to needs of business

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 23 May, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 23 May, 2012, 12:00am


The University of Nottingham Ningbo China, the first Sino-foreign university to open its doors on the mainland, is expanding its postgraduate programmes to meet the needs of business communities.

The university was set up in 2004 by the University of Nottingham in England. All degree programmes are taught in English and students are encouraged to communicate in English. The degrees awarded are the same as those offered in Britain.

Over the past seven years, the university's student population has grown from 250 to 5,000, and it plans to increase the number to 8,000. It has more than 400 teaching and administrative staff from more than 40 countries, including academics seconded from Nottingham or recruited from overseas.

Postgraduate programmes introduced this year include a mini eMBA from June and a master of entrepreneurship from September. According to Carl Fey, dean of Nottingham University Business School China, the programmes are in response to the needs of business communities as part of efforts to promote internationalism. For example, the mini eMBA is held in partnership with the William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan, bringing United States and European education experience to Chinese students. The programme consists of four four-day content modules in Ningbo and a one-week study trip to London.

The master of entrepreneurship programme is designed especially for students who want to become self-employed entrepreneurs or to engage in entrepreneurial and innovative roles. According to Fey, this is a practical degree with active learning through extensive case studies and seminars by guest speakers.

The university's business school now has about 2,500 students, including 2,000 undergraduates. More than 90 per cent are local students, with the rest being foreign and exchange students from countries including Britain, Russia, Indonesia, the US and Thailand.

Fey says over the past year the university has made efforts to increase interaction, which is generally lacking among local students. 'We pushed interactive teaching by the use of more case studies, discussions and business simulations to increase student participation,' he adds.

The university offers three-year undergraduate programmes, with tuition fees of 50,000 yuan (HK$61,400) a year for local students or 60,000 yuan for foreign students. A preliminary year programme is also offered for those who cannot make direct entry to the first year.