CEIBS is expanding its European offerings out of a campus in Zurich. Sponsors have purchased the Lorange Institute of Business Zurich (LIBZ) to provide CEIBS, which is headquartered in Shanghai, better access to Europe.
CEIBS’ foray into Zurich is a natural progression. The school was established, 21 years ago, as a joint venture between the Shanghai government and the then European Commission. “Today, CEIBS has received endorsement from the two major accreditation bodies in the U.S. and Europe, EQUIS and AACSB; and its MBA, EMBA and Executive Education programs have gained global recognition,” says CEIBS Vice President and Co-Dean Professor Zhang Weijiong. “We hope this project will enhance our ability to offer an even more international perspective to our students and alumni while also providing a new bridge for European companies to understand the Chinese market.”
CEIBS has campuses in China’s economic and political capitals – Shanghai and Beijing – as well as operations in Shenzhen in the south of China and Accra in Ghana. Among the school’s more than 17,000 alumni around the globe, the majority are in leadership positions. As the needs of its students and alumni have changed over the years, CEIBS has adapted to better fulfill its goal of educating responsible business leaders. The acquisition of the Lorange Institute of Business Zurich, made by the non-profit organization Friends of CEIBS Foundation (FCF), is a milestone in the school’s internationalization strategy.
"An increasing number of our alumni are doing business globally, so we have to better serve this group,” explains CEIBS European President Professor Pedro Nueno. “At the same time, the Chinese economy is growing larger and more complex and its impact on the rest of the world is undeniable; so it’s time to better summarize and develop business theories and models, based on Chinese practices, and convey those messages worldwide.”
According to Prof. Dr. DING Yuan, Vice President and Dean, Cathay Capital Chair Professor in Accounting at CEIBS, the branch in Zurich will be part of an interactive exchange: "We will bring Chinese executives to Zurich to visit selected companies and interact with European experts. Our goal is for our Chinese students to understand how they can adapt European practices to their local context in China; and for Europeans to better understand Chinese issues in the context of similar problems they may have faced in the past. This will be interactive, two-way communication."
“We have been very successful at bringing knowledge to China, educating and developing competent managers for multinationals, SOEs and private companies. You could say we provided a ‘set menu’,” says Prof. Dr. DING Yuan. “Now it will be more ‘a la carte’. Our students and alumni are looking to us to provide them with the business management training they need to face the new challenges of the Chinese economy. We have responded by covering topics such as innovation, e-commerce, entrepreneurship, branding, family business, industry 4.0 and more.” He adds, “CEIBS students can learn from European cases and experts on innovation and family business. At the same time, European students can get first-hand knowledge on cases and teaching from China while still in Europe. We need to educate business executives – both Chinese and those from other countries – on how to navigate China’s increasingly complex market, and we do all this within a global context.
The excellent business environment and the central location were among the reasons CEIBS chose Zurich as its gateway to Europe. "We needed a good location that would make strategic sense to the type of clients we will have. This was very important. The diverse business environment of Zurich, including the banking or manufacturing sector, will attract our executives. Moreover, Zurich is easily reached with direct flights from Asia, and places like Munich or Stuttgart are easily accessible," says Prof. Dr. DING Yuan. In September 2016, the first CEIBS Global Executive MBA will already start in Zurich.
The Greater Zurich Area AG, the international contact partner for promotion and marketing of the Greater Zurich Area economic region, supports CEIBS’ globalization strategy. GZA provides a bridge and free services to Chinese companies with an interest in doing business in Switzerland and connects them to relevant companies, authorities and institutions in industry and academia.