Tag: Fudan University

Photo of Brookings Hall against a bright blue sky with the Financial Times logo in the top left and the words "2022 EMBA Shanghai: #9" in the lower left.

Buoyed by strong representation from female students, strong international course experience and very strong salaries for graduates, WashU Olin’s Shanghai-based Executive MBA program rose substantially in the Financial Times’ latest ranking of similar programs for 2022.

The ranking, released in October, showed a marked increase in the program’s performance in the FT ranking over the previous two years. In 2021, Olin’s ranking suffered when pandemic-related issues prevented the program from enrolling a class in time. The year before, in 2020, Olin ranked 16, so its rise to the top 10—in the year of its 20th anniversary—was significant.

“Olin’s joint EMBA program in Shanghai with Fudan University has long been one of the gems of our school,” said Anjan Thakor, interim dean at WashU Olin. “I’m thrilled to see the hard work of so many, and the dedication of our students, recognized by the results of this ranking.”

Daniel Elfenbein, Olin professor of organization and strategy and associate dean for the EMBA-Shanghai program, acknowledged the “tremendous challenges for effectively engaging with students” through COVID-19.

“Thanks to the flexibility of our faculty, our students and our Fudan partners—and the incredibly hard work that each of these groups has put in—the EMBA-Shanghai program remains one that we can be tremendously proud of,” Elfenbein said. “These rankings validate that hard work, and they reflect the impact that our program continues to have in global executive education.”

Program on the vanguard

Olin was on the vanguard among business schools when it partnered with Fudan University in 2002 to launch the first-of-its-kind Executive MBA in China, placing American business faculty members in front of Chinese nationals to teach global business principles.

At the time, China was just entering the World Trade Organization, and its economy was the sixth largest in the world. Today, China’s economy is ranked second, and the program counts more than 1,000 students among its graduates.

Among the highlights of the 2022 Financial Times ranking:

  • The incoming class in the joint Shanghai-based program was 42% female, placing Olin 15th among schools.
  • Alumni salaries were strong, averaging $398,893, moving Olin up from 10th to sixth in that dimension of the ranking.
  • In international course experience, Olin rose substantially, from 39th to 22nd.
  • The WashU-Fudan program also showed continued strengths in its ranking for work experience (10th) and its Financial Times research ranking (eighth).

“The fact that our program continues to soar is a testament to the commitment and passion of everyone involved—students, staff and faculty,” said Markus Baer, professor of organizational behavior and Olin’s vice dean of executive education. “We are excited about the future and what we can accomplish in the years to come.”

One area of opportunity centered in curriculum content hours focused on environment, sustainability and governance issues. Nearly 13% of Olin’s curriculum centers on those issues—similar to previous years—but its ranking in that category fell, indicating an increase in curriculum hours among other schools.

Northwestern University, the China Europe International Business School, Tsinghua University/INSEAD, HEC Paris and ESCP Business School took the top five spots in the 2022 ranking. Rounding out the top 10 were programs including a three-way joint program among HEC Paris, New York University and the London School of Economics; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; the University of Chicago; WashU Olin; and the University of Navarra.

Olin alum Thomas Cheong, EMBA

When Thomas Cheong, EMBA-Shanghai Class 13, entered the Washington University–Fudan University Executive MBA program, he had already been working for 20 years, becoming a CFO at age 32 and a CEO by age 40.

“I wanted to go back to school to recharge and learn new skills to prepare for bigger roles in the second half of my career,” he says. He chose the program because of the reputation of the universities and the opportunity to learn concurrently from a Chinese and American university.

“The professors at both schools were top-notch,” Cheong says. Even today he sits in on lectures when he has time, thanks to the program’s lifelong learning provision.

After graduating, Cheong became a CEO at an asset management company in Taiwan. There, he doubled the company’s assets under management in one year by building a strong team, developing a strategic plan for the future and forging productive relationships.

“All the stuff I learned during the EMBA program was put to good use,” he says.

“I am thankful that the EMBA program—particularly its courses on leadership, strategic thinking, innovation and marketing—has prepared me well for my current role.”

From there, he was recruited to be vice president of North Asia for Principal Financial Group, one of the largest pension asset managers in the U.S. and South America. They were looking to grow their operations in Asia. Now, more than 500 individuals report to Cheong.

“I am thankful that the EMBA program—particularly its courses on leadership, strategic thinking, innovation and marketing—has prepared me well for my current role,” Cheong says. “And the friendships and support of fellow participants and the mentorships of professors have also helped me a lot.”

This article previously appeared in Asia Extra. You can read the full profile here

Article written by Rosalind Early

Image: Thomas Cheong, EMBA-Shanghai Class 13, with his son.

“My first day was Monday, ” said Paul Shao, the new Managing Director of Olin’s EMBA program in Shanghai at Fudan University.  Shao introduced himself at the beginning of our Friday classroom session at Fudan University, which is located in the Yangpu District, a northern suburb of Shanghai. Shao is a graduate of the EMBA Shanghai program having completed his degree with Class 11 in 2013.

A class session at Fudan began with an introduction by the new Managing Director of the Fudan EMBA program Paul Shao, EMBA Shanghai Class 11

A class session at Fudan began with an introduction by the new Managing Director of the Fudan EMBA program Paul Shao, EMBA Shanghai Class 11

Jim Little, who taught EMBA 43 Macroeconomics last spring, joined the class for a discussion of consumer behavior in Shanghai. He was in Shanghai teaching as part of the partnership for Executive education established between Washington University and Fudan University in 2002.

A walking tour of the campus revealed numerous landmarks, including the campus’s signature Guang Ha Building, a much larger than life President Mao statue, as well as picturesque campus architecture and garden decor in the Yan Garden.

EMBA 43 student Robb-Davon Butler poses in front of the Mao statue in the quad.

EMBA 43 student Robb-Davon Butler poses in front of the Mao statue in the quad.

Friday morning classroom session at Fudan University

Friday morning classroom session at Fudan University

View from the School of Management at Fudan University 8th floor classroom suite.

View from the School of Management at Fudan University 8th floor classroom suite, looking south toward downtown Shanghai. Hong Ku Foodball Stadium is visible in the upper right.


Fudan University campus building.

Fudan University campus building.

Yan Garden stone inscription.

Yan Garden at Fudan University rock inscription.

On Wednesday, December 10, we celebrated the naming of the Kevin Meng Xiang Xu and Family Dean’s Suite at Olin. Kevin is a distinguished alumnus, noted businessman, and dedicated supporter of the John M. Olin School of Business.

In 1999, Mr. Xu founded Ruichem Group, a leading chemical company in China. He was the president of Executive MBA Shanghai Class 12. Xu and his family made this gift to honor his classmates and his transformative educational experience in the program.

Mr. Xu would like to build a stronger alumni community among Olin’s Shanghai alumni and his hope is that many generations of students will receive an excellent education like the one he received at Olin Business School.

Click below to enjoy the video of the naming celebration!

Olin Business School’s joint Executive MBA (EMBA) program with Fudan University in Shanghai is #7 in the 2014 Financial Times (FT) survey and remains among the most highly ranked programs globally. Among EMBA programs based in Mainland China, the Olin-Fudan program ranks #2.

“As one of the first western schools to partner with a Chinese university and introduce executive education to the Asian market, Olin is extremely proud of more than 800 highly successful alumni from our program with Fudan University,” said Mahendra R. Gupta, dean of Olin Business School. “Our excellent faculty are dedicated to preparing global leaders who can manage the challenges of doing business in the 21st century.”


Prof. Jim Little chats with EMBA students in Shanghai.

Based on surveys of alumni who graduated in 2011, 2012, and 2013, and information provided by the business schools, The FT rankings are based on multiple criteria from students’ salary increases to the volume of research published by faculty.

Candidates accepted to the Olin-Fudan program are among the most highly experienced and accomplished executives. The majority are at a directorship level or higher when they enter the program. When compared to all the schools in the FT survey, Olin-Fudan incoming students rank at #11 on the global scale of work experience.

The Shanghai-based program is taught in English by tenured faculty of Washington and Fudan universities. Students attend intensive monthly sessions for 22 months with a rigorous and demanding curriculum. Graduates report salary increases of more than 50% according to the new FT survey. Olin-Fudan alumni are not only prepared to take their careers to the next level upon completion of the EMBA program but they continue to benefit from the global alumni networks of two highly respected universities.

In the category of research, the Olin-Fudan program ranked #11 globally, reflecting the important role that faculty research plays in Olin’s mission to create knowledge and use research as a teaching tool. This category is calculated according to the number of articles published by a school’s current full-time faculty members in 45 academic and practitioner journals between January 2011 and August 2014. The rank combines the absolute number of publications with the number weighted relative to the faculty’s size.

The Olin-Fudan premier EMBA program attracts a diverse cohort of students each year from multi-national companies based in China and throughout Asia. Nearly half (49%), of the international EMBA candidates in the Shanghai program are women, the highest percentage among the top-tier schools in the FT survey.

Washington University launched its Executive MBA program 30 years ago in St. Louis and it continues to grow in recognition and reach. The Shanghai-based program was established in 2002 and more recently, the program has expanded to Kansas City (2009), and Denver (2013). In 2015, Olin and the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay’s Shailesh J. Mehta School of Management will launch the first joint EMBA program of its kind in Mumbai, India.

The Financial Times’ 14th annual ranking of executive MBA degrees included 132 programs from 32 countries, including 17 offered jointly by more than one school.
To view the rankings and methodology, please click here.