April 9, 2000
KALAMAZOO -- Western Michigan University will commence its first overseas MBA program next month when approximately 20 students begin business studies in Singapore.
According to Dr. James W. Schmotter, dean of WMU's Haworth College of Business, University faculty will visit Singapore regularly to provide intensive 10-day courses for the new master of business administration program. Pre-course work and follow-up will be conducted via the Internet. By completing 16 such courses, students in Singapore will be able to complete the degree in 15 months.
Set to begin the first week in May, the WMU program includes courses in accountancy, finance, economic analysis, information technology, marketing, business policy and ethics, intercultural communication, human resource management, and international marketing, finance and management. The program will focus on international management, with a strong emphasis on Asia-Pacific business issues.
The Haworth College of Business will partner with the Center for American Education in Singapore to deliver the program. In the heart of Singapore's business and cultural district, CAE's campus includes a library, computer labs, administrative offices, and fully equipped classrooms.
Students already enrolled in the program include rising young professionals working for such firms as Hewlett Packard, Westinghouse, Singapore Airlines, PicTel Videoconferencing Systems and Computer Sciences Corp.
"Singapore is the business hub of Southeast Asia," says Schmotter. "The economy is booming and there is an excellent base of professional students clamoring for quality MBA programs. With such an excellent partner in the Center for American Education, we could scarcely resist the opportunity."
WMU has offered an MBA for more than 50 years, and its business programs are fully accredited at all levels by AACSB: The International Association for Management Education. The Singapore program will meet all AACSB standards and will provide the same faculty contact as WMU programs in Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids.
The Haworth College of Business already has many Southeast and South Asian linkages in place, including a "twinning" partnership established in 1987 with Sunway College in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, as well as newer collaborations with Hong Kong Baptist University and two Indian institutions -- Christ College in Bangalore and Rajagiri College in Kochi. Haworth faculty members edit the Journal of Asia-Pacific Business and have received a number of grants to support the college's Asian programs, most recently from the U.S. Department of Education for its Asia-Pacific Education Program.
Schmotter says the college will use the Singapore MBA program as a training ground for faculty. "Our professors will be living and working in Southeast Asia, interacting on a daily basis with students and business people, and they will bring that knowledge back to their classrooms here in Kalamazoo. You simply can't replace that kind of genuine international experience."
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