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Trinity Western University provides global education with Great Wall MBA program

Schools in B.C. and China partner on learning programs

Foreign learning programs offered by institutes of higher learning are nothing new: the University of British Columbia’s presence overseas is substantial, and Simon Fraser University’s partnerships in Brazil and Mexico have been a tremendous success. In fact, nearly all MBA programs in the province offer some degree of international study.
But Trinity Western University’s (TWU) three-year-old Great Wall MBA program, which is delivered in English at China’s Tianjin University of Finance and Economics (TUFE), is especially noteworthy at a time when that nation’s current economic performance is misunderstood by Canadians and many media outlets. “Peoples’ perception of how China is faring and its prospects for the future are too frequently inaccurate,” says Trinity’s MBA director Murray MacTavish. “That’s one of the reasons our program is so vital: it’s a great opportunity for our future business executives and entrepreneurs to experience the Pacific Rim first-hand.”
Great Wall courses are taught by the top faculty in TWU’s School of Business and TUFE’s MBA programs; the 18-month program (with six pre-course foundation classes in business English, accounting, finance and economics) was developed to teach students strategic leadership, and it provides a solid foundation in core business areas through the analysis of theories and how they apply to real-world solutions in China and around the world.
In short, TWU provides a globally diverse classroom that supports and encourages business connectivity through the exchange of relationships between business leaders from China, Canada and other countries.
MacTavish, who has visited China no less than 34 times since 2006, notes that the Great Wall program continues a TWU tradition of education partnerships with that country; and although the program is limited to between 30 and 35 people per year, the relatively small size makes for a dynamic learning environment. “TUFE is highly regarded in business circles, so our students get an opportunity of a lifetime,” he says.
More informally, TWU’s B.C./China partnership is augmented by varsity teams from each country periodically crossing the Pacific to engage in sporting events, which MacTavish describes as “goodwill exchanges that promote a further understanding of our respective cultures.”
Given that TWU’s desire to be involved in the international community goes back to 1990 when it first aligned with Tianjin, MacTavish says it’s probable that further programs and initiatives will be developed in the foreseeable future.
In the meantime, the Great Wall program is still being marketed as giving interested parties the chance to study “in one of the world’s largest and fastest growing economies”­­­­­—a statement MacTavish says is more salient than ever. “China is undergoing a structural shift in its economic makeup towards a more service-oriented model in order to serve its growing middle class,” he says. “This is an incredibly exciting time for learning programs such as ours.”