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Asian business schools seek collaboration2017-01-03Hit:802


Asian business schools seek collaboration

Business schools in Asian countries are seeking ways to cooperate to advance their educational content to meet diversified industrial demands.

"Collaboration among business schools in Asian countries will produce synergy as they have similar but unique cultures," Ruey-Shan Andy Guo, dean of the College of Management at the National Taiwan University, told The Korea Times on the campus of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) College of Business in Seoul, Oct. 27.

He visited Korea to attend the annual conference of the Association of Asia-Pacific Business Schools (AAPBS) from Oct. 26 to 28, where about 100 professors and deans of business schools in the Asia-Pacific region shared their ideas and knowledge.

"For example, there are more small- and medium-sized companies than big ones in Taiwan, which represent various kinds of entrepreneurship," Guo said.

He believes that studies of Asian countries' way of doing business, which reflects various cultural aspects of many nations, can be helpful to figure out how products and services can fulfill various individuals' needs.

"I think the strength of Asian business schools is that we have more various business cases and models compared to European countries and the United States, because we have different cultures, different tastes and different ways of business," Guo added.


Association for academic exchange

Established in 2004 by the KAIST College of Business, the AAPBS has been a venue where business schools of the region promote academic exchanges and cooperation.

"The AAPBS is a collaboration platform in which the member schools work together and help each other," said Park Sung-joo, the first president of the association and a professor emeritus at the KAIST College of Business.

The AAPBS mainly focuses on the co-prosperity unlike the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International), a global business education network to accredit business schools, and the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD), an international non-for-profit association of educational organizations of business education.

For example, KAIST, the National Taiwan University and the Universitas Prasetiya Mulya (UPM) in Indonesia discussed setting up a joint program, called KIT (Korea, Indonesia and Taiwan), in the conference.

"The students can gather to have classes together in each others' countries," Kim Tong-suk, dean of the KAIST College of Business, said. The program will kick off in January.

Park revealed another plan to work with other overseas schools.

"What I am trying to do is to dispatch retired professors to the countries in need of faculty," Park said. "It is a big problem to waste the talent of retired professors who are still energetic."

He pointed that many nations are suffering from the shortage of faculty.

"For example, China currently needs more IT professors, and we have enough of them. But we need more leadership and strategy professors, who we may be able to bring from overseas schools. We can help each other," Park said.

He added that he is now in talks with Myanmar to run this project and also plans to draw financial support from companies or institutions. 

Future landscape of business

Kim noted that the landscape of industries will become different from now very soon.

"When I visited Germany, I realized that the country, which has been very strong in car manufacturing, is worrying about changes in the transportation business which is not driven by car manufacturers but by Google," Kim said. "For the transportation industry, hardware will be just a small part of it."

Kim stressed the importance of cultivating business leaders who can think creatively and comprehensively.

"Everything needs to be integrated in the future and you need to think in a multi-dimensional way," Kim said.

Guo said advancement in technology is crucial in all industries.

"In the past, if you had technology, you had good products. But now, you must be smarter to integrate everything together," Guo said. "Those working in the financial industry only dealt with finance in the past. But with improved technology, now they need to deal with fintech, which is beyond their previous expertise."

He emphasized that a paradigm shift is needed in business education.

"We should educate business leaders to have a technical view and at the same time we need to educate engineers and technicians to have a sense of business," Guo added.


Contact : Lee, Sohyun ( sohyun.c.lee@kaist.ac.kr )