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CEIBS, Now in Zurich! ~ Milestone in School’s Internationalisation Strategy

Volumes 5&6, 2015


As Chinese executives turn their eyes to the global stage and understanding the Chinese economy becomes increasingly vital for the rest of the world, CEIBS has deepened its presence in Europe. 

“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 summarise and develop business theories and models, based on Chinese practices, and convey those messages worldwide.” 

Global since inception as a joint China-EU project, this is another initiative being driven from CEIBS’ European side to secure an operating base and global centre for China-EU studies in Europe. The Lorange Institute of Business Zurich’s (LIBZ) business school operations have been bought by a non-profit organisation registered in Switzerland, the Friends of CEIBS Foundation (FCF). The FCF was founded through generous donations by Professor Pedro Nueno, CEIBS Vice President and Dean Professor Ding Yuan, CEIBS alumnus and Founder of Cathay Capital Cai Mingpo along with other members of the CEIBS community. FCF trustee board members will consist of some members of the CEIBS board, faculty and influential alumni. Jinsheng Group, headed by CEIBS alumnus Pan Xueping, has acquired the property that houses LIBZ and will rent it to LIBZ at favourable rates, greatly reducing its operating costs.

The FCF’s purchase of the LIBZ is also an example of the ‘light touch’ approach to acquisitions outlined in research done by the CEIBS Centre for Globalisation of Chinese Companies. In the initial stages, the Lorange Institute of Business Zurich will retain its name, Professor Ding Yuan will serve as Chairman, CEIBS Associate Dean Katherine Xin will be in charge of academics and teaching, while Peter Lorange will remain as Honorary President and the business school’s operations will be maintained and headed by its CEO & President Philipp Boksberger. 
“This move will further enhance our concept of the ‘business school of the future’ by strengthening the international network of faculty members and business competences with an added focus on key future markets,” says LIBZ’s former Chairman Peter Lorange.

Students and alumni from CEIBS’ wide range of programmes will be hosted by the LIBZ while on study tours to Europe. The Institute will also be a source of training for employees of CEIBS alumni companies and/or business units in Europe, as well as European companies doing business in China.  

“Through this new initiative we will engage in teaching and research that bolsters CEIBS’ China Depth, Global Breadth positioning, boost our international presence and profile while also making the school stronger in meeting the needs of the Chinese market,” says CEIBS Chinese President Professor Li Mingjun. 

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 programmes 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 to 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 fulfil its goal of educating responsible business leaders. 

“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 Dean 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. This is now CEIBS 2.0, and it’s quite different from our 1.0 version of 20 years ago.”


Prof Katherine Xin to Handle Academic Affairs… 

As CEIBS moves into its new 3 campuses, 5 locations phase, one of the vital structural changes has been the appointment of an experienced academician to spearhead activities at the new campus in Zurich. That task has been given to Professor Katherine Xin. 

As Associate Dean (Europe), Prof Xin will be in charge of all academic activities in that region. This will mean representing the school to its internal and external communities, especially in Europe; providing academic leadership – in support of CEIBS Management Committee – for the development of the new campus in terms of systems, management, and strategic positioning; supervise programme design and development, as well as visiting faculty recruitment there. She will also act as Academic Advisor to CEIBS overseas study tours, especially the European ones.

Prof Xin’s wealth of experience has prepared her well for her new role. She has extensive teaching, research and consulting experience at universities and multinational companies around the world. She earned her PhD from the University of California and was previously on the faculty of IMD, Lausanne, Switzerland, the University of Southern California, and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Before her additional duties in Zurich, her roles at CEIBS included Professor of Management, Bayer Chair in Leadership and Co-Director of the Centre for Globalisation of Chinese Companies. Prof Xin was also Associate Dean (Executive Education) from February 2011 to April 2015.