Business schools see opportunity in China, Chinese students

Xiang "Frank" Wang, 25, a Chinese international student at Johns Hopkins' Carey Business School, is part of the 40 percent of the students from China, up from 10 percent a few years ago. (Kenneth K. Lam / Baltimore Sun) Xiang Wang, a 25-year-old from southern China, knew what he wanted in a graduate business school: an impressive reputation and a rigorous curriculum that could land him a job in the United States after graduation. That's how he ended up at the Johns Hopkins University's 10-year-old Carey Business School. He's on track to earn a master's degree in finance in May. "Reputation is extremely important in China, and so U.S. schools, especially Hopkins, schools like this that are big brands, students want to go to these schools," Wang said. Business schools in Maryland see growing opportunity for enrollment from overseas, and from China in particular, as students such as Wang seek out both the experience and value of an American business degree. The students represent a large market that offers the schools diversity of perspective, demographics and greater revenue. At the Carey School, the share of students from China surged from 4 percent five years ago to 44 percent during the last school year. At the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business, where Chinese enrollment has surged to nearly 40 percent amid interest in specialty programs such as finance and accounting, recruiters are renewing their push in the Asian nation. And Loyola University Maryland, which has few international students, is in talks with four universities in China and one in Taiwan for partnerships that would bring Asian students to the Sellinger School of Business for a one-year graduate degree. "China is a very attractive partnership opportunity for American schools because of the size of the market," said Kathy Getz, Sellinger's dean. "There are so many universities and so many of them are high-quality, it's easy to find partners." Chinese interest in attending American universities has boomed in the past decade. Enrollment has grown fivefold from 62,580 a decade ago to 328,547 in 2015-2016, according to the Institute of International Education. About a third of international students in Maryland are from China, in line with national trends. International students account for less than 9 percent of university enrollment statewide, the institute found About 24 percent of the Chinese students in the United States are coming for business schools as the nation's booming economy demands managers trained in business, finance and accounting. The interest gives the schools an opportunity to expand recruiting and bring in more students who pay their own way. At the same time, classroom diversity, once a supplemental selling point, is becoming central to lessons about how to do business in an age of globalization. "American-Chinese business ties are so deep — and growing," said Peggy Blumenthal, a senior counselor to the president at the Institute of International Education. "For an American to graduate without a profound understanding of what business looks like from a Chinese perspective is to shortchange them." Large contingents of international students can also pose challenges. The...

Read the full article here