What is required of a number one business school

Cheming Yang

With the rise of Chinese economy, Chinese education has also gathered international recognition.

Although ranking is not always a good thing, it still has the inherent value of being a useful benchmarking tool. For most international rankings, universities in Hong Kong are oftentimes ranked in the front among Chinese universities. It appears that universities in Hong Kong have earned more international respect than their Chinese peers mostly because of their English ability and international presence in campus. It is therefore quite impressive that Fudan University School of Management can breakthrough this time in Eduniversal rankings.

This news makes me wonder what school of management or school of business has to do to win the gold medal in rankings. Eduniversal applied three principle criteria: the reputation of the program, the salary of the first employment and the satisfaction of the students. Every ranking applies different criteria in making its selection. The results vary according to the variety of ranking principles. But the number one definitely must have done the right things right.

Former Chinese premier Zhu Rongji had said that a great university needs to have big trees, big buildings and great scholars. This principle can certainly apply to great school of management. Although it is not detrimental not having magnificent buildings and enjoyable surroundings, it certainly helps to have recognizable physical icons.

With that being said, a great school of management needs to have outstanding faculty and excellent students at its core. Excellent students will be attracted by outstanding faculty. As such, cultivating first class faculty is a prerequisite.

In assessing whether a school has outstanding faculty, it could be based upon a range of factors. Due to the problem of rankings, most schools nowadays tend to evaluate their faculty primarily based on their science citation index (SCI) or social science citation index (SSCI) impact factors. However, in the field of management, the faculty should also be rated according to their social impact in terms of how much their teachings have impacted the society.

The social impact has been overlooked in many universities. Fudan reaches number one not merely because they have published the most SSCI papers. The rise of Fudan coincides with the rise of Shanghai as the power house of Chinese economy. If their faculty have not participated in or catch the globalization tide of Chinese industries, the world will not heed the existence of its school of management. Actually, the faculty members should act like G.I. Joe in a number one school of management figuratively speaking. G.I. stands for globalization and industrialization. They have to be able to gain reputation globally and earn respect from the industries. The combination of faculty, students and industries has pushed Fudan to the top.

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