The China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) officially launched its Business Development Certificate Programme, with the start of classes held in the Anhui Province capital city of Hefei on September 4th, 2008.
The ceremony marked the beginning of a programme designed to bring world-class business education to China's less-developed region. The Business Development Certificate Programme begins in Hefei, then expands to Kunming and Harbin in 2009, delivering a total of nine cohorts and educating some 500 Chinese managers from 2008 to 2012.
In his address officially launching the programme, Hefei Mayor Wu Cunrong offered his "warmest congratulations" to the class of 50 students in the inaugural cohort. Mayor Wu, who is an alumnus of the 2007 EMBA class at CEIBS, said the city of Hefei is proud to host the programme's debut sessions. "CEIBS is the incubator of great business leaders and it is a great honour for Hefei to be chosen as the Number One stop for the Business Development Certificate Programme," he said. He emphasized that, as a 2000-year-old capital city for Anhui Province, Hefei is "one of the most dynamic cities in central China" and "needs talented managers who are innovative and focused on social responsibility."
Dr. Michael Pulch, Minister Counsellor, EU Delegation to China and Mongolia began his welcome speech by complimenting the impressive recent economic development in Anhui Province and in Hefei specifically. "This province and this city have a lot of potential and that is why we are here today," he said. He went on to state that CEIBS makes a fitting host school for the programme. "I am particularly pleased that the programme is being run by the distinguished CEIBS. ... CEIBS has become one of the leading business schools in Asia and is among the top schools worldwide."
Noting that the Business Development Certificate programme clearly benefits both Anhui Province and the European Union, Dr. Pulch said: "This win-win situation is one of the good reasons why the EU is funding this programme as part of a broader initiative to build business ties with China and Europe." Funding for the Business Development Certificate Programme is part of an umbrella project for which the EU has designated Euro 2 million to support sustainable development in the less developed regions of China. Another project under this umbrella scheme provides scholarships supporting MBA students from underdeveloped regions to attend CEIBS. Dr. Pulch concluded by stating that these funding initiatives "support the most important initiative toward economic development: human resources."
CEIBS President Zhu Xiaoming next offered his congratulations on the launch of the programme, stating that the outreach of CEIBS to Anhui Province is evidence that the 14-year-old business school has grown from a baby to an adult. "When a child grows up, you encourage him to journey far from home. Today, CEIBS has marched into central China," he said.
President Zhu went on to comment on why the city of Hefei was chosen as the launch city for the programme and said he has been "deeply impressed by the economic development of Hefei, especially its special economic development zone." He also praised the Anhui Provincial government, especially Madame Wen, for its vision and support of business management training. In conclusion, he stated: "I wish this program a full success and I congratulate the long-lasting friendship between China and the EU."
Speaking on behalf of CEIBS' partner school in the programme, the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, Prof. Horst Loechel next commented in his address: "The Frankfurt School intends very much to support the social and economic development in China, not only in the urban centres but also in the interior region." He added that, since the Frankfurt School opened its affiliated operations in China, it has educated more than 10,000 students in China. He added that the school is proud to participate in the Business Development Certificate Programme because "education of people is the core of economic development."
The event concluded with CEIBS Dean Rolf D. Cremer giving the new incoming class an orientation briefing on the programme. He stressed that the programme will offer "exactly the same quality, same energy, and same support as we offer at the CEIBS main campus in Shanghai." Dean Cremer also emphasized that the programme will not stop after the classes end. "We want to make you [participants] part of the big family we have at CEIBS and the Frankfurt School."
Following the opening ceremony, the incoming class began its first module.