Posted on December 4, 2008
This question came from a faculty member:
When will we enroll the first online students in China? Is there are a target date? If not, what hurdles or challenges do we face?
This fall two partners really rose to the surface among all our partnerships in China: The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and The Southwest University of Finance and Economics. Both are marketing our programs now and we hope to have a cohort of senior banking officials on campus next summer and the first students taking courses online next fall.
There has been a flurry of activity around the effort with updates to the relevant web pages, new marketing materials, online video, and more. This is the most operational we’ve been so far, with most of what came before still on the relationship building and educating the partners level.
Hurdles? There are many. Online learning as we do it is still new in China (our partners were bowled over when they actually saw how we deliver our courses) and we have to build acceptance. Finding students with the requisite language abilities still looms large. China is undergoing its own financial pressures. The regulatory context can suddenly change. China is a challenging place and it can feel like we are taking two steps forward and one step back at times, but we will be patient. We are looking for success in a four and five year time frame and what we hear again and again is the importance of patience and persistence.