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Two of the worlds leading proponents of Executive MBA programmes - MBAs for working managers - are to team up to teach a global degree taught across five continents.

Iese Business School in Spain and the Chinese business school Ceibs will launch their joint programme in January. While many double degree or joint programmes promote teaching in two locations, the six required modules of this EMBA could be taught on Ceibs’ three China campuses - in Shanghai, Beijing and Shenzhen - as well as on Iese’s campuses in Barcelona, Madrid, Munich and New York. There will also be an option for elective courses in the second year to be studied in Sao Paolo, on Iese’s campus, or in Accra, Ghana, with Ceibs.

These elements will be a lot more than the traditional study tour or consulting project, says Ceibs associate dean Nikos Tsikriktsis. “They [the participants] will be taught on our own campuses with our own professors.”

The programme will link locations from north to south as well as from east to west, says Iese’s associate dean for MBA programmes Franz Heukamp. “It’s not just about visiting different places, but different industries,” he says. Modules in New York would focus on media and finance, while those taught in Munich would look at issues around technology and exports.

The programme is also designed for participants who are already working globally, he adds, not for European managers who want to learn how to operate in China, for example. “It is meant for people who are operating in China. It is advanced content for everyone. In Munich, a German in the programme should feel there is added value.”

The students on the 18-month programme will be encouraged to mix with participants from Ceibs’s and Iese’s existing EMBAs. “They can double or triple their network,” says Prof Tsikriktsis. This will also help diversify the more local programmes taught by the two schools, he says. “Basically, we are trying to make all cohorts expand their networks.”

Separately, Ceibs has also announced a strategic alliance with the Lorange Institute in Switzerland, setting up the Ceibs/Lorange Institute of Business Zurich.

The alliance is based on executive development, says Ceibs president Pedro Nueno, in particular for executives from Chinese companies who are planning to move globally. “I’m very much in favour of alliances with a long-term orientation,” says Prof Nueno.

Of the 1,000 leading Chinese companies, only 100 have made real commitments outside China, he says, adding that he believes the next decade will be the one in which China expands globally - as the US did in the 1960s and Japan in the 1980s.

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