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COVER STORY: Trinity Western University and the Tianjin University of Finance & Economics Sign New Agreement to Continue Prestigious Joint MBA Program
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Trinity Western University and

the Tianjin University of Finance & Economics

Sign New Agreement to Continue

Prestigious Joint MBA Program




By Michael Dow


WBT201511_050_Cover_Story_001_-_97A48332Just before the 2013 academic year got underway Business Tianjin reported on an exciting new joint venture between two elite educational institutions on opposite sides of the Pacific Ocean. Given the high level of business expertise within both the Trinity Western University and the Tianjin University of Finance & Economics teams, it was inevitable that the Great Wall MBA program would be a success. After two years of working together, these two world-class universities have renewed their agreement to run this outstanding course, meaning that the city’s aspiring business leaders will continue to have access to this outstanding opportunity.


Speaking on behalf of Trinity Western University, President Bob Kuhn recently stated that: “TWU is very pleased with how the vision for the unique Great Wall MBA program has continued to be highly effective due to the hard work of TWU and TUFE. TWU's commitment to China reaches back many years and continues to develop and mature due to the strong relationships of trust between our respective universities. We look forward to many years of providing high quality educational opportunities in China. As tangible endorsement of our common commitment to move forward, I was personally excited to visit TUFE’s campus in order to sign the Five-Year Extension of our Initial Agreement with TUFE. We are confident that our partnership will continue to bring high quality education to business people in China. TWU’s MBA program, in concert with TUFE, offers these students a great opportunity to benefit from a North American style classroom learning experience, taught by expert faculty from each of our two great universities”.WBT201511_050_Cover_Story__003_-_Highlight_001


We also caught up with Trinity Western University’s MBA Director, Murray MacTavish, to get his thoughts on this unique partnership. Here is what he had to say…


Firstly, tell us what this extraordinary partnership between Trinity Western University and the Tianjin University of Finance & Economics has achieved since Business Tianjin first covered this story.

Our first class graduated 21 students in November 2014. It was an exciting time as many of the students travelled to Canada to participate in our Canadian graduation ceremonies. Our second cohort has 31 students and we are currently enrolling students for our third cohort. Our Great Wall MBA program has already received a national Top 10 Joint Venture MBA Award.


WBT201511_050_Cover_Story_002_-_97A48782How has the working relationship between the two universities developed over time?

Our two universities are committed to the success of the Great Wall MBA program. And we have worked tirelessly on this project to ensure the students have an excellent learning experience. We have really gotten to know each other well and continually work together on processes to improve the program delivery.


In what ways has the MBA programme evolved since its inception?

As with any new program, you learn what works and what doesn’t work as the program grows. We are pleased that the program has not needed much alteration.


Tell us about your exceptional team of teachers, which is comprised of industry-leading experts from both sides of the Pacific.

Trinity Western University teaches 8 of the 14 courses and TUFE’s expert faculty teach the other 6; though they are now contracting with 2 USA faculty to teach in the program, leaving 4 to be taught by TUFE faculty. TWU’s faculty are all experienced in the marketplace as well as having excellent educational backgrounds. They were trained at Columbia University, The Pennsylvania State University, University of Washington, University of British Columbia, to name a few. They each have many years of experience teaching in an MBA program.


In terms of the wider Chinese MBA market, what would you say are the unique selling points for your institutions’ joint programme?

Our program is a foreign degree delivered by foreign faculty. So students have the opportunity to experience a dynamic Western-style learning environment which is a very effective environment to learn critical thinking and judgement. Our faculty have experience working in industry and around the world. So, the classroom lectures and discussions include valuable stories and examples. The cost of the program, while higher than some domestic offerings, is priced in a way that is affordable as compared to other foreign MBA programs in China. This makes our program all the more attractive as it gives people an opportunity to obtain a foreign degree at a reasonable price.


When we first discussed this venture with your team they stressed the massive amount of value that an MBA has in the 21st century Chinese job market. Is this still the case in today’s economy?

WBT201511_050_Cover_Story__004_-_Highlight_002It is still absolutely a highly sought after qualification and an extremely good investment. An MBA provides business people with the analytical decision-making tools to be a more effective leader. In the ever-changing global marketplace, business people more and more need to enhance themselves to remain competitive.


What kinds of people are most suitable for this type of course?

We welcome students from all over the world to this global MBA. Students typically have a few years of work experience. Though we do not require work experience to enroll in the program. Our MBA program is offered on weekends, so it is ideal for expats working in China to complete their MBA while on assignment in China.


What can you tell us about the accreditation aspects of the MBA?

Trinity Western University is accredited by the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC), Canada’s primary accrediting body. This means that when our students graduate they will receive a qualification that is held in the highest of esteem in every corner of the globe.


The two institutions have recently signed a new five-year agreement. What plans do you and your team have going forward that will make this already elite MBA programme even better?

This new agreement offers more chances for short-term study in Canada—whether one month or up to 6 months. And it also allows students from our Canadian programs to study here in China. This creates a great opportunity for students to experience another culture and to meet business people from other countries beyond those in their home program.


On a final note, we understand that TWU has also been exhibiting its sporting prowess in China recently. What did your university’s female volleyball team say about their Chinese tour?

Our women’s volleyball team had such a wonderful experience in China. We were received so warmly on our Canada-China Goodwill Tour. There is nothing like sports to bring people together across cultures. I think the women had a life-changing experience. Many said they couldn’t believe how amazing China is. I know they were challenged by their Chinese opponents on the volleyball court. But that is what good sports is about. Pushing each other to improve to be the best we can be.


Thank you for attending the interview. Would you like to add anything else?

On a final note, I really hope that people will consider enrolling in our Great Wall MBA program; especially students from around the world, including expats living and working in Tianjin. We are so excited about this venture. We have helped many students enhance their skills and advance their careers in Canada. Now we are doing the same thing in China. It is truly a privilege.


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