Chinese Officials Leave EMBAs after Corruption Crackdown: MBA News |

Chinese Officials Leave EMBAs after Corruption Crackdown: MBA News

By Louis Lavelle

Updated September 8, 2014 Updated September 8, 2014

Xi Jinping's crackdown on corruption at Chinese business schools is a creating an exodus of government officials from top EMBA programs that some business schools say is likely to worsen.

In a policy document released last month, the Chinese government, led by Xi Jinping and his anti-corruption campaign, has prohibited ‘leading cadres’ within the Communist Party, the government, and state-owned enterprises from enrolling in costly programs at Chinese business schools unless they get official approval first and pay the fees themselves, according to the Financial Times. Those already enrolled must quit immediately.

The move, part of a widening anti-corruption campaign started by Xi Jinping since coming to power in 2012, arises from fears that the networking that takes place in such programs might lead to corruption or bribery.

Exodus from EMBA programs

Government officials enrolled in EMBA programs at Chinese business schools have already begun departing in accordance to Xi Jinping's anti-corruption campaign.  Three business schools contacted by the Financial Times said students affiliated with the government have begun quitting in recent weeks or turning down scholarships.  The head of one school said all government officials who had enrolled since last year had quit, and that executives from state-owned enterprises would likely follow suit, the Times reported.

Liu Ji, honorary president of the China Europe International Business School (CEIBS), told the Financial Times the crackdown could result in as many as a third of EMBA students being forced out of their programs. 

If that happens, it would be a serious blow to Chinese business schools, where EMBA programs are the most popular format, unlike the US and Europe, where full-time programs are the norm. 

The cost of EMBA programs in China can run as high as US$100,000 or more. Most government officials, who account for 5 to 8% of China’s EMBA students, are offered scholarships as a way to attract wealthy business leaders and entrepreneurs. If the departure of government officials makes the programs less attractive, the programs may become far less lucrative for the schools.

This article was originally published in September 2014 .

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