Standardized Testing Awaits Executive MBA Admissions in China |

Standardized Testing Awaits Executive MBA Admissions in China

By Tim Dhoul

Updated April 25, 2016 Updated April 25, 2016

Business schools in China are waiting to see what impact newly announced government regulations may have on the executive MBA admissions process and student interest in these programs.

Standardized testing awaits Chinese students who wish to enroll in one of 64 executive MBA (EMBA) programs authorized by China’s Ministry of Education, after the China National MBA Education Supervisory Committee announced that sitting a national postgraduate entrance examination would become a compulsory part of the executive MBA admissions process from the start of 2017.

The government’s move is an attempt to end the alleged corruption traced to participant interactions in China’s EMBA programs  – something which saw government officials and executives of state-owned enterprises forced to drop out of courses at the end of 2014 – and to ensure that no one, no matter how rich or powerful, can earn the degree without merit.

The ability of business schools in China to set their own executive MBA admissions tests will cease from the start of December and, from January, all enrollments will become subject to criteria set by the Ministry of Education, which is to set and publish the baseline score required for acceptance through the national entrance exam.

In addition, a report published on suggests that the government also intends to supervise aspects of the interview process. This would be done to check applicants’ academic and professional credentials for an EMBA, but also their personality and political awareness, with the report claiming that, “[T]hose who fail a political assessment will be disqualified.”

Business schools in China also set for greater EMBA program supervision  

At this stage, business schools in China remain cautious as to what effect the changes might have on applications to their programs, pointing out that the new measures have yet to be finalized and officially submitted to schools.

Indeed, the intended regulations extend beyond the executive MBA admissions process and into the program itself – with plans for the supervision of class attendance rates, submission of required theses and award of degrees. The government also wants to establish an approval procedure for overseas study trips to eliminate the risk of these being used merely as sightseeing tours.

Some have suggested that there will be an increase in applications before the new measures take force because applicants might believe that executive MBA admissions procedures will become harder in 2017. Others feel that the new regulations are simply designed to introduce a greater sense of responsibility into the country’s EMBA market and that the standards for entry will ultimately remain similar.

However, it’s also perfectly possible that some prospective students will simply put off applying until they can see exactly how the government intends to scrutinize EMBA study at business schools in China and whether this is likely to impact on the program experience.

While some institutions have reported receiving more enquiries regarding their EMBA programs in light of the announcement – made at the start of April – none have identified any change to the pace of actual applications thus far.

This article was originally published in April 2016 .

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