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Spotlight Story

China 2.0
Spreading Our International Wings in Asia and Beyond

By Dean Steven Currall

One of my key strategic objectives for moving the School forward is to strengthen our global footprint. Having moved to Davis from London, I am passionate about the further internationalization of our student experience, and establishing greater global influence, faculty research partnerships and new initiatives in executive education.

With our three locations in Davis, Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area, and Northern California’s economic engine fueling Pacific Rim commerce, it is natural for us to focus on the dynamic opportunities in China as the first stop on a tour to build our international connectivity.

In May, I made a 12-day visit to China, my sixth trip there and my second as dean. Joining me was my wife, Cheyenne, a Chinese native and a former principal at executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles, and Wendy Beecham, our managing director of executive education. Our goal was to forge new partnerships, continue discussions on executive education, and establish greater collaboration between the Graduate School of Management and leading Chinese universities and business schools.

Our whirlwind itinerary included talks with top academic and business leaders in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. We met face-to-face with executives shaping China’s energy, financial services, technology and agribusiness industries. We visited Beijing, Tsinghua, Fudan universities, and the China-Europe International Business School (CEIBS).

CEIBS, which has campuses in Shanghai and Beijing, recently partnered with the CHIC Group to host the Inaugural China Agri-business Forum 2012, which focused on the next wave of modernization for agrifood in China. The CHIC Group is China’s leading agribusiness supply chain management service, and we toured their new training and research facility in Shanghai’s Jiading District where the agribusiness seminar was hosted. We saw great opportunity for alliances because of the parallel focuses of our programs and expertise here at UC Davis.

In Hong Kong, Dr. Rosanna Wong, an influential businesswoman, former government executive council member and UC Davis Ph.D. graduate, brought us together with leaders of eight of Hong Kong’s top universities and business schools to explore collaborations and joint ventures.

We are now strategizing on how best to match our competitive advantages with China’s maturing business school market and areas we can meet the Chinese business sector’s hunger for education.

There are many new frontiers, opportunities and boundaries to be pushed as China emerges as one of the world’s most dominant economies.


Read my tweets from China