Director of Intl MA program gave a speech at Conference

From July 16-17, the “2016 Bilingual Teaching Training Program for Economics and Management” was hosted by the Wang Yanan Institute of Economics (WISE) at Xiamen University. About 80 teachers from different schools in China participated in the program. The conference was organized by High Education Press, the School of Economics and WISE.
Keynotes speakers came from renowned university including Cornell University, Tsinghua University, and the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics. Scholars shared their experiences about bilingual teaching in economics and management at the tertiary level and explored strategies to further improve the internationalization of Chinese university education.
                            Group Photo                                 Professor Yongmiao Hong
Professo Yongmiao Hong shared his experience from constructing comprehensive English-taught degree programs at the bachelor, graduate and PHD levels at WISE. From its inception, WISE has taught all core courses in economics and finance in English. The intent is to teach the Bachelor degree program in English in two years time. This will give the graduating students greater opportunities in the increasingly competitive job market in China.
Dr. Brett Graham, director of the International Master Programs at WISE-SOE for the last 6 years, discussed the role that the International Master Programs have played at WISE.  Dr Graham shared his insight into the present International students in China from an Economist perspective and his experience of directing the international program at WISE. His talk highlighted the strong growth of international students in China. In 2008, there were 223 thousand international students in China. By 2014 that number had grown to 377 thousand and the Chinese Ministry of Education expects that number to rise to half-a-million by 2020.  “If you don’t yet have international students in your school, you will soon.” said Dr. Graham.
  Professor Zengbiao YU, Tsinghua University      Dr. Brett Graham, director of Intl MA programs
He also discussed the challenges created by the program's diverse student body.  "Students have different understandings about student-teacher relationships, for example.  The students have different norms, customs and educational backgrounds.  You must be aware of this when constructing an International Masters program.” How does the program at WISE_SOE deal with this challenge? “Since everyone has a different background, we try to keep the students together in the first semester.  In this way, everybody is brought to the same level before integrating more fully into the university system, and the students allowed more time to adjust to life in China.
Dr. Graham concluded, "Of course, managing such a program will always present unique challenges but the rewards make it all worthwhile.  Being a part of the growth, both personal and professional, of students over their two years in the WISE-SOE International Masters Programs is very satisfying. " 

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