WHEN THE China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) was established in Shanghai’s Pudong district in 1994, its campus abutted mostly nondescript warehouses and tracts of marshy farmland. Today the area is among the city’s ritziest—and gives it its iconic skyline. CEIBS, too, has become something of an icon in the quarter-century since its founding as a joint venture between the European Union and the Chinese government. Last month it held on to its fifth place in the annual ranking of the world’s 100 best MBAs by the Financial Times, a newspaper. Only heavyweights such as Harvard Business School, Wharton, Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and INSEAD of France scored better.
Business education in China is booming, and not just at CEIBS. When the FT first published its list in 1999, no Asian school made the cut. This year 17 have done, nine of them Chinese. Seven Chinese institutions are among the 90 or so worldwide to boast the coveted “triple crown” of accreditations—from bodies in America, Belgium and Britain. In 2012 the American one, AACSB International, accredited 13 Chinese schools, seven of them in Hong Kong. Today it certifies 39, including 31 on the mainland (see chart). Between them, China’s home-grown business schools—not counting branches of Western ones it also...
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