MIT Sloan, Bank Negara Malaysia Collaborate to Establish Asia School of Business

by on May 1st, 2015

MIT Sloan School of Management has entered into a 10-year collaboration with Bank Negara Malaysia to establish the Asia School of Business (ASB) in the English-speaking global financial center of Kuala Lumpur. The school, which is scheduled to open in September 2016, will host an inaugural class of 25 to 35 students into a two-year MBA program.

“The distinguishing feature of the ASB will be the use of Action Learning as a core part of the educational process,” explains Charles Fine, the Chrysler Leaders for Global Operations Professor of Management at MIT Sloan, who will serve as the founding president and dean of the ASB.

“Every class that we offer and every lecture that we give will be intimately connected with the companies and institutions in the region so that students emerge with a deep understanding of the business, political, and economic issues that come to play in ASEAN and beyond,” Fine says, adding that “Our intent is to create a world-class school of management in Southeast Asia.”

The ASEAN region, which is comprised of ten countries including Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines, has an economy valued at $2.4 trillion and a population of 600 million. The region is the fourth-largest export market of the U.S. and the fifth-largest overall trading partner.

The ASB’s curriculum will apply MIT Sloan’s values and approach, according to Richard Schmalensee, Co-Chair of the ASB, and the former Dean of MIT Sloan.

“Like Sloan’s, the ASB program is based on three pillars,” he says. “The first pillar is a tradition of doing rigorous, intellectual work on the important problems businesses face. The second pillar is a global perspective, with particular emphasis on Asia for the ASB. The final pillar—which is an integral part of MIT’s history and legacy and one that the ASB will also emphasize—is a strong spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship in enterprises of all sizes.”

The ASB will ultimately have its own faculty, but in the short term professors from MIT Sloan will teach at the school and provide guest lectures. In year one, classes will take place in the bank’s state-of-the-art learning center and students will live at its residential campus. Architectural plans are underway to build a new campus on nearby land.

Faculty at the ASB will also have exchange opportunities via MIT’s International Faculty Fellows program. Professors will spend time at MIT’s Cambridge campus participating in activities designed to boost teaching effectiveness, improve research, and enhance scholarship.

As part of the collaboration, the ASB students will spend four weeks on an educational exchange program at MIT Sloan learning about U.S. business. Students will visit companies in the Boston area, attend lectures from MIT Sloan faculty, and complete an Action Learning project with MIT Sloan MBA students.

These exchanges aim to increase MIT Sloan’s knowledge of ASEAN, and deepen its ties with the worldwide academic community.

“While the journey ahead for Asia has tremendous promise, businesses will need to rise to new challenges arising from the changes that are reshaping the regional and global environment. The ASB aims to advance the frontiers of business innovation and entrepreneurship in Asia and to develop future leaders,” says Dr. Zeti Akhtar Aziz, Governor of Bank Negara Malaysia and Co-Chair of the ASB Board of Governors.

Tuition to the ASB will be in the range of US$40,000 per year.


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