By Scott Cendrowski, writer
FORTUNE -- One of China’s top business schools announced a new joint degree program with Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management on Monday in Beijing.
The Guanghua School of Management/Kellogg partnership is a two-year, China-focused executive master of business administration program targeting Chinese executives looking to go global, and foreign executives in China searching for an edge. “This will tailored to the specific needs of business leaders in China who want to be successful global players…and others who increasingly need a better understanding of China,” said Guanghua Dean Hongbin Cai at a Monday morning press conference. He said the struggles of Google and other U.S. tech giants in China exemplify the need for a better understanding of the Chinese market’s complexities.
For Guanghua, it’s the first time China’s highly ranked business school—sometimes called the Harvard Business School of China—has offered an English version of an executive MBA, marking a growing demand from the West for Chinese expertise. For Northwestern, it marks an impressive expansion of its global executive MBA program—already offered in Hong Kong (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology), Israel (Tel Aviv University), Germany (WHU—Otto Beisheim), and Canada (York University).
Northwestern and Guanghua have been working together since the late ‘90s, when Kellogg invited Guanghua professors to learn from MBA classes in Evanston. Ten years later, in 2007, two Northwestern faculty joined Guanghua’s advisory council. The Chinese relationship is clearly one Northwestern prizes. It previously hosted an international exchange program with Guanghua and is now offering the joint degree program.
Kellogg’s Dean Sally Blount said today the school routinely accepts two to three Guanghua undergraduates to its MBA program in Chicago and ascribed Kellogg’s first foray into mainland China to the two schools’ long relationship. Blount began her press conference remarks with a loud “Ni Hao!” to claps from Chinese journalists.
The Guanghua-Kellogg executive MBA begins this fall. Classes are taught in Beijing, Shanghai, and Chicago.