Rising to the Challenge: TIEMBA's 14th Cohort Embarks on a New Journey at Tsinghua


For the first time, Tsinghua-INSEAD Executive MBA (TIEMBA) Program held its opening ceremony for the class of 2022 with students attending both on-site and online.


The group of 45 students from 13 different countries who comprise TIEMBA's 14th cohort celebrated the start of their new chapter in life at Tsinghua University’s School of Economics and Management (SEM) together with peers from two other program– Tsinghua SEM Chinese EMBA and Future Tech EMBA on September 23, 2020.


This is also the first time that all three of Tsinghua SEM Executive MBA program jointly held their opening ceremony, with 485 new students participating in total.


BAI Chong-En, Dean of Tsinghua SEM, first extended a warm welcome to all the new students. “Choosing to study at the School of Economics and Management is to choose an opportunity to reexamine the direction of China’s economy, rethink your corporate strategies and readjust your life paths,” said Dean BAI in opening remarks.


Addressing the challenges that emerged in 2020 – a global pandemic and ever-evolving Sino-U.S. relationship – Dean BAI urged the EMBA students to “stay alert, rise to the challenge and break from the predicament using your wisdom.” 


BAI also urged students to keep learning, stick to their dreams and devote to society. 


CHEN Yubo, Senior Associate Dean of Tsinghua SEM, gave the first lecture on EMBA’s mission in which he traced the potential risks and rewards of technological advances and industrial transformation. Professor CHEN told the EMBA students that, because of their connections to rising power of China, they will bear a special responsibility to be globally inclusive, persistent and innovative in the post-pandemic era.


JIA Li, Director of Tsinghua SEM EMBA Program, then traced the history and development of the academic center. JIA briefly introduced three different EMBA program, including the objectives of each program, curricula, and basic information about students and faculty at the School.


TIEMBA is a unique partnership between INSEAD, one of the world’s leading business school, and Tsinghua University. The 22-month program takes place across Tsinghua’s picturesque campus in Beijing and Shenzhen as well as INSEAD’s three campuses in Singapore, Abu Dhabi and Fontainebleau (France). 


Members of TIEMBA Class of 2022 average 14 years of working experience, and bring with them an array of backgrounds and career histories. Among them are accountants with a decade of experience who aim to enhance their leadership skills and navigate towards a CEO role, entrepreneurs who seek new challenges and knowledge to succeed in a rapidly changing world, as well as future successors of family businesses who seek to arm themselves with a broad international vision and advanced management knowledge.


TIEMBA is a very international EMBA program,” Urs Laeuppi, an alumnus from Class of 2012, said at the opening ceremony. “The enriching international communications among the students and alumni are even more precious in the present situation.” Laeuppi now works at China’s R&D center for Mercedes-Benz. He also founded a joint research center between Tsinghua and his company after graduation. “The center would not have been possible if it weren’t for the tight connection with Tsinghua,” said Laeuppi, calling upon the newly enrolled students to maximize their time with TIEMBA to deepen international economic cooperation and promote joint scientific research efforts between Tsinghua and their companies.


Upon its founding in 2007, TIEMBA became mainland China’s first EMBA program to provide a dual degree. Its 555 alumni and students represent 44 different countries. 


TIEMBA has been consistently ranked top by Financial Times since 2012, and it was ranked first in 2015. 


“We created the TIEMBA program in order to combine the knowledge, skills and expertise of the top Chinese [academic institution,] Tsinghua University, with that of our top global business school,” said Ilian Mihov, Dean of INSEAD, in a video address at the opening ceremony. 


“Our objective in our programs is to give you the knowledge and the skills to be exceptional leaders,” Professor Mihov said. “But more importantly, to be leaders who know how – in the process of value creation for your company – you will create value for the society, and you will preserve the environment for the current and future generations.”


Once the ceremony ended, the TIEMBA students embarked on a three-day team-building adventure that includes hiking, experience-sharing and bonding activities.


“The challenges and opportunities we face today require that we build more bridges, instead of more walls,” said Caspar Chiquet, an incoming TIEMBA student from Switzerland, whose words may mirror the goals of the entire Class of 2022.