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Tsinghua-INSEAD EMBA: Innovating new ways to cultivate global business leaders


As the first EMBA program to award dual degrees on the Chinese mainland, Tsinghua-INSEAD EMBA (TIEMBA Program, website: remains committed to cultivating future business leaders who have the global vision and leadership skills to pursue innovation and sustainable development.

The TIEMBA Program integrates insights into China with global vision. Since its establishment in 2006, the program has been renowned for its innovative approach of nurturing participants to become business leaders with a strong command of business operations under domestic and international rules. The program combines the superior resources of the Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management (Tsinghua SEM) and INSEAD – an equal partnership between China's most elite university and the world's leading business school. The concepts of globalization and diversity are embedded within the enrollment process, curriculum design, and faculty selection.

The TIEMBA Program combines both Chinese and Western teaching methods in its curriculum and is offered at five campuses around the world. The program includes more than 600 alumni from 49 countries and regions worldwide, and its average age of participants is 38, of whom 35 percent are female. The program has increasingly attracted participants who graduated from globally prominent universities, such as University of Cambridge, New York University, the National University of Singapore, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

Among the participants, 48 percent have worked overseas in some 20 industries, including finance, Internet information services, medical care, energy, biotechnology, telecommunications, consulting, and manufacturing. Most participants are executive or regional leaders of multinational companies, executive managers overseeing the international operations of Chinese enterprises, and Chinese entrepreneurs hopeful to explore global markets.

"The TIEMBA has been committed to serving as a bridge between China and the world, and to promoting economic exchange and cooperation," said Professor XUE Jian, associate dean of Tsinghua SEM, at the TIEMBA 2023 graduation activity.

The TIEMBA Program cultivates future global business-leaders and entrepreneurs by empowering them with an in-depth understanding of China's business environment and training in how to make decisions even under complex conditions. "The TIEMBA is a unique academic program benefiting from its combination of Chinese and Western cultures," said WANG Yan, CEO of a big-health tech company and a TIEMBA graduate.

The cooperation between Tsinghua SEM and INSEAD allows TIEMBA participants to bolster their understanding of China with a global perspective. The unique study experiences delivered across multiple campuses around the world broaden their vision and thinking.

"The core of success in a business merger-and-acquisition case lies in a value-added system that enables '1+1>2' cooperation. Thus, it's important to identify mutual advantages and clarify the road map for cooperation," said Professor LU Yao, deputy chair of the Department of Finance, Tsinghua SEM and the Academic Director of the TIEMBA Program.

The century-famous Tsinghua University enriches INSEAD participants with a unique chance to better understand China. Meanwhile, the time-tested classical business courses from the world’s top business school INSEAD allows them to dive into the core of the dynamic and challenging business world, LU said.

By integrating the traditional courses of business schools and modern business trends, the TIEMBA Program provides a uniquely structured course system across four major themes: Classic Business Fundamentals, Global Management Insights, In-depth Understanding of Chinese Contexts, and Modern Business & Technological Trends.

This curriculum aims to integrate global vision with Chinese business practices to foster business talent. It guides participants to develop business leadership skills, managerial capabilities, and innovative thinking, and enables them to discern political and economic trends, understand cutting-edge developments in science and technology, and to embody humanistic literacy and social responsibility.

Courses such as "Macro Economics: The Chinese Economy," by Professor BAI Chong-En, dean of Tsinghua SEM, and "Digital Economy: Chinese vs Global Perspectives," taught by Professor CHEN Yubo, senior associate dean of the school, empower participants to develop a comprehensive understanding of the Chinese cultural context and market dynamics.

Beyond classroom lectures, the program bridges business theory and management practices through enterprise visits, sand-table drills, and other learning approaches. These collective efforts empower participants to achieve success.

Bastiaan de Groot, a master graduate from TIEMBA's Class of 2019, said the courses enabled him to analyze the economic growth trends of both China and the world. Amid dramatic changes in the global supply chain over the past decade, he sensed the rapid growth and innovative potential of the Chinese market, along with its surging demand for sustainable and environmentally-friendly solutions. This motivated him to create products to meet the diverse market needs while considering both Chinese and Western cultures and business models. After rapid growth, his company ranked among the Top 50 EU start-up tech companies recognized by the European PropTech Association (Prop-Tech House).

With its enhanced strengths and global reputation, the program has consistently secured top spots in the Financial Times Global EMBA ranking and QS EMBA Program ranking for several consecutive years. In the recent 2023 QS EMBA Ranking, TIEMBA achieved second place globally among joint programs, showcasing its excellent performance and global reputation in cultivating business elites. On August 30, 2023, TIEMBA welcomed its 17th cohort of 35 accomplished executives.

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