We are proud of the Asian Business & Management Program at York University. Recently we began our seventeenth year training Chinese officials, executives and educators, and we have over 5000 graduates living and working in 15 provinces of China. ABMP is licensed by the Foreign Experts Bureau to train Chinese leaders abroad. We are the largest Canadian, university-based, customized, short term, non-degree training provider training an average of 30 groups per year, about 600-700 individuals, half in Canada and half in China.
It has been an exciting journey and I am grateful to have been present at the creation of our programme and to have participated in its extraordinary development. Over the years we provided training on dozens of topics, from finance, law, economics, science and technology, and management, to transportation, big data, mining, vocational education, and even blueberry farming. What began as a basic introduction to public management now encompasses a sophisticated set of programmes enabling our trainees to cope with complex tasks of management and production in today’s China. Our lectures, site visits, and meetings with senior government officials are carefully constructed to provide the best short term learning situation.
We have learned a great deal from each other. It took time to break down cultural and language barriers. Both sides had to adapt to new methods of teaching and learning. Our faculty had to communicate the Canadian experience while placing it in a Chinese context. The Chinese side had to adapt to new methods of learning that called for greater interaction between teachers and students. As the programme evolved the feedback was encouraging: trainees provided high evaluations of their experience in Canada and also reported that they were applying what they had learned to their work back home. Our faculty, similarly, have commented that this experience has broadened their teaching methodology and understanding of cross-cultural communication—many of them look forward to future opportunities to participate in our programme, in Canada and in China.
We are proud that our training of China’s officials, executives and educators has helped with its rapid modernization, and with the reduction of cultural barriers between our two countries. In the coming months and years, ABMP and York University look forward to continuing and expanding this cooperation. We welcome your participation and invite your suggestions for how we can continue to develop our training programmes.