Florida International University has a new $28 million hospitality and tourism campus in Tianjin, China which will help to get China’s tourism industry in shape for the 2008 Olympics.
Florida International University is very forward looking with a business school offering a unique one-year International MBA, a dual MBA and Master of International Business, several part-time MBAs, an Executive MBA, specialized master’s and PhD programs.
But in Tianjin it is all about hospitality. In a 20-story tower of steel and glass on the outskirts of China’s fourth-largest city it is teaching university standards of hospitality. When the school is finished, it will be among the most modern hospitality schools in the world.
Wang Wenjun, assistant dean of the FIU China program, said, ‘China’s tourism industry needs management talent that knows both Western and Chinese culture. Cross-cultural education is very necessary for the tourism industry.’ There are about 500 students currently enrolled.
Peggy Blumenthal, executive vice president of the Institute for International Education in New York said the program comes at a time when the Chinese government is struggling to keep up with demand for foreign degrees. To meet that demand, China is allowing more students to travel abroad but also encouraging foreign universities to set up shop in China.
She said, ‘They prefer to bring programs in to cut down on brain drain and to massively increase their own higher-education system.’
In China, 137 programs offer international degrees, according to the Ministry of Education. By some accounts, at least 500 more foreign universities are trying to open programs. The University of Florida is plainly in with an idea which is much in demand.
The first graduates of the hospitality program will enter the workforce in July 2008, just one month before tens of thousands of tourists descend on the nation for the Summer Olympics.
Source: Miami Herald