Forty-three government officials and corporate executives who represent the administrative, media, service and tourism sectors of Hangzhou, China, are studying at Kennesaw State University to receive master’s degrees in public administration in August.
The students are in a one-year master’s program, specifically tailored to visiting Chinese professionals, where they not only study techniques of American business management, including policy analysis and public personnel administration, but also forge relationships with Georgia professionals, said Ken Jin, director of the center.
“These people come to Georgia, and they build trust and friendship throughout the state,” Mr. Jin said. “International programs with China will definitely help Georgia businesses in the future,” he said.
Located in the Zhejiang Province, southwest of Shanghai, at the end of the Grand Canal of China, Hangzhou is one of China’s most popular tourist destinations and one of the country’s oldest cities. Forbes China, the Chinese edition of Forbes magazine, ranked Hangzhou as one of the most successful business cities in China, successfully attracting new investment from private companies. This year’s class is the second group of government and business professionals from Hangzhou to participate in a master’s program at Kennesaw State. The first class of 24 students graduated from the university in August 2004. Developing master’s programs for Chinese professionals is the latest addition to the center’s growing work with China, Mr. Jin said, noting that the center is also developing a similar program in business administration.
Since the center’s inception in 1992, Kennesaw State has welcomed more than 1,800 Chinese professionals for 120 training programs, which generally last between two and three weeks. The programs are geared towards business development and management, including classes on international marketing, power company management, public finance and sustainable agriculture techniques.
While training programs have been offered to students from Africa, Eastern Europe and Taiwan, more than 90 percent of the students participating in the center’s programs are business and government professionals from China, Mr. Jin said. In 1999, the university was selected by the Chinese government to be one of five executive training bases in the U. S. for Chinese government professionals, along with California State University, Michigan State University, the University of Illinois, and the University of Maryland.
“China has gone through a lot of reform over the past few years, and they are ready to learn from our experiences,” he said, citing requests from government officials to take classes in development of e-governance techniques, protection of historical sites, and implementation of pension and welfare programs.
Through both the master’s and training programs, participants have had opportunities to shadow local businesspeople in companies such as Cable News Network LP LLLP, Chick-fil-A Inc., Coca Cola Co. and United Parcel Service Inc, Mr. Jin said. While the center hosts 200 international students per year, offering 15-16 programs per year, Mr. Jin told GlobalAtlanta that he is eager to see it expand. “We definitely want this program to grow,” he said. “We want to get more businesspeople coming to Georgia and help economic development in both places.”
The current master’s group was honored June 30, during a reception that was hosted by the Georgia China Alliance, an Atlanta-based professional group that promotes ties between Georgia and China, and Arnall Golden Gregory LLP. For more information about Kennesaw State’s Center for International Training and Research, contact Mr. Jin at (770) 423-6048 or visit www.kennesaw.edu/coned. For more information about the Georgia China Alliance, contact Rongrong Liu at email@example.com or visit www.georgiachina.com.