The University of Arizona Eller College of Management and the Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT) have established a joint college that will offer programs in China related to digital transformation, information technology, big data analytics and artificial intelligence applied to business. The joint management information systems (MIS) degrees will be offered at the bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. levels.

Pending approval by the Chinese Ministry of Education, classes will begin in the 2018 fall semester. Eller faculty will teach classes at HIT’s campuses, located in both Harbin and Shenzhen, the innovation hub of China.

Eller College dean Paulo Goes said HIT is widely recognized as an elite university in China, as part of the C9 select group of the top universities in China, along with Tsinghua, Beijing and Fudan Universities. The C9 League is an alliance of nine elite universities in mainland China, comparable to the Ivy League in the United States.

“Like Eller’s MIS department in the US, the HIT MIS programs are considered the very best in China, so this great collaboration is destined to advance knowledge and education in the exciting field of digital business,” Goes said.

Eller recently formed a partnership with the American University of Phnom Penh in Cambodia, creating its first micro-campus to offer a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration.

“We have had dual-degree programs with other universities in China, but for the most part, those programs offered the degree at either the undergraduate or graduate level. The scope of our partnership with the prestigious Harbin Institute of Technology is greater because it involves the three levels of degrees and our mission aligns strongly with theirs,” Goes said.

Goes has been interacting with HIT on research projects and Ph.D. student mentoring for five years. During his trips to Harbin, he began to discuss the idea of a partnership with HIT Dean Qiang Ye.

“The key to successful international collaborations lies in finding a partner that is compatible and accomplished,” Goes said. “The current leadership at HIT fits that criteria, and the Eller College is pleased to undertake this new partnership.”

Qiang Ye, HIT dean and professor of management information systems, said the collaboration comes at a time when the world faces a shortage of digital business leaders.

“Training is critical now as there are millions of cybersecurity and MIS jobs that need to be filled,” dean Ye said. “This joint school will become a millstone in the collaborations between our two universities. We hope it will contribute to innovations in business education and research by leveraging abilities of both universities in the areas of big data, business analytics and artificial intelligence.” 

Eller College is the second UA college to offer a dual degree in China. The College of Law has one dual degree with Ocean University in the city of Qingdao.

UA Eller College of Management consistently ranks high in leading studies of business education at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. According to the U.S. News & World Report 2018 Best Graduate Schools edition, Eller’s MIS program is ranked number 2 among public programs in the United States. In September 2017, U.S. News & World Report ranked Eller’s MIS undergraduate program as the number 1 public program in the U.S. in its America’s Best Colleges issue.

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