UB School of Management Awarded Grant to Develop MBA Program in Belarus, Set to Begin in October

UB also has MBA program in Latvia and Singapore, two in China

Release Date: April 11, 2001 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Eurasia Foundation has awarded a $218,000 grant to the University at Buffalo School of Management for development of an MBA program at Yanka Kupala State University of Grodno (YKSUG) in Belarus.

The proposed English-language MBA program will support Belarus in its efforts to provide business managers with the knowledge and skills necessary for adapting Western management methods to the specific requirements of the Belarus economy.

The UB School of Management has partnered with the business school of Riga Technical University in Latvia, the UB English Language Institute and YKSUG to develop the MBA program curriculum and train faculty instructors.

MBA coursework is expected to begin at YKSUG in October. A first group of students has enrolled in pre-MBA classes, focusing on English-language skills and introductory courses in accounting, calculus, statistics, economics and computer applications.

The grant continues work begun in 1999 under the Eurasia Foundation project "Creating Capacity in Belarus in Business Education." The goal of the project, initiated as a cooperative effort among YKSUG, Riga, Niagara University and UB, is to develop and sustain a Western-style business school in Belarus, says Voldemar Innus, UB's chief information officer, who helped procure the grant.

"In the longer term, this initiative should contribute to market reforms that will enable Belarus to work more effectively with Western countries," said Innus, a native of Latvia.

According to John Thomas, associate dean for international programs in the UB School of Management, the Belarus MBA will be modeled after a similar project initiated in Latvia by UB and the University of Ottawa in 1992. That project founded the first Western-style MBA program in Eastern Europe at the Riga Business School -- following Latvia's independence from the Soviet Union -- and was funded by the U.S. Information Agency and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Under the U.S. Agency for International Development, the School of Management in 1992 also established an executive-development program in Hungary at the Technical University of Budapest.

"The Belarus program will benefit from our past successes and expertise in Central and Eastern Europe," said Thomas. "Our primary role is to provide technical assistance to the Riga Business School, which is working very closely with Yanka Kupala State University to structure the MBA program."

An innovator in the establishment of international MBA programs, the UB School of Management has an impressive history of success overseas, having established in 1984 the first American MBA program in China at the Dalian University of Technology, funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Currently, the School of Management operates two executive MBA programs in China -- one at Renmin University, established in 1998, and another at Motorola University in Beijing, launched in 1999. Since 1996 the school has operated an MBA program in Singapore at the Singapore Institute of Management.

UB's programs in Asia are taught in English by School of Management faculty and award MBA degrees from UB.

"We clearly are recognized as a world leader in the exportation of high-quality, U.S.-accredited graduate business programs," said Lewis Mandell, dean of the UB School of Management. "Revenues generated from our overseas programs are essential for maintaining our top-rated business programs in Buffalo."

According to Mandell, the management school is negotiating with educational institutions in three other Asian countries to offer MBA programs there, as well.

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