We live in world marked by leadership deficits and global disruption. As a result of this, Fuqua’s strategy is to embed and connect in key regions around the world to prepare students to address global business challenges. The MMS: DKU program, which takes place in both on Duke campus in Durham, North Carolina and at Duke Kunshan University in China.
Jennifer Francis, Senior Associate Dean for Programs and an accounting professor at Fuqua, explains the importance and benefits of giving students this front row seat to the two most dynamic economies in the world.
How do you see a program like MMS: DKU shaping the student experience?
In a word: greatly. MMS: DKU is taught across two continents, with the ability for students to immerse in each culture and to learn about how business is done differently. We want students to spend enough time in each region so that they really are able to have a truly American, or Chinese, experience. Finally, we hope our students shape each other: we hope that our US students “host” our Chinese students when the students are in Durham, and we hope the reverse happens when our students are in China. By “host” I mean that our students show each other the best that their country offers in terms of experiences and perspectives.
How do you approach teaching accounting when you are doing it in different parts of the world? In other words, would you bring in different perspectives and angles if you are teaching the course in China vs Russia vs the United States?
Absolutely. Students always think accounting is boring and dry – but it’s not! One way you can make it be exciting is to use local examples – local firms – so that students gain practical experience in how to read and understand financial statements. Moreover, we are committed at Fuqua to teaching accounting rules that are important around the world.
How do you foresee MMS: DKU being a means to bring learnings from China back to Durham? How have you seen this play out through some of Fuqua’s other global programs?
Having faculty, staff and students in China will allow us to bring experiences and stories back to Durham that make the culture and environment of China come alive. We want to connect with people and places, so that when we talk about the Chinese economy in class, we can link our discussions to specific experiences.
How do you think MMS: DKU will impact professors’ research agendas?
China’s institutions are different from many Western countries. Those differing institutions create a huge new pool of hypotheses to be tested and data to be used to probe prior ideas in a different context.