U of S : Communications : OCN : Sep 5, 1997
In June, President Ivany and Rev. Martin Komolmas, president of Assumption University, Bangkok, signed an agreement to develop a program for marketing graduates of that University's School of Business.
To be known as the Masters in International Marketing Administration (MIMA) program, the two-year pilot is targeted toward middle- and upper-level managers of Thailand companies who are graduates of Assumption's marketing program and who have been employed for a period of at least five years.
Students attending the course will be sponsored by their employers. It's hoped that 30 managers will enrol this fall and twice that number next year.
Tuition cost for the program will be market -based, but it's expected that it will be set between $10,000 and $14,000 a student, resulting in revenues to the U of S of more than $1 million over the next two years alone.
Believed to be the first Canadian course to be taught in Thailand, MIMA will focus on skills and knowledge needed to succeed in Thailand's increasingly competitive international market.
President Komolmas said the agreement will "definitely benefit both the Canadian and Thai business sectors." Representatives of two dozen or more Saskatchewan businesses were present for the June 24 signing ceremony.
Traveling to Bangkok
Eight U of S commerce professors will take turns traveling to Bangkok for a month each to give course instruction.
The Bangkok component consists of eight courses over a period of eight months. Then, MIMA students will spend eight weeks in Saskatchewan (during the summer) to take a further two classes and link with western Canadian businesses.
It's expected that the innovative program will contribute to the reputation of both Universities in the international business education arena while strengthening ties between Saskatchewan and Thailand.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Dean Lynne Pearson said the program developed from a growing demand for post-graduate degree education in Pacific Rim countries and the desire for institutional partnerships with the respective Universities.
"The agreement provides an excellent opportunity for the College to expand its work internationally and to demonstrate our expertise."
She noted that the program will be "thoroughly evaluated" after the two-year trial and jointly considered for approval as a permanent program.
The degrees for the program, which grew out of a friendship between U of S marketing professor Brooke Dobni and Tee Pong, now director of Assumption's graduate programs, will be issued by the U of S.
Dobni says the demand for executive level education in these countries has never been stronger and will continue to grow for some time.
"A number of North American universities have already entered into educational and faculty exchange agreements or are in the process of negotiating them."
One of the objectives, he adds, is to create a vibrant and sustainable marketing environment between the two countries that is a direct result of this program.
Jack Vicq, associate dean of Commerce and director of the Centre for International Business Studies, U of S, says MIMA, besides being an opportunity to provide revenue-generating programs to other countries "is also consistent with [Commerce's] continual evolution of a global business environment and educational partnerships, which will strengthen our traditional undergrad and graduate programs."