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Duke and Seoul National Universities Agree to Global Alliance of Business Schools

January 02, 2003

DURHAM, N.C., USA and SEOUL, KOREA-- Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and Seoul National University’s College of Business Administration have signed a letter of intent for a four-part alliance that expands Duke University’s footprint in Asia and Seoul National’s footprint in North America. This is a key step in accomplishing their strategic goals of becoming truly global schools of business, officials at both institutions said Friday.

Final approval of the agreement is expected within two months upon formal acceptance by both universities’ faculties, administrations, and boards of trustees.

Under the Memorandum of Understanding signed by Duke’s Fuqua School Dean Douglas T. Breeden and Seoul National Dean Dong-Sung Cho, Fuqua’s two-year old Cross Continent MBA program will be expanded from two home campuses, one in North America and the other in Europe, to a third in Asia. Beginning with the Cross Continent class starting in August 2003, up to 35 Asian students will have their home base in Seoul. These students will attend four one-week residential classroom sessions in Seoul, Korea and two each at Duke’s home campus in North Carolina and its Fuqua School of Business Europe in Frankfurt, Germany. Starting in 2004, it is anticipated that the entire Cross Continent class of approximately 200 students will attend class in Seoul in addition to the other two campuses, giving a globally integrated education on all three continents. Faculty from both universities will teach in the program.

The second part of the alliance details the two schools’ creating a dual-degree daytime MBA program for up to four of Seoul National’s top students to study at Duke for three semesters in addition to attending two semesters at Seoul National. They will receive MBA degrees from both business schools.

Officials said the schools will also jointly teach customized and open-enrollment non-degree executive education courses at Seoul National and Duke University. Duke Corporate Education, Inc., along with Duke University, will work with Seoul National to develop and deliver these programs to Asian-based firms.

The final element of the Memorandum of Understanding provides an opportunity for up to two Ph. D. students to visit the other school for a year and to take doctoral courses from the host faculty.

“This is a dramatically important expansion of Fuqua's global reach, and we are very pleased to be partnering with Korea’s finest business school and one of the best in all of Asia,” Dean Breeden said. “It strengthens our Cross Continent program by expanding Duke's presence in Asia so that our students receive an even better grounding in doing business internationally.”

Dean Cho said, “We are very pleased to enter this global alliance with Duke’s Fuqua School of Business, which is consistently ranked as one of the world’s Top 10 business schools. We expect this alliance to establish Seoul National University as the Asian hub of global business education.”

Recruiting is under way for 30 to 35 Asian students for Duke’s Cross Continent MBA program who will have Seoul National as their home campus, starting in August 2003. The two deans said they seek applications from qualified students from all over Asia, as well as from foreigners working in Asia.

In addition to the Seoul-based students, admissions expectations for Duke’s Cross Continent MBA class starting in August 2003 are 120 students based in North Carolina and 45 based in Europe. Each graduate of the intensive 20- month program will receive a Duke degree. This unique program allows managers to earn an MBA degree from Duke while still working for their firms. To date almost 400 working managers from around the world have enrolled in the program. Discussions are under way about expanding the Seoul-based program to a joint- or dual degree program, but no agreement has yet been reached.

In the daytime dual-degree program, Korean students will spend one-and-a-half years at Fuqua and two semesters at Seoul National where they will be required to complete a master’s thesis.

Deans Breeden and Cho originally met as classmates at Harvard Business School in 1973. Breeden transferred after one year to Stanford, where he received his Ph.D. in finance in 1978. In 1997 Cho taught two courses at Fuqua, “International Corporate Strategy” and “Business in Asia,” as a visiting professor. Cho visited Duke twice last year, and Breeden visited Korea last March and will visit again in May.

Founded in 1946, Seoul National is Korea’s leading university. It has 23,000 undergraduate and 8,000 graduate students matriculating in 16 colleges spread over three campuses in Seoul. Its College of Business
Administration, renamed in 1975 from the College of Commerce, was founded in 1946 and currently has 1,880 students in undergraduate, MBA, and Ph.D. programs.

Duke’s Fuqua School of Business was founded in 1969 and offers four MBA programs and open- nrollment, non-degree executive education programs. MBA programs are the flagship daytime program, The Duke MBA—Global Executive, The Duke MBA—Cross Continent, and The Duke MBA—Weekend
Executive.

Duke Corporate Education will take the lead with the executive education courses. Building from Fuqua’s leadership position in customized education, it was formed in 2000 to substantially expand Duke’s provision of custom courses to the world’s major corporations. Dean Breeden said that in the challenging business environment of the 2001-2002 academic year, Duke Corporate Education grew by almost 50 percent. Duke expects Asia to be a fertile area of growth for its executive education programs, which are frequently ranked in the Top 5 in the world.