Western News

Student translators boost management education in China

November 20, 2012

Ivey casesContributed photo


Ivey Publishing, the publishing arm of the Richard Ivey School of Business, is well on its way to expanding its footprint in China thanks to Western student volunteers translating cases from English to simplified Chinese.

More than 150 cases have already been translated by students volunteering with the Case Translation and Publication Project (CTPP), which was launched last fall by Michelle Han, Ivey’s Asian Management Institute (AMI) associate director. Each term, participating students from various Western faculties tackle a new batch of cases. Another 107 case translations are underway by a group of volunteers this term.

Considering each case would cost about $1,000 to translate, the project has reduced Ivey Publishing’s costs substantially. It has also enabled Ivey Publishing to sell site license plans to Chinese universities. During a six-week trip to China last spring, Ivey Publishing sold 17 site licenses. It now employs full-time staff in China to sell site licenses.

“There are a lot of winners in this. Students in China now have access to Ivey-quality content in their first language. It is also great work experience for the students here,” said Ivey professor Paul Beamish, who is also executive director of Ivey Publishing and director of AMI. “One advantage that we did not anticipate with this is that CTPP became a bit of a social club. A lot of the students here have enjoyed the opportunity to meet new friends.”

The opportunity to network drew Jinyang (Thomas) Dong, a fourth-year Economics student at King’s University College, to the cause.

“We learned about the importance of connections in leadership and, through this, you really get connected with your teammates,” he said. “It’s a great real-time business practice.”

As an Ivey HBA1 student, Anna Fu has experience with the Ivey case method of learning. Fu said she wants to share the case-method benefits to other students in her homeland, China.

“This creates a name for Ivey but also has huge benefits for China because it improves the level of education there,” she said. “Participating in CTPP enriches my degree because it gives me a challenge and hands-on experience and helps me in terms of personal development.”

Ziqi (Lane) Huang, an Ivey AEO student, said he has learned a lot from reading the cases and that helped him when applying for a job in the energy industry because he could cite his knowledge of the industry from the cases.

Han said she founded the project with those added benefits in mind.

“People thought it would be impossible for me to run such a huge initiative and get students to participate without pay, but there are other benefits. It gives them experience, a sense of honour and they have fun,” she said. “The students also benefit from the club because it feels like family. Most of them are from China and they want to do something good for China.”

Thanks to the boost from CTPP, Ivey Publishing now has more than 450 cases available in Chinese and is the largest distributor of Asian management cases.

“If we can keep this going and translate the whole case collection, we’ll have an extraordinary asset for management education in China and for Ivey itself,” Beamish said.

Ivey Publishing’s current collection of cases can be found at iveycases.com.

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