MIT Sloan Models Action Learning in Malaysia

When Bank Negara Malaysia Governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz envisioned a top-notch business school in Kuala Lumpur, MIT Sloan School of Management and the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship were her model. For MIT, a partnership with Bank Negara offered interaction with a rapidly growing financial hub, providing exchange and development opportunities for its own faculty and support for its international programs.

In Fall 2016, the Asia School of Business (ASB) opened its doors, the result of the largest international partnership in Sloan’s history. The inaugural class of 46 students is engaged in a curriculum modeled on Sloan’s signature Action Learning Labs, classroom sessions coupled with real-world projects. In the 10-year agreement, core courses will be taught by MIT Sloan faculty, who will also help to build ranks at ASB through training and recruitment. Charles Fine, professor of operations management and engineering at Sloan, serves as ASB’s founding dean and president. And the collaboration doesn’t end there.

“Trips by ASB students to the US, including Silicon Valley, New York, and Washington, will expand the Action Learning component,” says David Capodilupo, executive director for the Office of International Programs at Sloan and a key player in negotiating the ASB-MIT Sloan collaboration. ASB students will also spend a month each spring in residence at MIT. According to Capodilupo, ASB and MIT students “will be able to integrate with each other through social events, and we’ll expose [the ASB students] to companies and startups in Cambridge and the region as well.”

Attracting and retaining leadership talent in Malaysia and strengthening its position as an educational center are primary drivers behind the formation of the school. And, notes Capodilupo, “Students and graduates will have networks all over the world.”