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K-State partners with Malaysian university on MAB program

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Kansas

Officials from Kansas State University and Universiti Sains Malaysia signed a Memorandum of Understanding agreement on Nov. 15, 2010, to bring K-State's award-winning Master of Agribusiness to Southeast Asia.

USM Vice-Chancellor and Professor Tan Sri Dato' Dzulkifli Abdul Razak, USM School of Management Dean and Associate Professor Datuk Ishak Ismail together with professor Datin Hasnah Haron, dean of the Graduate School of Business at USM and K-State Professor of Agricultural Economics Allen Featherstone, were on hand to represent both universities at the ceremony held at USM.

"Interest in the MAB program from those outside the United States continues to grow. Many agribusiness professionals have expressed a desire to obtain a master's degree to equip them with business and economic skills and an increased understanding of the food and agribusiness system on a global scale, said Featherstone, who is also the director of the MAB program. "They understand the need for quality education and admire the reputation that Kansas State University and the Master of Agribusiness program share. However, many international students have difficulty participating in a U.S. program due to the time needed for traveling to the U.S. for on-campus sessions and to a lesser extent, U.S. visa issues. The new Southeast Asia cohort will provide international agribusiness students another option for continuing their education."

K-State selected USM as a partner university for the Master of Agribusiness program due to its growing reputation in the Asian business community. The USM MBA program was ranked in the Top 25 in the Asia Pacific region by Asian Inc. in 1997. It was recognized as the Best School of Business Management and Accounting in Malaysia in 2003. In 2009, USM was selected for the Accelerated Program for Excellence. USM has also been selected as one of the five research universities in Malaysia.

"The APEX designation will further develop USM's international business reputation and transform them into a world-class business school," Featherstone said. "We believe the partnership between K-State and USM will be beneficial to both schools and the Master of Agribusiness program."

Established in 1998, the Master of Agribusiness program is a distance degree for professionals working in the food and agriculture industry. MAB students earn an accredited master's degree in 2 1/2 years while doing course work using the Internet, DVD, podcasts, and multi-audio chatrooms. Currently, students visit K-State during four one-week campus sessions where they meet other students and faculty, receive training on the technology used, interact with industry leaders and give group project presentations.

In the new cohort, the "on-campus" portion of the program will be offered at the Universiti Sains Malaysia in Penang, Malaysia, beginning in May 2011. The curriculum will be adapted to Southeast Asia's business environment and students will learn about real business situations through interaction with visiting K-State faculty, industry leaders and classmates.

The executive-style, distance education delivery of the MAB program breaks down barriers associated with earning a master's degree, such as access to a university campus, job changes, relocations and job-related travel. More than 300 individuals from around the world have been trained through the MAB program to apply cutting-edge business and economic concepts to the food and agriculture sector.

The MAB program is currently accepting applications for the May 2011 cohort based at USM in Penang, Malaysia. For more information about the Southeast Asian MAB cohort, call 785-532-4495, e-mail mab@agecon.ksu.edu or visit the website at www.mab.ksu.edu.



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