Zhongnan University of Economics and Law (ZUEL) was founded in 1948 as Zhongyuan University. The history of the School of Business Administration (SBA) of ZUEL can be traced back to 1949 when the Department of Factory Management and the Department of Trade were established at Zhongyuan University. In 2018, The MBA School of ZUEL was merged into SBA, making it step into a new history. Today, SBA has become a school with many strengths.
SBA is a school with a profound history of more than 70 years. Since 1949, the school has embarked on a pioneering journey, witnessing the development of ZUEL and the various stages of the development of higher education in China. SBA’s programs of industrial economy, agricultural economy, and trade economy are among the backbone programs of ZUEL.
SBA is a school with inclusive educational practices. There are 8 departments (centers), namely the Department of Business Administration, Department of Marketing Management, Department of Economics and Trade, Department of Agricultural Economy Management, Department of Tourism Management, Department of Operations and Supply Chain Management, Department of Human Resource Management, and MBA Education Center. SBA has established 18 research institutes (or research centers), such as the Research Institute of China (Hubei) Pilot Free Trade Zone, the Research Center for Digital Economy and Business Ethics, and the Research Institute of Internet+ Agriculture Development. What’s more, SBA has built up a national experimental teaching demonstration center for economic management, a national experimental teaching demonstration center for virtual simulation, and a key research base for humanities and social sciences – the WTO and Hubei Development Research Center.
SBA is a school with a complete educational system. The school offers programs in two first-level disciplines: business administration and applied economics, including 8 doctoral programs, 15 master’s programs, and 10 undergraduate programs. Applied economics is a discipline of the national “Double First-Class Initiative” and all undergraduate programs of the school are national first-class undergraduate programs, making SBA the business school with the largest number of first-class undergraduate programs in ZUEL and even in China. Nine courses, such as “International Trade” and “Marketing”, have been selected as national first-class undergraduate courses and national excellent courses.
SBA is a school with highly-trained faculties. There are 200 faculty members in the school, including 41 professors, 72 associate professors, 33 lecturers, 35 doctoral supervisors, and 138 master supervisors. Our faculties have been honored with a lot of prestigious titles (see Table 1).
SBA is a school with vibrant research practices and active international exchanges. In the past five years, the school has won more than 50 provincial and ministerial research awards, undertaken more than 50 national projects, more than 70 provincial and ministerial projects and international cooperation projects, with an average annual research funding of more than 8 million yuan. More than 400 academic papers by SBA faculties have been published in important domestic and foreign journals, such as Social Sciences in China, Economic Research Journal, UTD24 journals, and FT50 journals. The school has maintained long-term academic exchanges and cooperation with universities in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Ukraine, Sweden, and other countries and with overseas research institutions such as the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). As the first financial institution in China to be accredited by AMBA (Association of MBAs), the school has also obtained BGA international accreditation and is currently applying for other international accreditations, such as AACSB and EQUIS.
SBA is a school with remarkable achievements in talent training. For more than 70 years, guided by the school motto of “strengthening morality, protecting justice, advocating innovation, and pursuing perfection”, SBA has provided society with a lot of outstanding graduates, who have gradually grown into the backbone of various industries. In recent years, students have won various honorary titles such as “Star of Self-improvement of Chinese College Students” and “Changjiang Student” (the highest honor for students in Hubei Province). The school has a group of outstanding graduates who are active in the political, business, and academic circles, such as Ding Xuedong, the current Executive Deputy Secretary-General of the State Council, Dong Mingzhu, Chairwoman of Gree Electric Appliances, Che Jianxin, Chairman of Red Star Macalline, Zhu Jiusheng, President of Vanke, and Liang Yunchao, Chairman of ByHealth, Professor Hu Biliang, who won the Sun Yefang Economics Award twice, and Professor Yang Canming, President of ZUEL.
SBA is a school with distinctive school-running characteristics. Renowned as a leading institution of China in economics, finance, statistics, management, and law, ZUEL has gradually formed the unique management concept of “maintaining characteristics and pursuing quality” and the corresponding educational philosophy of being “innovative, integrated and international”. Relying on the advantages of ZUEL and with the aim of building a first-class business school integrating economics, law, and management, SBA has improved its training system from several aspects, such as program optimization, curriculum design, academic platform, and internship programs.
SBA is a school with great ambitions. In the future, the school will continue to adhere to the vision of “building a first-class business school integrating economics, law, and management, taking firm hold in south-central China and facing the world”, implement the development strategy of “pursuing international trends, embracing the local practice, promoting school advantages, and delivering responsible education”, and strive to follow emerging business practices and the internationalization trends under the background of the new technology revolution. The school will stay problem-oriented, take “creating business knowledge, contributing business wisdom, and cultivating business elites” as its mission, and strive to create a “Central South School” in the field of business education in China and the world. In terms of talent training, the school will continue the fundamental task of “fostering virtue through education”, deepen the reform of education and teaching, innovate the talent training model, strengthen the concept of “student-oriented”, combine the advantages of the school, and make the graduates become experts in “economics, law, and management”. In terms of discipline construction, we will focus on promoting the construction of first-class disciplines and promote the construction of the two major disciplines to a new level. Based on ZUEL’s “double first-class” development strategy and learning from renowned business schools at home and abroad, SBA is determined to make major progress in talent cultivation, staff training, scientific research, and high-quality social services. In terms of international exchanges and cooperation, we will take the international accreditation of business schools as the starting point to improve the internationalization of the school and strive to pass the AACSB and EQUIS accreditation during the “14th Five-Year Plan” period. In terms of social services, we will rely on the WTO and Hubei Development Research Center, the Research Institute of China (Hubei) Pilot Free Trade Zone, and other platforms to build a high-end think tank and improve the ability to serve major national strategies and local economic and social development.
Table 1: Number of faculties with prestigious titles
Number of faculties receiving the title
National Famous Faculty
Expert of the National Talent Plan
Expert receiving government allowances
from the State Council
New Century Excellent Talent Support Program
of the Ministry of Education
Member of the Teaching Advisory Board
under the Ministry of Education
Outstanding Young and Middle-aged Expert
from the National Ethnic Affairs Commission
Expert receiving special allowances
from the Hubei Provincial Government
Hubei Famous Faculty
Young and Middle-aged Expert
with Outstanding Contributions in Hubei Province
Cross-century Academic Leader
at the provincial and ministerial level
Hubei Province New Century High-level Talent Project
Outstanding Young Backbone Talent
of Hubei Province New Century High-level Talent Project
Hubei Provincial Youth Talent Development Program
Hubei Province Young Top Talent
Wenlan Distinguished Professor
Wenlan Chair Professor
Wenlan Young Scholar