Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and the Geneva-based International Air Transport Association (IATA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to collaborate on the development and upgrading of human capital for the global aviation industry.
The MOU was signed by NTU President, Dr Su Guaning, and IATA Director-General and Chief Executive Officer, Mr Giovanni Bisignani, at NTU this morning.
This is the first time that IATA, which represents some 230 airlines worldwide and accounts for 93 per cent of international scheduled air traffic, has entered into such an agreement with an Asian university.
“I am pleased to note that NTU is the first university in Asia to partner IATA in an exciting venture for research, development and education opportunities in the area of civil aviation,” said Dr Su. “The nurturing of human capital and the focus on management competencies are crucial in developing the talent base for aviation companies and organisations in Asia and beyond.”
“Asia is the future of the air transport industry – it is the single largest market and will continue to drive the industry’s growth,” said Mr Bisignani. “With Singapore at the crossroads between the aviation giants of China and India, this MOU will allow IATA and NTU to take a leading role in developing the human capital needed to support and fulfil the region’s aviation growth.”
Under the MOU, NTU and IATA will explore the possibility of launching a joint Executive Master of Business Administration programme with specialisation in aviation management to develop professional aviation leaders for Asia and the world. NTU faculty will also lecture in IATA Training and Development Institute courses, while senior instructors from IATA will teach in NTU programmes.
Another key area of collaboration is on research topics of mutual interest and benefit, to develop new theories and practices on cultural intelligence and global talent management. This aims to enhance aviation leaders’ cultural intelligence to maximise their performance in the global business environment. In addition, NTU and IATA plan to work together to organise an International Aviation Human Resource Summit in Singapore.
Nanyang Business School’s flagship Nanyang Master of Business Administration programme is ranked 27th in the Financial Times Global MBA Rankings 2010 and is consistently placed among the top four MBA programmes in Asia. The school’s Centre for Leadership and Cultural Intelligence, led by Professor Soon Ang, and the IATA Training and Development Institute, led by Mr Guido Gianasso, will be the working partners for this MOU.
The Centre for Leadership and Cultural Intelligence is well regarded for its pioneering work in the area of cultural intelligence (or Cultural Quotient), which refers to the ability of individuals and organisations to be effective across cultural and geographical boundaries. Its mission is to lead in the knowledge, assessment and programmes to develop culturally intelligent individuals and organisations for today’s global environment.
“Today’s global environment requires business leaders who are able to operate effectively in different cultures to drive results. This has been a priority area in IATA’s leadership development programme, especially since we have offices in 60 countries around the world and our operations in Asia are growing rapidly,” said Mr Bisignani. “Having collaborated with NTU in this area, it made sense to formalise the partnership between our two organisations through an MOU to deliver value to the aviation industry.”
“Our world leading centre in the generation of knowledge, products and programmes to nurture culturally intelligent leaders for today’s global business environment is a perfect fit as a partner for IATA,” said Dr Su. “I am confident that the partnership between NTU and IATA will lead to exciting developments for the continued growth of the worldwide aviation industry.”
Nanyang Business School has already started its collaboration with IATA by providing senior professors as expert faculty for the latter’s elite Intercultural Leadership Engagement and Development (I-Lead) Programme. IATA’s week-long premier I-Lead programme is being held in Singapore for the first time. Twenty top IATA executives from around the world are currently attending the programme held at the Nanyang Executive Centre on NTU’s Yunnan Garden campus.
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