Nanyang Technological University-International Air Transport Association Memorandum of Understanding Signing Ceremony 

Published on : 21-Sep-2010

Welcome Remarks by

President, Nanyang Technological University


Tuesday, 21 September 2010, 8.30am
Nanyang Executive Centre


Mr Giovanni Bisignani,
Director-General and CEO, International Air Transport Association,

Distinguished guests,

Colleagues and friends,

Good morning, and a warm welcome to NTU! 

The Memorandum of Understanding that we are about to sign with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) is an important milestone agreement. It will open the way for advances in the science and practice of global talent management. NTU is the first University in Asia to partner the IATA in an exciting venture for research, development and education opportunities in the area of civil aviation.

Nanyang Business School at NTU is the top-ranked business school in Singapore. Its Master of Business Administration programme is ranked 27th in the Financial Times’ Global MBA Rankings in 2010, and among the top four in Asia Pacific. A leader in research and innovation in the field of business and management, Nanyang Business School has established strategic partnerships and international alliances with many other institutions. 

Today, the global aviation industry is worth over US$500 billion, with Asia Pacific leading the charge in air traffic growth. Singapore’s national carrier, Singapore Airlines, is a leading global carrier and one of the most profitable airline companies in the world. In July, a record one million tourists visited Singapore, a remarkable achievement for an island-nation of just 5 million residents.

The IATA is a global industry body representing some 230 major airlines from 125 countries around the world, accounting for 93 per cent of the world’s scheduled international air traffic. By its very nature, the work of IATA and its members span diverse cultures. Cultural considerations play a major part in their human resource development.

The Centre for Leadership and Cultural Intelligence at NTU’s Nanyang Business School has been a world pioneer in Cultural Intelligence and the measurement of Cultural Quotient, or CQ. This refers to the ability of individuals and organisations to be effective in culturally diverse situations. 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.

Through this Memorandum of Understanding, NTU and IATA will team up to develop programmes for human resource development with special emphasis on leadership and cultural intelligence issues. The programmes would serve top aviation executives to maximise their performance in the global business environment. IATA and NTU will also collaborate on research topics of mutual interest and benefit, to develop new bodies of knowledge and practice on cultural intelligence and global talent management.

As our cooperation deepens and takes root, NTU and IATA will explore the possibility of launching an Executive Master of Business Administration programme specialising in aviation management to train professional aviation leaders for Asia and the rest of the world.

Our professors have already started working with IATA. This week, NTU and IATA jointly launched the inaugural elite leadership development programme, known as I-Lead. It gives me great pleasure to welcome to NTU some 20 top IATA executives from around the world currently participating in this premier leadership course held here at the Nanyang Executive Centre.

I am confident that the partnership between NTU and IATA will lead to exciting developments for the continued growth of the worldwide aviation industry. 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. We look forward to a long and successful partnership with IATA.

Thank you.

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