Take care before enrolling
HONG Kong students considering overseas postgraduate degrees should shop around before enrolling.
Most local students were more concerned about how long courses would take to complete rather than how much a course costs, Ann Buchanan, senior adviser at the British Council's Distance Learning Centre, said.
'All courses listed with the British Council must be relevant to Hong Kong and are not just packaged in Britain and posted to students,' she said.
'Students should be looking at course material to check that it will be relevant to their jobs.
'Local academics contribute material to many of the courses we list and others are run in partnership with local tertiary institutions.' Students should check how often courses were updated as management practices in the territory changed often, Mrs Buchanan said.
Some courses were 'so lavish in their production' they would not be updated for three years until development costs had been recouped.
'It's not always good to go for courses that look like they offer more if they are not updated regularly,' Mrs Buchanan said.
'Cost of courses marketed through the centre are justified and those that are more expensive usually have more local teaching or are using lecturers from Britain.
'There are many business courses on offer in Hong Kong and competition for enrolment is tough, so prices have to be justified.' Students should be wary about MBA courses that took less than two years to complete.
The shortest distance-learning MBA course listed with the British Council was 21/2 years and the longest was 31/2 years.
Many students wanted to complete courses before the 1997 change in sovereignty, Mrs Buchanan said. With a growing percentage of the workforce holding MBA degrees, employers were checking from which institution degrees were from.
'The importance of an MBA in Hong Kong has been slightly devalued as so many people have them,' she said.
'MBA degrees recommended by the council have a minimum two-year work experience requirement.
'We have arranged two PhD (Doctorate of Philosophy) degree courses but students must be serious, have a research proposal and a supervisor in Britain.' Undergraduate business courses from British institutions were also sought after but none was yet available in the territory.
The University of Manchester Business School was hoping to set up an undergraduate Bachelor of Business course, which would be offered through the council, she said.