Bigger numbers in specialist course
As trade continues to boom in the Pearl River Delta, demand for a Polytechnic University specialist part-time course is on the rise here and in the mainland.
Leon Li Yuk-on, programme director for the master of science/postgraduate diploma in global supply chain management, said when the course - the only one of its kind in Hong Kong - began in 2004, 50 students enrolled to take part. The quota has increased to 80 this year.
Supply chain management essentially entails systems of planning and control of products or materials through a supply chain - from the point of origin to the point of consumption.
The programme, offered by Polytechnic University's Graduate School of Business, targets executives in the fields of supply chain management (SCM) and logistics.
'Logistics is becoming more popular and we saw there was a market for logistics or SCM-related expertise, so we wanted to develop a course for people who wanted to be trained in other areas and pursue a higher degree due to their work,' Dr Li said.
'Development, especially in the Pearl River Delta, is substantial - on the one hand it's highly competitive, but on the other hand there is a mutual benefit.
'There has been an increasing demand from the mainland for the course, mainly from Shenzhen. As it's a part-time programme, it's difficult for others (further afield on the mainland) to attend courses.
'Most or our students are working in the logistics field, with some also from other areas, such as merchandising.'
Dr Li said the course could be tailor-made to suit the needs of the student. 'It depends on the pace of the student - normally the course runs for two years, but it can extend up to five years - (and) how busy the person is with his employment,' he said.
The course offers a wide range of electives with topics such as air transport, maritime logistics, warehousing and materials management, and transport logistics in the mainland.
Core subjects include: SCM; International Logistics Management; Models for Decision Making; Managing Operations Systems; Strategic Procurement Management; Global Sourcing and Supply; Information Systems for SCM and E-commerce.
Dr Li said the course was designed to produce graduates who could view SCM from a global perspective and provide them with the grounding required for understanding critical analysis of SCM problems.
'There is the knowledge from the course, but the mutual interaction between the students is also important,' he noted.
The minimum requirements for the course are an honours bachelor's degree in a business-related discipline or its equivalent, or, for non-business degree holders, two years of relevant working experience or relevant background knowledge. Candidates in senior management positions with other academic qualifications are considered on a case-by-case basis.