Graduates power region's growth
In contrast to the business blues in Europe and the United States, the lively business environment in Asia, and in particular China, has created a need for MBA programmes that reflect the changing dynamics.
Last year, the Hong Kong University Grants Committee called on the city's universities and business schools to bridge East and West, and connect to the economic development of the Pearl River Delta, which covers Hong Kong, Macau and south Guangdong.
Professor Steven DeKrey, associate dean and director of masters programmes at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), says Asian business programmes are becoming more competitive in terms of quality and reputation.
'Some 13 years ago, I heard a former chairman of HSBC say, during a public speech, that Hong Kong lacked a high quality business school. No one says that any longer,' says DeKrey.
He adds that more than 90 per cent of HKUST's current full-time MBA students are from outside of Hong Kong. 'Taking intake 2011 as an example, we have 28 nationalities in class. They are looking for opportunities in Asia or the China market,' he says. 'China-focused models are very important elements in our MBA programmes - to help students equip themselves with the knowledge, skill sets and the network necessary, to successfully develop a career within the region.'
As part of its rebrand, the Chinese University of Hong Kong's (CUHK) faculty of business administration has become the CUHK Business School. 'It's not just about a new logo, but about curriculum development - ensuring that the Business School offers a coherent set of programmes, to develop the next generation of global business leaders for the Asian century,' says Professor TJ Wong, who is also dean of CUHK Business School and chair professor of accountancy.
Wong says the CUHK Business School collaborative programmes with mainland universities provide MBA students with a unique understanding of East and West business insights, and how to use such insights effectively.
Through its collaborative links, the CUHK Business School offers an MBA in finance with Tsinghua University and an executive masters in accountancy with the Shanghai National Accounting Institute. The CUHK Business School also has major expansion plans, and intends to be the first Hong Kong business school with a dedicated campus on the mainland.
'Just as Stanford and Berkeley played a key role in the creation of Silicon Valley, we aim to be the next Stanford or Berkeley of China to develop the Pearl River Delta. The [region's] entrepreneurial spirit has driven Chinese growth, but the region now needs to move up the value chain.'