WHILE recruiting postgraduate students from Asia is profitable for overseas tertiary institutions, cultural exchanges are also important, according to Tony Martin, head of Nexus Media. Nexus, a British communications company, has organised the postgraduate fair. Following the Government's withdrawal of subsidies for undergraduate overseas study, British and foreign institutions had tried to cash in on the growing postgraduate market, Mr Martin said. Under a European Union agreement, education for European students was subsidised, making it worthwhile for British and continental tertiary institutions to advertise courses at the fair, he said. 'Hong Kong's booming economy and role as a vital trade centre makes it one of the richest markets for recruiting postgraduate students,' Mr Martin said. 'European institutes rely on fees paid by Asian students and need to recruit from this region, where graduates are prepared to pay in full for courses. 'There are more local undergraduate courses available for Hong Kong students and that source of revenue for overseas institutions is quickly drying up.' However, with the change of sovereignty looming, there had been a surge in demand from young business executives for postgraduate business education. Along with financial benefits of paying Asian students, overseas institutions gained from cultural exchanges, Mr Martin said. European students had the chance to learn and socialise with foreign postgraduates, an important part of a broad education, he said. One of the features of the fair is the promotion of MBA courses and programmes geared for those working in the territory's banking and service sectors. Britain's top business and management schools, including London's Kings College, Sheffield Hallam University and University of Glasgow, will be represented. Forty-eight institutes, including the British Council, will be promoting their programmes.