The Business Administration Master's programme at the Chinese University of Hong Kong has been ranked the region's fourth best by Asia Inc magazine. The honour comes in the international business magazine's annual survey of graduate business programmes. Asia Inc gives a rating to what it says are the region's top 25 institutions. Melbourne Business School snatched first place. Hong Kong University of Science and Technology came 13th. Chinese University Associate Dean of Graduate Studies Japhet Law said the university's programme had improved steadily because of its growing reputation and alumni network, plus an influx of highly qualified applicants. These strengths, he said, allowed the programme to jump from sixth place in last year's Asia Inc rankings. The magazine also applauded improvements in Asian business studies courses. 'Graduates of Asian MBA programmes are often as marketable as graduates from United States or European programmes because they benefit from the academic rigour of an MBA programme in a context that is relevant the dynamics of Asia,' editor in chief William Mellor said. The magazine's rating system is based on three criteria: the quality of incoming students, the quality of education and the market value of each programme's students. Professor Law said Chinese University's programme had steadily improved in each category. 'We have a very strong alumni network,' he said. 'People climbing the corporate ladder here reach back down and provide great resources for both the programme and its students.' Professor Law said the university had been fortunate to keep pace with Hong Kong's growth as a business centre. But he warned that the region still faced a shortage of competent managers, particularly in areas including Hong Kong, where the economy was moving towards the service sector. 'I would imagine we are not even scratching the surface.' The university's MBA course is the longest-standing in Hong Kong, having been introduced 31 years ago.