Busy professionals wanting to climb the corporate ladder can enhance their career prospects through distance learning. Management Learning, for example, serves as management trainers and project managers for overseas universities such as Sheffield Hallam University in Britain. The company also represents Britain's Institute of Management - with 70,000 members worldwide - in Hong Kong and the mainland. 'A lot of our courses focus on IT [information technology] and management in addition to quality management,' Andrew Cawley, managing director, Management Learning, said. 'Hong Kong needs to become more IT focused if it wants to compete with such regional centres as Singapore and Taiwan, which are well advanced in that area.' The Sheffield MBA in IT management addresses these issues and is a popular choice for many students,' he said. There was also a need for greater emphasis on quality assurance as the SAR's economy became more sophisticated. 'We have found a great demand for the Sheffield MSc in Total Quality Management,' Mr Cawley said. The Centre for Educational Development offers what it terms 'mature students' an opportunity to achieve recognised overseas professional and academic qualifications in such areas as professional accountancy, insurance and management from universities in Britain, Australia and the United States. The company also organises seminars and in-house training programmes for executives. Copernicus Higher Education Institute offers courses ranging from bachelor to doctoral level. The company's 'credit by examination' programme allows self-motivated learners to get US-style business degrees without leaving the SAR. 'PEPP [Proficiency Examinations Preparatory Program] imports a new educational mode to Hong Kong - credit by examination,' Raymond Leung, director, Copernicus Higher Education Institute, said. 'We prepare you to gain university credits and even a degree by taking exams with worldwide recognition, just like TOEFL and ICC,' he said. Liton Management Education Centre assists students in finding an appropriate place in which to study and helps with enrolment and visa applications.