The University of Chicago Graduate School of Business has chosen Singapore for an Asian International Executive MBA (EMBA) programme it hopes will attract working professionals from the region. Classes, which begin in mid- 2000, will be taught by the same faculty that teaches at the school's campuses in Chicago and Barcelona, Spain. The programme will be divided into 16 one-week modules and spread over 19 months. Students will be able to continue working full-time, flying into Singapore periodically for the one-week sessions. In between, they will keep in touch with their classmates and professors electronically, working on assignments and communicating by way of the Internet, CD-ROM, computer- facilitated discussion software and multimedia software. 'This represents the first time a business school will offer a globally-integrated executive MBA programme on three continents taught entirely by its regular faculty at permanent campus locations,' Robert Hamada, dean of the Graduate School of Business, said. A unique feature of the programme will be a four-week global exchange, which will see students of all three programmes working together in small groups. They will spend two weeks in Chicago and one week each in Barcelona and Singapore. 'In addition, students in the Asian programme will be assigned to small intercontinental management teams with participants from the European and North American programmes, enabling them to learn from each other as well as learning from the faculty,' he said. The programme is targeted at managers with high potential from leading companies throughout the Asia-Pacific region as well as at government officials, physicians, lawyers, health service administrators and entrepreneurs. Enrolment will be limited to 80 students a year. 'The participants will represent diverse industries and jobs and come from the Asia- Pacific region,' Dr Gary Eppen, deputy dean, Graduate School of Business, said. 'Interacting among students is a key element in the learning process, so we use a study group concept that not only makes learning easier, but helps build teamwork and leadership skills.' The University of Chicago has a distinguished list of alum ni, including CEOs from some of the leading companies in the US and overseas. Hong Kong-based alumni include Bhanusak Asvaintra, executive vice-president, Charoen Pokphand Group, Lincoln Yung, director, Nanyang Cotton Mill, and John Wadsworth, chairman, Morgan Stanley Asia. 'This is not just another business school,' Mr Wadsworth said. 'This is one of the world's leading graduate business schools, whose faculty have had a major impact on creating present-day global capital markets.' According to Teo Chee Hean, Minister for Education, the University of Chicago is the fifth institution brought to Singapore under an Economic Development Board initiative to attract 10 world-class educational institutions to the city-state. Others include Georgia Tech, INSEAD (the European Institute of Business Administration), John Hopkins University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 'The attraction of top foreign institutions complements our efforts to develop Singapore into a centre for educational excellence and our local universities into institutions of world-class standing,' Mr Teo said. 'With the influx of talent and knowledge that these institutions bring, we will have much to gain from the resulting enhanced intellectual and academic environment.' A mansion will serve as the programme's permanent cam pus. Under renovation, it will feature modern classrooms and areas for group study. 'This architecturally distinctive building will certainly help contextualise the uniquely Asian flavour of the university's . . . Asian International Executive MBA Programme,' Mr Teo said. Chicago - whose business school is ranked as one of the best in the US - invented the executive MBA concept in 1943. It is the only US business school to establish MBA campuses in Europe and Asia. The university has had more than its share of Nobel Prize winners. Since the Nobel Prize in Economic Science was introduced in 1969, 18 of the 42 winners have come from the university and its Graduate School of Business.