ALTHOUGH education institutions in Australia have been offering Master of Business Administration degrees since the 1960s, it is only in the past five years that it has become hugely popular - with both foreign and Australian students. There are now more than 35 MBA programmes available in Australia. While some students hold jobs and study by correspondence or part-time courses, others follow full-time courses. Australian MBAs follow the general pattern set by their American counterparts, with a common core of subjects including finance, marketing, computing, quantitative methods, communications, organisational behaviour and communication. The courses also concentrate on developing students' ability to think creatively, analytically and laterally, and encourage them to improve their research and communications skills. Most MBA courses are characterised by an interactive teaching approach which emphasises participation, team work and case studies, rather than using the passive lecture formula. There are also opportunities for project work in Australian industry, and the chance to work on real management and strategic issues for major corporations or government departments. For Hong Kong students, many of whom will return to the territory to take jobs with big corporations or to start businesses of their own, this is an invaluable aspect of the Australian courses. The networks created by students on MBA courses with other up-and-coming business people from all parts of Asia and Australia are valuable and personally rewarding. An interesting feature of some Australian MBA programmes has been the development of international exchange arrangements. Links have been set up to allow some students in Australian programmes to spend a semester in one of the top US or European schools.