The Henley Management College bills itself as Britain's first business school. It focuses on executive development programmes and on MBAs. An MBA, a diploma in management, an executive certificate in management and a project management MBA are all offered locally through the distance- learning mode. There are three intakes per year, and courses usually take from six months to three years to complete. In addition to its 'off-the-shelf'' programmes, the college designs and manages custom programmes tailored to the specific requirements of diverse clients such as Barclays Bank, Ford, Gillette, Glaxo Wellcome and Marks & Spencer. 'Our philosophy on these programmes is based on partnership and participation, and directed at working with organisations to add value and a competitive advantage,'' Veronica Chan Yuk-mei, operations, Henley Management College, Hong Kong office, says. The programmes are tailored not only to meet specific client objectives, but also to match the organisation's learning culture and style. Having offered distance-learning programmes in Hong Kong since 1986, Henley was one of the first distance-learning course providers in the city. 'With more than 17 years of experience, we know the needs of distance-learning students,'' Ms Chan says. 'In Hong Kong, our 3,450-square foot premises in Wan Chai offers students support faculties in the form of a library, a seminar room and a study room with an Internet connection.'' The college has a team of full-time staff and part-time tutors to provide support and administration for each of the more than 200 students enrolled at present. Henley is increasing the amount of interactive components in its course offerings, reflecting a worldwide trend for a more interactive distance-learning environment. 'The trend of people learning online continues, but we see students now choosing online MBA courses with good face-to-face contact and opportunities for experience sharing, such as the courses offered through our office here in Hong Kong,'' Ms Chan says.