The mainland is proving a gold mine of resources for one of the oldest business schools in the world. The Richard Ivey School of Business focuses on case-writing to identify management issues in China businesses. 'The emphasis is on case-writing to give faculty a vehicle to learn about Asian business,' says Larry Wynant, Ivey's outgoing associate dean, Asia. The school produces about 50 cases annually, and all MBA programmes run in the mainland make use of Ivey case studies, Mr Wynant says. In fact, Harvard and Richard Ivey together write about 80 per cent of the world's case studies, he says. 'Case studies allow an exploration of business and management issues. Rather than learning from texts, students can look at case studies to understand issues behind real management decisions,' he says. MBA students are required to study 300 cases over a two-year period. The Hong Kong campus, established in 1998 (Richard Ivey is the first North American business school to set up a campus here), has been used as a springboard for businesses to compete successfully in China. Ivey's mainland operations are centred on Beijing. Still, business schools are having a difficult time keeping up with demand, Mr Wynant says. The Chinese government estimates that the country will require between 100,000 and 200,000 MBA graduates each year to keep up with demand. Demand is being only partially satisfied through mainland universities and some foreign business and corporate schools such as Motorola's, he says. In the meantime, Richard Ivey is offering a two-year executive MBA programme that has an annual intake of about 45 to 50 students. Tuition costs $480,000. There is also a two-year MBA programme, which takes about 30 students annually and costs $325,000. Ivey also offers customised short-term business courses for which it issues diplomas.