Executive education providers in China will soon need to decide between the mass market and offering premium services, the deputy head of one of Hong Kong's business schools has predicted. Gary Biddle, associate dean of the School of Business and Management at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, said the market was about to undergo a change as the supply of courses was coming close to meeting demand. 'The market has developed significantly in the past decade,' Professor Biddle said. 'Ten years ago there were still a lot of senior executives in Chinese enterprises who had not had an opportunity to take formal management training. By now, however, many of them have already taken an MBA or EMBA, so that demand has largely been satisfied.' HKUST began offering its China-centric international executive MBA four years ago, based mostly in Beijing but also with classes held in Hong Kong and other mainland cities. The explosion of courses now on offer has led to an emerging trend for mainland business professionals to take up executive education at a younger age - particularly in the private sector. But Professor Biddle warned this also had a downside. 'The latest thing is some are not happy with the delivery of their programmes,' he said. 'Teaching quality is an issue in some schools. And with younger participants you do not have such significant networking opportunities.' Professor Biddle predicted this would lead to a 'participation' of course suppliers into those providing lower-priced options and a premium market of top institutions that would be able to charge considerably higher on the promise of maintaining their exclusivity. More 'savvy' executives would choose the course not just on the quality of instruction, but also the calibre of classmates. 'At present, we are the highest-priced provider on the mainland and we still fill our classes,' he said. 'We have thought about expanding the programme but we are keen on maintaining quality.'