Hong Kong students will benefit from stronger academic, financial and physical resources, more programmes and better research facilities Hong Kong students will be able to benefit from more quality education after the recent merger of the Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM) with the University of New South Wales Faculty of Commerce and Economics. The new Australian School of Business at the University of New South Wales in Sydney will provide stronger academic, financial and physical resources, and has the capacity to offer more due to the expanded breadth of its programmes and research. Harnessing the excellence of two of Australia's benchmark business education and research institutions, the merger had resulted in an entity that was stronger than the sum of its parts, said Australian School of Business dean Alec Cameron. 'The new school offers business a greater depth and breadth of programmes than any other business school in Australia. It has 10 world-class research centres, nine disciplinary-based schools and many internationally recognised business academics. 'We have created nine new professorial chairs to attract more leading academics from around the world to help us further build our research and teaching capabilities. We are more resilient and stronger financially, with more resources to invest in creating a centre of excellence,' he said. The merger offered greater choice of electives for MBA students and access to more professors - the Australian School of Business has 240 academics - and many are internationally recognised for the excellence of their research and teaching. The AGSM MBA in Hong Kong is now part of the Australian School of Business. The AGSM MBA, offered in Hong Kong since 1997, has gradually become an integral part of Hong Kong's education landscape and is fully staffed by the university. Professor Cameron said the MBA degree had been constantly changing with the times since the AGSM was established. But students had recently been seeking more specialisation on top of the general management education offered by an MBA. 'To a large extent the MBA has been a one-size-fits-all product,' he said. 'That's now coming under challenge from a few areas. The aspirations of people who are taking MBAs are evolving and increasingly we're seeing students whose aim is not to work with a large corporation but to make wealth in some way via innovative entrepreneurship. Others want the general management qualification but they also want to specialise in a particular area such as finance or marketing. Having brought together the two educational entities we can now offer these options.' He said one of the greatest strengths of the new school was that it was closely integrated with the Asia-Pacific region, including links with industry and educational commitments in the area. 'Because the world economy in the foreseeable future would be driven by the region, particularly with the exciting developments in China, including Hong Kong, and India, the school's new and established regional links put it in a powerful position.' Professor Cameron said: 'This is a real opportunity for us. We need to invest in and continue to build more relationships in the region. We must remain known as the place people come to from across the region to enhance their business knowledge and skills. 'We already have a significant number of undergraduate and postgraduate students from the region and we also have people who come to us from Europe and North America because they see the bridge we create; the proximity to Asia as being to their advantage. We can also continue to help business engage with and get a better understanding of markets in Asia.' Under the Australian School of Business, the new School of Strategy and Entrepreneurship will offer exciting new courses in innovation and entrepreneurship, and networking opportunities for students. The new Michael Crouch Chair in Innovation and Entrepreneurship will be a prestigious position in the new School of Strategy and Entrepreneurship. The gift from Michael Crouch, executive chairman of Zip Industries, a well-known and highly regarded Australian company with manufacturing and marketing facilities in Australia and Britain, will allow the school to recruit an internationally recognised academic who will boost its research and teaching capabilities in innovation and entrepreneurship. 'The gift will enable us to offer exciting new undergraduate and graduate level courses. We will also be able to offer students more opportunities to immerse themselves in the world of innovation through initiatives such as our proposed 'Meet the Entrepreneur' series, conventions, internships, student clubs, business competitions and networking events,' he said.