The Kellogg-HKUST relationship has led to global recognition of their Executive MBA programme The partnership between the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in the United States and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) has led to global recognition for the Kellogg-HKUST Executive MBA programme. The Financial Times ranked the joint EMBA programme No1 in the world in 2007 - a gratifying coup for a programme which has been in existence for a mere 10 years. 'This unique alliance underlines the trust and respect between two great schools and the people who work in them,' said Leonard Cheng Kwok-hon, acting dean of the HKUST Business School. Continuing support from both universities was 'crucial to the successful development of the programme', he added. The Kellogg-HKUST EMBA was a model that addressed many needs. 'In a world that has become more global, you no longer deal with business people only from your own country. Internationalisation of management education is needed,' Professor Cheng said. 'Every business school is limited in the sense that it's not able to cover as many issues as two or three business schools located in different areas would be. If you want to know more about India, you cannot be confident a US university has all the required expertise, unless you tap in to talent from India. So partnerships are necessary.' Faculty complementarity was a key factor in fostering an academic meeting of the minds in the partnership arrangement. 'We had more faculty members with local expertise and they had the American and international expertise,' Professor Cheng said. Cross-cultural elements were equally important in attracting a diverse student body, about half of whom fly in from outside Hong Kong. 'In order to run a programme like this successfully, students have to come from different cultures and bring in different perspectives,' he said. 'Not only do students learn from the professors, they learn from other students and they learn how to operate in a multicultural economy.' For the programme to remain in its enviable top position, Professor Cheng said keeping a pulse on the latest business trends and developments and injecting fresh material into courses was vital. 'We have to be aware of what is happening in the real world. Even though the titles of the courses might be the same, you have to suggest new topics to get close to the marketplace and the real world so you're not teaching outdated material.' Three new resource centres will be launched at the HKUST Business School this year that will be related to the school's executive education, including the EMBA programme. One deals with Asian family businesses, which is a direct offshoot of the programme's family business component and will examine the culture of family-run Asian business. Another will be on business case development. 'We want to create good, high-quality Asian cases. We would like to develop cases from students that we teach and use them with future students,' said Professor Cheng. 'The best quality ones could also be used by other business schools.' The third will focus on entrepreneurship, innovation and strategy. Professor Cheng said HKUST's number one ranking could have an advantageous ripple effect on management education throughout Asia. 'I think people will look at our elements of success and try to imitate us. I think that's for the good of everyone,' he said. He sees the future of such education as benefiting the overall level of training worldwide. 'Management education in Asia has lagged behind the US and Europe but now with the growth of Asia there are many things that US business schools can learn from Asia,' he said. 'With the centre of gravity moving toward Asia, Asian companies and expertise are becoming increasingly important.'