Accolade shows that product of partnership is working hard to address needs of executives in region To say that Steven DeKrey is proud of the strides made by the KH school in such a short time is a massive understatement. The Kellogg-HKUST EMBA programme, founded in 1998 is a partnership between the Kellogg School of Management Northwestern University and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Business School. Senior associate dean and EMBA programme director, Professor DeKrey has been there from the outset, nurturing the facilities, the faculty and the growing reputation of the KH programme. Last year, only nine years since its inception, the Financial Times ranked the KH-EMBA programme as No 1 in the world. 'The executive classroom is the most demanding in the world,' said Prof DeKrey who was a Kellogg graduate himself. 'Our faculty responded and our students succeed.' 'In the past 10 years, we've worked hard to address the needs of executives in the region. Our faculty is world class while our facilities are very fine. We have passion for it.' There need not be more to say other than the calibre and range of the student body who are executives from information technology, finance, human resources, logistics and pharmaceuticals. 'To be in a pool to even enter [the programme], we make it clear that there is company support for senior executives,' explained Prof DeKrey. 'It is competitive. We really assess their fit - who they are, what they do, where they are heading. We warn them about the workload, we tell them about what is happening, listen to their questions. If there is a match, they are accepted. There is no formula.' The concept of a partnership came from Kellogg who already had similar EMBA programmes in Tel Aviv, Israel and Vallendar, Germany. When Hong Kong came on to the map, Prof DeKrey was quick to press on when an agreement was reached in early 1998. 'The strength of the programme is due to our efficient administrative team and highly dependant on the classroom environment, student input and teaching skills of the faculty,' said Professor DeKrey. 'We've got more than 250 faculties to choose from and we only need 28 professors. Half are from Chicago, ranging from 25-year veterans, two whom I was taught under myself. 'Most are repeat professors. They love coming here and they love their students. They feel like this is home because it is really is Kellogg's home in Asia.' A big draw for the programme is the International Week which has been lengthened to two weeks. 'It has developed into a star feature at the six Kellogg programmes around the world. Diversity is second to none. There is a kinship because they have a curriculum and often a faculty in common. 'During the two weeks, bonds and relationships have time to develop. It is a feature our students look forward to.' The focus and determination is a common thread in students taking part in the KH programme. 'What we offer goes beyond other types of programmes. In an MBA, for instance, you don't have the wider perspective. Our students are decision-makers looking out for bigger issues. There is some time spent on theory and what we deliver is applied relevantly.' Established in the 1940s in America, the EMBA programme in the past was not considered relevant. It is a relatively recent phenomenon, starting at the Kellogg School of Management Northwestern University in 1976. 'In the space of one generation, today sees a partnership between our students and their companies. If you look at the trends these days, an EMBA dominates because it appeals to a need here. Many have not studied business before and an EMBA is for working professionals. 'Our students must be motivated. I have been doing admission interviews for 25 years. We jointly meet the candidates and it's a commitment we make. In a sense, candidates have to admit themselves and convince us why. You need to know the criteria and make the assessment. What we offer goes beyond other types of programmes.'