Established more than 10 years ago, the Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) programme at PolyU's Graduate School of Business (GSB) was the first of its kind in Hong Kong. Over the past decade, the programme has been preparing students to apply the most up-to-date business practices and methodologies into real-world management strategies. These future leaders include Vincent Ching Siu-ming, one of this year's distinguished alumni, whose thesis was so excellent it was submitted without any revision. Previously a chief financial officer in the business world, Dr Ching's DBA experience was so profound, he changed careers and is now a lecturer at PolyU. On the mainland, Yuan Xin, chairman of Alcatel Shanghai Bell, was another of this year's elite graduates. Ferdinand A. Gul, programme director at GSB's DBA and Doctor of Management (DMgt), said: 'Our DBA programme is specifically designed to educate senior executives as 'scholar-managers', and we do this through ensuring cutting-edge research into the latest, most effective international business principles. We provide a dynamic learning environment where our ultimate goal is to change the mindset of our students so that their focus is on problem solving and pioneering leadership in the rapidly evolving world of business today.' The DBA programme is deeply infused with an international spirit, utilising the GSB's strategic partnerships with three world-acclaimed business schools as collaborative partners. They are the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) in Switzerland, with whom a credit-bearing elective is offered to PolyU DBA students, allowing them the opportunity to attend IMD's renowned leadership programme; the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia in Canada; and the Simon Graduate School of Business at the University of Rochester in the United States. The latter two schools send out well-respected, experienced scholars to co-teach with PolyU faculty on several DBA subjects. The programme's fundamental objectives revolve around broadening and updating the students' knowledge of business in general, acquiring and nurturing an in-depth knowledge in a specialist area, and honing their ability to apply innovative, pace-setting research theories into practical business application. As a part-time, credit-based programme, the PolyU DBA is intensive, but highly interactive, and research plays a crucial role in maintaining a progressive curriculum. It includes looking at the genesis of certain business ideologies, antecedents, and crisis management issues, as the implications of fundamental business shifts often affect every facet of business in some way. 'In order to sustain relevance, we are constantly evaluating our DBA courses and current global business climates, which inevitably lead to adjustments,' Professor Gul said. 'We do not want to be viewed as an ivory tower - we want to make sure that our programmes are not only relevant, but also highly co-operative between our students and faculty.' PolyU will continue to develop the DBA programme with an international essence as, in the future, it will look to establish other DBA programmes overseas in collaboration with other prestigious higher learning institutions. Implementing a curriculum strong in theory, but based on empirical research, has often led to the creation of some revolutionary business theories, which have in turn produced several ground-breaking business concepts. Ultimately, PolyU's DBA graduates tend to be well-prepared to lead global change in their companies and industries.