Rapid results A good option for managers and executives in Hong Kong who want to carry on working while studying part-time for an MBA is the programme offered by Belk College of Business at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in the United States. The programme was introduced to Hong Kong last year, with its second and third intakes accepted this year. 'When choosing an MBA programme, several factors need to be taken into account,' said Alan Shao, assistant dean for professional and global programmes at the Belk College of Business. 'These include who teaches the course, the price, whether the qualification is the same as in the home market, the time it takes to complete the degree, the location of classes and the reputation of the institution offering the degree.' The course, organised through the China Education Group, differs from other part-time MBA programmes in Hong Kong in that students can complete it and graduate with an MBA within one year of part-time study. It is also offered at the competitive price of HK$173,000. 'Our typical students are in their mid-30s, middle management, have an aggressive personality and seek advancement in their career,' Mr Shao said. The course covers 11 modules and includes intensive study weekends for each module. Professors from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte are flown to Hong Kong to conduct classes, and students have the opportunity to network with colleagues during these sessions and throughout the course. According to the China Education Group, students can expect the same quality of curriculum, textbooks, classes and professors that are available to students doing the course in the US. Mr Shao said now was a good time to consider taking an MBA programme. 'Typically, people will return for additional education during bad economic times. This is due to job losses, moving forward with plans to get an advanced degree, or a desire to advance from their current position.' There are about 25 students per intake. The programme is endorsed by leading US banks and financial institutions, and Belk College of Business was ranked the 9th best college by the US World & News Report. The college's MBA programme is also available in Taiwan, where more than 200 students have graduated from the course. The China Education Group also runs courses in conjunction with Stanford, Yale and Harvard universities in the US. These include corporate strategy and governance, strategic marketing, finance and leadership programmes.