The Macquarie Graduate School of Management (MGSM), whose graduates this weekend celebrate achieving their degrees, opened its Hong Kong programme in 1994. At any one time, the school has some 400 students in the city, studying across its range of programmes. 'Hong Kong is a very important market for MGSM,' says Professor Richard Petty, associate dean (international) and a professor of management. 'That is why MGSM offers the same programmes taught by the same faculty as in our home market of Sydney.' Like many modern business schools, MGSM - which opened its doors in Sydney in 1969, making it the oldest continuously operating business school there - breaks down its offerings in modules, giving students the flexibility to study in short bursts or plan for longer degrees. All the courses are taught in person, with professors flying to Hong Kong from Australia. They are typically taught over two consecutive weekends, with Friday night, Saturday afternoon and all-day Sunday sessions, so that working executives can still take classes and qualify for the 40 hours of teaching required in each subject. 'MGSM students hold middle to senior positions in their companies and tend to be more mature than those enrolled in other business schools,' Petty says. 'Many have up to 12 years' managerial or professional work experience.' In Hong Kong, the simplest offerings are a postgraduate certificate in management and a postgraduate diploma in management, shorter programmes that give students a taste of graduate business education. Credit for those courses - the certificate requires three course units and the diploma needs six - can be put towards a full MBA programme. The traditional MBA degree is designed for students who want to pursue a career in general management. It takes 30 months of study and requires 16 course units. The school's offerings also include a master of management programme, an 18-month degree catering for people who are looking for a career in senior management within a specific field. The master's of management programme offers specialisations in financial management, marketing management, general management, logistics and performance management, and human resources. At the other end of the scale from the certificate scheme, there is a doctoral programme that leads to a doctor of business administration degree. MGSM also awards a doctor of philosophy degree in management. The doctoral programmes are getting popular with senior managers who have already studied other business degrees and are considering research or teaching, perhaps switching tracks to an academic career later in life. Petty says many MBA candidates move out of traditional line-based roles in large companies and into a senior management role, either during the course of their studies or soon after. 'MGSM is very focused on providing students with a practical and applied learning experience,' Petty says. 'Our programmes help managers develop their problem-solving skills and become better strategic thinkers and communicators by immersing them in a range of subjects that require them to adopt a multidisciplinary approach to dealing with applied business problems and cases.'