Hong Kong should take a more pro-active approach in attracting world-class educational institutions if it wants to become an international academic hub, the head of a leading business school says. Dipak Jain, the dean of Insead, told the South China Morning Post Hong Kong is competitive in attracting talent from abroad but needs to improve in nurturing its own talent, which is just as important. 'You have the best facilities, which attract many talents to work in Hong Kong. But rather than only just attracting the talents, the city should also create educational institutions that can produce more such talents,' said Jain, who became the head of the renowned business school this year. In the 2009 policy address, Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen announced a plan to transform Hong Kong into an international hub for education, which he named as one of the six pillar industries vital for the city's long-term development. At the moment, degree programmes offered by the eight publicly funded universities can cater for only 18 per cent of students aged between 17 and 20, according to the University Grants Committee. Six sites have been earmarked for building private universities. The new institutions could increase the number of university places by 27,000. But none have been built. Jain, the former dean of Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management, said Hong Kong can do better in attracting the best institutions worldwide as it vies for influence in a globalised world. Other places, he said, have been more proactive in doing so. For example, India has laid out plans to attract nearly a dozen world-class universities, while Singapore recently persuaded Yale University to start a four-year liberal arts programme in the city state. The marketing professor was speaking during his first trip to the region as Insead dean. The 54-year-old business school, based in Fontainebleau, France, has opened two campuses abroad - in Abu Dhabi and Singapore - and is planning to expand to the United States. Insead recently introduced a global executive master of business administration programme in Asia. Students can attend weekend classes on its Singapore campus and complete their studies with minimal time off from work. It will also bring its decades-old Advanced Management Programme to its Singapore campus. Jain said the school is determined to extend its reach to Hong Kong and the mainland because there is a huge 'desire for education'. It has developed a partnership with Tsinghua University in Beijing. Although Insead has no plans to build a second campus in Asia, Jain said the school is constantly looking for more partnerships in the region, including possible joint executive programmes with local institutions such as the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and Chinese University. Jain sits on the advisory board of HKUST's business school. He said Hong Kong was one of the options for the Insead management when it pondered opening a campus in Asia in the 1990s. 'At that time they were looking at all the alternatives. Hong Kong was one of them. But they felt they were not sure about 1997,' he said. 'Also, I think the Singapore government has been very proactive in trying to attract world-class institutions to come and have a base in the city. It has been part of its vision to become a centre for global talent.'