With business professionals now expected to be able to look at issues from both global and local perspectives, the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) MBA programme aims to bring together leading business concepts from both China and the West. "The goal is to keep the programme relevant and tuned to the needs of our students and a demanding international business community," says Lawrence Chan, administrative director for marketing and student recruiting for MBA programmes at CUHK. "As the world looks towards Asia for renewed stimulus, the CUHK MBA programme provides students with valuable insights that allow them to benefit from Asia's growth." Chan says that with both international companies moving into the mainland, and large Chinese companies expanding internationally, the demand for MBA holders is increasing. "Candidates apply to join our MBA programme for many reasons, but generally speaking they are looking to build on their people and leadership abilities, cross-cultural communication, and analytical-thinking skills," Chan says. Offered as a two-year part-time or 16-month full-time programme, which includes internships and exchange programmes, the CUHK MBA offers a multicultural learning experience. "We have students from more than 20 countries and a multicultural, multilingual faculty. Many of our professors and lecturers are at the forefront of business, social and economic developments in China. Combine this with the diverse knowledge and experiences our students bring to the programme, and we have a rich platform for learning and open discussions," Chan says. He adds that students and faculty members rarely hypothesise about handling management or business situations, and instead say "this is how it happened" or "this is how we dealt with the situation". Characterising the different needs in global business today, the programme focuses on four core areas: finance, marketing, China business and entrepreneurship, the latter including qualities appreciated within both large organisations and start-up firms. "Robert Lee, our professor in entrepreneurship practice, has been a pioneer in the hi-tech industry for 35 years. He provides many excellent examples of how entrepreneurship skills are needed across all business areas," Chan says. To ensure that managers and leaders are equipped with the skills required to operate successfully in a multinational context, developing soft skills is also important. "We work with consultants in areas such as cultural sensitivity, communication skills and team building," Chan says. The CUHK programme is the longest-running MBA programme in Asia and a strategic effort is made to keep it up to date with rapid business, economic and social developments in the mainland, and the impact these developments have on doing business internationally. "The programme is international in its outlook and student mix, but also offers the latest insights geared towards people working for businesses operating on the mainland," Chan says. CUHK achieves this by adding new modules and recruiting faculty members with specific knowledge and insights. In response to the mainland banking sector continuing to attract international interest, for example, the business school has launched a "China in transition: Growth model change and innovation" topic to the MBA curriculum. Taught by honorary CUHK Business School professor Liu Mingkang, the former chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission, the "China in transition" syllabus explores evolving business models in major mainland industries, such as manufacturing and banking, and highlights the roles played by government and the markets. "Anyone with an interest in the mainland's banking sector will appreciate the significance Professor Liu brings to our MBA programme. His comprehensive experience and expert knowledge of China's financial reforms and banking practices is extremely useful for those seeking an international perspective," Chan says. A module on the luxury-products market has also been added to the curriculum, reflecting the mainland's rapid rise as a luxury-products consumer. "We have responded to the demand both from students and employers who are looking to gain a better understanding of the mainland luxury-products market," Chan says. The syllabus covers areas such as brand management, consumer behaviour and the impact digital technology is having on the luxury-goods sector. In addition to case studies and individual assignments, students engage directly with those involved in the luxury-products industry and learn from presentations delivered by top speakers. With recruitment, retention and mainland employee management a perpetual hot topic, the CUHK MBA programme also includes a course covering human resources issues. "The programme deals with the real-life experiences and approaches taken to managing one of the biggest challenges for businesses on the mainland," Chan says.