, Hong Kong

Hong Kong's 20 largest MBA programmes 2014

Chicago Booth EMBA in HK opens pioneering class of 180

Hong Kong’s effort to become an Asian center for higher education was boosted by the recent relocation of a top-ranked American MBA programme from Singapore to the city to be closer to the booming China.

For 13 years, The University of Chicago Booth School of Business has run a successful campus in Singapore that serves as platform in Asia for the school’s executive MBA programme (EMBA). The decision to move its EMBA programme in Hong Kong is proving fruitful with many students from Asian region interested in taking the course, said the school’s associate dean for global outreach William W. Kooser. “Hong Kong is an easy city to reach, it is convenient to live and work here, and it has a very international atmosphere that is comfortable for many prospective students,” he said.

According to Kosser, the school’s EMBA programme started in June with a pioneering class of 180 students. He also reported nearly completion of the work on their interim campus in Cyberport. “Our architect is working on the design for our permanent campus which we hope to open in 2017,” he said. The school’s MBA is the most expensive at $1.175 million.

Kosser said that to ensure the quality, they are managing the programme themselves and not with a partner. They are using only regular Chicago Booth faculty to teach in the program. Chicago Booth will carry on teaching the 166 students enrolled in Singapore until 2015.

The competition

The success story of Chicago Booth is not unique to other foreign providers also grabbing huge market shares in the city. Hong Kong Business’ inaugural
survey of MBA programmes in the city found that University of Wales, Newport MBA conducted by the International Academy of Management attracted 800 parttime students. The $108,000 worth programme and the largest on the list has UK university lecturers coming to Hong Kong to deliver some modules face to face.

The Local providers

The local providers meanwhile are keeping up with the competition by offering quality programmes at much lower costs.

According to Lawrence Chan, director, marketing & student recruiting at Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), Hong Kong programmes are generally quite competitive given the fact that most schools follow the American MBA approach -which normally offers extensive elective courses, overseas exchange programme, etc. The fees, however, are significantly lower when compared with similar programmes in the U.S.

CUHK’s traditional MBA has 306 students and offered at $317, 280. Its EMBA conducted in English has 119 students while the one in Chinese has 97. The EMBA programmes cost half of Chicago Booth’s.

HKUST Business School manager from the marketing and admissions Pauline Cheung concurred saying that while their MBA programme is among the top tier of programmes around the world, its tuition is much lower than those top tier programmes in the US.

Financial Times now ranked HKUST MBA no.1 in Asia and no.14 in the world. HKUST has 310 students enrolled in its MBA programme costing $545,000. “Program duration is also relatively shorter in Asia. At HKUST, students can gain what a 2-year MBA program offers in just 12 months. They can also go for an internship and an exchange if they opt for a 16-month option,” she added. 

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