With an aim to nurture top business executives in the region, Andrew Chan Chi-fai, programme director of the Executive MBA Programme (EMBA) at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), pitches the importance of training executives to be open minded and socially responsible.
Hong Kong's economy is closely tied to the mainland and the world, so executives have to bring together the best of Chinese and Western management cultures to excel. "Our goal is to bring the world to China, and China to the world. We operate in an intensely competitive and interconnected environment and executives need to master four crucial dimensions - Chinese, the West, tradition and modernity - to succeed," Chan says.
He notes that the world is ever changing and executives should not hesitate when it comes to updating their knowledge. "In the highly competitive market, there are various new concepts and strategies in management and marketing. It is not possible for people to gain this knowledge on their own, which is why they need to take the course," he says.
Networking is a key element of the programme. During the first week of the course, students go on a local residence week in a hotel where they get to know each other through team building.
Towards the end of the course, students go on an overseas trip to learn about business management in other places. "Students get to vote for a place that they want to visit. Last year, we visited some banks and prestigious corporations in Germany to learn about their operations," Chan says.
To further expand the networking of students, the programme has invited leaders from the business community, as well as government and non-governmental organisations to be guest speakers.
The key objective is to help students make better business decisions. The curriculum includes courses in accounting, financial management, business law and business management. "We are preparing students with knowledge of modern management. The programme aims to improve participants' analytical and decision-making capabilities, and enhance the competitive advantages of their enterprises," Chan says.
First-class executives have to be willing to give back to society on top of contributing to their respective organisations, he adds. "We want our students to share their knowledge and success stories as a contribution to society. Since 2002, we have co-organised the Talking to CEOsseries with [Hong Kong TV networks]. Besides sharing, we also want our students to be socially responsible, to take the environment and society into account when making decisions."
Applicants must have a bachelor's degree, at least seven years of post-qualification business or relevant work experience, including five years in a managerial position.
Classes are held from 6:45pm to 9:50pm every Friday, and from 2:00pm to 6:45 pm every Saturday at the CUHK MBA Town Centre in Central (below). The course takes two years.