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Australian school offers MBA designed for leaders

Published on Friday, 20 Jul 2012
Deborah Biber
Photo: Sam Tsang


The Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM) at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) offers an MBA programme that focuses on providing management education and leadership development for those with working experience.

Deborah Biber, country manager, AGSM Hong Kong, says the programme appeals to three groups of students: senior managers who are looking to get their academic qualifications, staff who are hoping to take up a leadership role in their career, and professionals such as lawyers and engineers who want to upgrade their skills in, and knowledge of, management.

“We offer a dynamic classroom for students to learn from our experienced faculty – who come from Australia – as well as from each other. The selection process is rigorous, as we want students who are able to add value to the class. We want everyone to be successful,” Biber says.

The programme employs an intensive-study mode to help students balance work and study. “For each course, delivery begins with pre-reading. Four weeks before class, students will receive a package of learning materials including journal articles, book chapters and case studies. Then they will undergo an intensive nine-day lecture that comprises 40 hours of face-to-face classroom teaching,” says Biber.

The programme offers an innovative customised management education specially designed for the busy executive with regional business career leadership ambitions in mind.

The delivery is flexible as it is designed to balance work, travel and study commitments, and can be completed in 18 months to seven years.

There are two stages to the course. Students can take up to five years to complete the first stage – the graduate diploma in management – and finish the MBA with another two years of study.

Applicants with an undergraduate degree must have at least two years’ management or professional experience. Those without an undergraduate degree must have a minimum of six years’ management or professional experience.

Course assessments are carried out via examinations along with assignments, class participation and peer ratings in group projects.

Applicants are required to submit referee reports by current or recent employers and prepare a personal statement to show their motivation for taking the programme. Applicants must also attend an admission interview.

The AGSM MBA Program is recognised globally and was recently ranked as the number one programme in Australia – and 41st in the world – in the Financial Times (UK) 2012 ranking of the world’s top 100 MBA programmes.

Upon graduation, students will be welcomed into the group of more than 10,000 successful leaders making up the AGSM MBA alumni community, gaining access to a powerful business network in the Asia-Pacific region and worldwide. Graduates will also be part of a prestigious network of more than 220,000 UNSW alumni around the globe.

Programme graduate Pang Sung-tae finds that the course has left him better equipped to manage and to lead. “Having completed the programme, I feel that my collection of experience and skills are now neatly categorised in a ‘mind’s library’ of experience and skill sets. I would highly recommend the AGSM HKMBA programme, especially to experienced executives who, like me, wish to be better equipped to manage or to lead,” he says.

Pang also found the structure of the programme perfect for executives. “In the past, I was not able to attempt an MBA programme until I found the AGSM HKMBA course which allows class attendance in an intensive nine-days-per-course programme with a venue in Hong Kong that is easily accessible. This type of flexibility in the curriculum, along with the international venue, is commendable,” he says.

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