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HK universities are in a league of their own

Hong Kong’s enviable position in business education was once again confirmed in the latest Financial Times global MBA rankings.

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) led the pack in Asia, ranking 8th on the list of the world’s top 100 institutions. The Chinese University of Hong Kong was 27th, followed by the University of Hong Kong at 31st. Harvard Business School took the top spot in a list dominated by American and British institutions.

The results speak volumes about the city’s unique position as a centre of learning and international business. In any kind of education, exposure to an environment where knowledge can be put into practice, as well as to real-life practitioners, is an absolute bonus, and this is exactly what top schools in Hong Kong offer. The connections built during the course of study can be of lifelong value.

Course design is also crucial. The HKUST programme focuses on internationalisation and teamwork. Students benefit from a stimulating learning experience derived from course contents and interaction with talented peers from around the world, says Professor Albert Ha, interim associate dean of master’s programmes and academic director of MBA programmes at the university. Such experiences, he adds, provoke new thinking and build resilience amid change.

In Shanghai, the China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) has moved up nine slots to 15th place. The school takes pride in what it calls a “win-win” partnership with companies in China and abroad. The firms leverage the platform CEIBS provides to gain exposure to its students and alumni, so that they can identify future employees and explore talent development opportunities for their enterprises, says Yvonne Li, the school’s MBA programme operations director.

Partnerships in other forms, such as exchange programmes, study trips, company visits and research projects, underlie a holistic teaching approach. “CEIBS students are more plugged into the business world, better prepared for life after studying, and get a head start on building up their networks,” Li says.

MBA education is not confined to classrooms. Social activities – common in many programmes – are crucial to networking. No one knows the business and personal links that will blossom as a result. But as shown by the FT rankings, Hong Kong is a good place to start making those ties.

Linda Yeung is the Post’s education editor, a veteran journalist who studied in Hong Kong and abroad.