In today's highly competitive business world, the right university degree can make or break your career, particularly in Hong Kong.
In recent years, UK-based universities have become keen competition for local institutions, largely because of their heavily funded research bases. "There's a clear need for UK qualifications when it comes to tertiary education," says Edmund Chuk, professor at INTI College Hong Kong.
INTI is a listed company on the Bursa Malaysia (Malaysian exchange), which collaborates with Hong Kong- and Singapore-based private tertiary education provider Swastika Education Foundation Ltd to manage a UK BA (Hons) Business Administration degree programme.
The programme was launched four years ago in Hong Kong. "When Swastika undertook the responsibility to manage INTI College Hong Kong,
I already foresaw the market potential for top-up bachelor programmes here. Top-up degrees are an interesting concept and their success is largely dependent on how the concept is marketed," explains Dr Chuk.
The comprehensive programme covers practical modules such as international business, marketing communications, business research and strategic management. Students must complete a dissertation as part of the degree requirements. These reflect current business practices in Hong Kong and elsewhere; and assessments are based on practical work, including case-study analyses, research on recent business practices and presentations.
"The advanced curriculum is designed to help local students understand modern trends in both the international and local business arenas," Dr Chuk remarks.
Swastika's academic team has a sound understanding of contemporary market trends in various disciplines and applies this knowledge to the programme, which balances assignments and exams so that student can gain knowledge without being subjected to heavy study loads. The aim is for students to be able to use the knowledge they gain in the job market.
"The other key feature is that we closely monitor our students' progress and offer help whenever they need assistance," Dr Chuk adds.
The degree programme is geared towards a range of target groups. "We mainly focus on those with higher diplomas, advanced diplomas or associate degrees, while also welcoming people with substantial work experience in business and management capacities," explains Dr Chuk. The programme also welcomes students with Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination (HKCEE) and HKAL qualifications.
One of the major reasons for launching the top-up degree programme was to assist Hong Kong's working adults to continue their higher education in a more practical and realistic way. "For a number of reasons, many people do not continue their education after high school and end up in the workplace, only to realise after some time that they have to upgrade their qualifications to remain competitive. Our top-up BA degree helps to address this need," Dr Chuk remarks.
The degree programme has gained popularity among foreign students from countries such as Pakistan and Indonesia wanting to broaden their knowledge in the business administration field.
The programme's entire curriculum falls under the supervision of Coventry University in the UK. The university, established in 1843, focuses strongly on quality with regular assessments by external examiners from other reputable UK universities.
In addition to the guidance by Coventry University, Swastika employs highly qualified lecturers to run the programme. "The staff and lecturers at INTI College Hong Kong are dedicated to their students and aim to provide a holistic academic experience in which students are encouraged to grow personally and professionally," stresses Dr Chuk.
The education institution is equipped with a full range of facilities, including an e-library, which is a great asset to the programme.
In short, the programme concentrates on imparting knowledge that can be applied and practiced in modern businesses. "Candidates who are looking for career changes, expecting promotions or even looking for a job for the first time could greatly benefit from the programme," Dr Chuk concludes.