Developing a global perspective

by Grace Chan

(left to right) Jo Currie, administrator
Robert Mayor, director of resources, Business School, the University of Greenwich;
Ritchie Poon, general manager and director
Bernard Chan, programme director
ABRS Professional Learning Services
Photo: Louis Lam
A 10-year partnership between a Hong Kong-based professional training organisation and a UK-based university has facilitated a number of internationally recognised degree programmes for local students.

New programmes offered by ABRS Professional Learning Services, in cooperation with the University of Greenwich, include a bachelor of arts degree in marketing, a master's degree in business administration and a master's in international business programme.

"Not only was ABRS our first international partner, but the institution also helped us attract quality students over the past decade," says Robert Mayor, director of resources, Business School, the University of Greenwich. "We share similar values in our endeavour to provide students with diverse education options to help them excel in their careers."

Continuous education produces more than just academic qualifications, notes Ritchie Poon, general manager and director, ABRS Professional Learning Services. "It also helps develop students' learning ability. With the University of Greenwich's academic strength and support, our students graduate with enhanced skills and broadened minds."

One of the university's alumni, Charles Kao, was this year awarded the illustrious Nobel Prize in Physics. "This proves that a good first degree plays a fundamental role in attaining personal success," says Mr Mayor.

"It's been a long tradition for Hong Kong students to further their studies in the UK or the US. Although English is their second language, many of them do very well abroad," Mr Poon says.

ABRS and the University of Greenwich introduced a new master of science programme in finance and investment analysis for Hong Kong-based students in June last year. The same programme was launched in London nine months ahead of Hong Kong.

"This illustrates the value of our partnership. We provide programmes that cater for Hong Kong students' needs," says Mr Mayor. Students are exposed to an international perspective, while at the same time equipped to apply their knowledge in the Hong Kong market.

One key benefit is that students enrolled at ABRS may choose to embark on a postgraduate programme in the UK. This flexibility allows students to attain an internationally recognised qualification.

"Unlike distance learning, our model stresses interaction between students, alumni and tutors," Mr Poon points out, adding that students are encouraged to think creatively and to develop their analytical skills. "We also run supplementary classes to enhance students' skills in specific areas."

The university also provides additional support, including access to its online library and various e-learning materials," notes Jo Currie, administrator, the University of Greenwich.

ABRS prides itself on its customer-focused approach. Bernard Chan, programme director, ABRS Professional Learning Services, emphasises, "We regularly meet with students to gather feedback and make a point of responding to their comments and requests."

Taken from Career Times 15 January 2010, p. A7

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