Developing executive intelligence
by Grace Chan
The executive master of business administration (EMBA) degree offered by the University of Hull in the UK through Kaplan Higher Education is a highly popular option for Hong Kong candidates, considering its excellent international reputation, rigorous curriculum and strong alumni network.
"In its 20-year history in Hong Kong, the Hull EMBA programme has helped boost the executive competence for nearly 2,000 students, many of whom are now top business professionals or senior government officials," says Amy Lau, assistant manager, course consultation and recruitment, Kaplan Higher Education (HK) Limited.
The programme accepts an annual intake of only 30 applicants. "We employ strict admission criteria and expect our EMBA participants to learn from and share their work experience with their peers," Ms Lau notes. "They should have a bachelor's degree and at least three years' relevant work experience or, if they don't have a degree, a minimum of eight years' solid managerial experience."
The programme is positioned as a holistic management qualification, which aims to equip learners with fundamental management knowledge and critical-thinking skills, enabling them to put management and business theory into practise. "Candidates are interviewed on their expectations and on how they plan to contribute in terms of sharing their expertise," adds Ms Lau.
The Hull EMBA programme runs over two years, during which students are required to complete 13 taught modules in 18 months and spend the next six completing a dissertation under supervision. "Our aim is to accommodate participants' busy working schedules and optimise their learning outcomes, so we deliver modules one at a time, progressing from the more basic principles to applying their knowledge in a real business context," Ms Lau points out.
Teaching staff are lecturers and professors from the Hull University Business School who travel to Hong Kong to deliver 36 hours of seminars and lectures per module, usually comprised into intense Thursday-to-Monday sessions. Apart from their credentials as academics, the teachers are also active business consultants who are abreast of the latest industry developments.
The programme content is constantly reviewed and modified to ensure that it remains relevant. Hull was the first university to include total quality management into its MBA curriculum, but since Hong Kong is no longer a manufacturing base, this module has since been replaced by corporate leadership and change management.
Students receive a wealth of academic support, which comprises proprietary access to Hull's online library resources, including academic journals. "Textbooks cover management theories and principles, but journals provide the most up-to-date industry knowledge and business trends," notes Ms Lau.
Kaplan invests heavily in supporting the EMBA programme. "Our designated programme manager oversees administrative issues such as arranging textbooks and lecture notes, so that students are free to focus on their studies," says Ms Lau. "We're committed to service excellence and our aim is to respond to all student enquiries within 24 hours."
Taken from Career Times 9 July 2010, A11
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