Sometimes you must spend time and effort to capitalise on opportunities in anticipation of gaining greater returns and achieving higher goals. And usually the fast track to such advancement, as proved so often by achievers in Hong Kong, is to invest your spare time on upgrading your academic qualifications.
Working in a highly competitive knowledge-based economy like Hong Kong, executives in any industries must always be looking for ways to strengthen their expertise and so continue their upward path in their careers.
To cater to the ever increasing needs for more professional academic programmes, the Graduate School of Business (GSB) of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) offers research degrees and taught postgraduate programmes to help executives increase their knowledge and realise their expertise in their particular areas.
Judy Tsui, dean of the Faculty of Business, and director of the Graduate School of Business at PolyU, says the school's flagship programme, Doctor of Business Administration (DBA), serves as an added incentive for senior executives to further enrich their expertise and so achieve greater success.
The DBA programme, which recently marked its 10th anniversary, has gained wide acclaim for its high academic standards. The internationally recognised programme recently fostered collaborations with two of the world's leading business schools — the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) in Switzerland and the Sauder School of Business of the University of British Columbia in Canada.
"Our teaching philosophy is designed to show students how theories apply in the changing business world we live in," says Professor Tsui. "We are the first university to offer this doctorate programme in Hong Kong and, given our proven track record in academic achievements, it is recognised by several overseas universities. We always aim to seize the right opportunity and be the leader to offer what is best for the students, catering to their needs in the ever-changing business world." Proof of the success of the DBA programme is the very positive feedback received from overseas academia.
The programme takes integrated perspectives to a much higher level, offering in-depth studies of state-of-the-art theory. "We focus on how we can offer new insights and apply new ideas in the real business world," Professor Tsui adds. "Apart from the DBA programme, we also provide other courses including the MBA and MSc programmes which help further upgrade students in their business-related intellectual development."
Professor Tsui stresses that the programmes are to help students to "think out of the box". She adds: "Living in a globalised business development, we can't just stop at one point but must move forward and be ahead of others."
She points out that the DBA programme has fostered international collaboration with world-renowned business schools, and was one of the first in the world to secure accreditation from the UK-based Assocation of MBAs (AMBA). Additionally, the university's MBA and EMBA programmes were the first in Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland to be awarded this accreditation.
She also notes that teaching globalised perspectives and providing a good platform for students to exchange information are two major points targeted by the GSB. "We are not simply offering a general MBA. We aim at helping students to strengthen their abilities and realise their specialties," she says. "One of our niches is inter-disciplinary. We offer many elective courses and provide flexibility for students who want to develop themselves to become more specialised."
The MBA programme is tailored to the ongoing needs of a wide variety of industries including fashion business, financial services, general management, IT management and innovation and design management. The aim is to meet the evolving needs of business in Hong Kong, allowing students as wide a choice as possible in their areas of interest.
Professor Tsui adds that the GSB offers scholarships for mainland intellectuals wishing to study in Hong Kong. "We welcome those elites who completed their studies overseas and went back to work in China," she adds. "Our programmes are a good platform for such elites, and are popular with those now working in Shenzhen and Zhuhai."
These GSB programmes offer various well-tailored, multi-disciplinary programmes that focus on all major areas relevant to doing business in China, says Professor Tsui. "The courses are a good platform that gives them the opportunity to understand globalised perspectives and exchange information with Hong Kong partners. MBA programmes in China are saturated but the programmes we offer are not only related to general management but provide development programmes to teach students specialised areas and focus on the growth of industrial development. In other words, we provide education pathways to specialisation in different industrial sectors."
GSB also works closely with some top mainland universities including Zhejiang University and Renmin University to offer government-approved postgraduate business programmes.
It also offers extensive postgraduate business programmes, with 17 taught postgraduate programmes in Hong Kong and five in the mainland. GSB's programmes range from postgraduate diplomas through Master's degrees. The school also offers full-time research degree programmes leading to Master of Philosophy (Mphil) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees. Five areas of specialisation are available comprising accounting, finance, logistics and maritime studies, management, and marketing.