INSEAD Singapore: The Asia campus, is set up to take advantage of the international business opportunities that the region offers
Chinmay Chatterjee, a senior Vice President at HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce Life Insurance Co Ltd, was looking for a flexible global management program which would not necessitate leaving his job. His search led him to INSEAD’s Asia campus in Singapore, where he is now enrolled in an executive education program for senior professionals. “The course content fit my requirements and the modules work well with my work schedule. The duration of the modules is shorter and it is easier for me to travel to Singapore and be back without missing work.”
In recent years, business schools in Asia have become very popular with MBA candidates from India. Significant numbers of students are choosing universities in destinations such as Hong Kong, Singapore and even China. According to the QS Global 200 Business Schools Report 2012, year-on-year, business schools in the Asia-Pacific region are strengthening their presence in the global MBA market.
For example, the number of Asian and Australian schools featured in the QS Global 200 Business Schools Report has increased from 10 in 2004 to 36 this year – a massive rise in just seven years. This rapid increase in the number of internationally recognized schools is indicative of the improving standards of Asian institutions, as employers increasingly recognize the quality of MBA graduates from certain schools in the region.
Business schools in the Asia-Pacific region are looking at top US and European institutions to compare standards and see areas in which they could further improve. The economic growth in some Asian countries, particularly in China and India, has heightened the demand for more accredited business schools in the region in order to train the next generation of business leaders.
According to Kavita Singh, CEO of FutureWorks Consulting, a company that provides admissions guidance to Indian students keen on studying abroad, “Asian colleges and universities score highly on the cost and competitiveness factor. While countries such as the United States and United Kingdom are still the top picks, many students are looking east as well.” Singh has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the UK’s Oxford University and an MBA from Columbia Business School in the United States.
While the quality of education offered by institutions in countries such as Singapore and Hong Kong is very high, the cost of education remains lower than universities in the West in terms of tuition and living expenses. Most of these countries are close to India and, with their thriving economies, offer numerous employment opportunities.
The QS TopMBA.com Jobs and Salary Trends Report highlights that, across Asia, and especially in India and China, employers are embracing MBAs – a trend that is also evident in the QS Global 200 Business Schools Report from the rapid rise in the number of schools from the region that are represented.
Since 2009, eight business schools in China and Hong Kong have featured in the rating: China Europe International Business School (CEIBS); Peking University, Beijing International MBA Programs (BiMBA); HKUST Business School; the Faculty of Business and Economics at the University of Hong Kong; the School of Economics and Management at Tsinghua University; the Chinese University of Hong Kong; Guanghua School of Management, Peking University; and the School of Management at Fudan University.
Sherring Ng, head of MBA programs marketing and admissions at HKUST Business School, says that a combination of its MBA curriculum and cultural diversity in its classrooms, are what makes HKUST particularly appealing to employers. “The HKUST full-time MBA program has students of 25 nationalities and diverse industry backgrounds. The environment here enables students to absorb a wide range of cultures which help them to think out of the box throughout their post-MBA career development.” According to the 2012 Financial Times Executive MBA Rankings, China is the new Asian hotspot for executive MBA programs. CEIBS, the China European International Business School – which has campuses in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen – enrolls some 700 new executive MBA students every year.
Lydia Price, associate dean at CEIBS says that its diverse MBA program attracts employers from all industries, “especially given our focus on both Chinese and international business.” “Investment firms value our graduates’ ability to assess a firm’s prospects for financial gain, consultants value their ability to advise clients on their future business, consumer and industrial product firms value their ability to design product lines and services for the future, and IT firms value the ability to design total solutions for client needs in the future,” she adds.
“China and India constitute two of the BRIC countries that are signaling a major shift in global economic power. Tomorrow’s world will need leaders who can capitalize on this by understanding both countries and facilitate the rapidly increasing trade between them,” says Professor John A Spinks, Senior Advisor to the Vice-Chancellor, at the University of Hong Kong.
According to the QS Global Business School report, Japan and South Korea are under-represented in the ratings, given the size of their economies, but this may change as both economies are investing significant resources in their business education sectors.
At present only three business schools from the two countries feature in the Asia-Pacific rating: the International University of Japan’s Graduate School of International Management; Waseda Business School; and Seoul National University’s Graduate School of Business.
By contrast, Singapore, with a smaller landmass and population is home to four business schools in the Asia-Pacific rating, showing the international importance of the city-state, both geographically and economically: INSEAD – Singapore; NUS Business School;Nanyang Business School; and the Lee Kong Chian School of Business.
“INSEAD is one of the top institutes in the world when it comes to MBA education. The faculty and course curriculum is excellent and the network that you build stays with you for the rest of your life. Students from all countries are represented in the program. Little wonder, it is so popular,” says Chatterjee.
With the rapid growth in the MBA education landscape and increasing numbers of student traffic in the region, it won’t be long before Western business schools face even stiffer competition from their Asian counterparts.
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