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WORLD BUSINESS

Schools responding to Asian demand

By Ian Grayson for CNN

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Demand for MBA and EMBA courses in Asia is strongest from China, India and South Korea.

FACT BOX

FT's Executive MBA Rankings
1. Wharton, U.S.
2. Kellogg, U.S.
3. Chicago GSB, U.S.
4. Stern, NY, U.S.
5. Fuqua, Duke, U.S.
6. Hong Kong UST, China
7. Columbia, U.S.
8. Instituto de Empresa, Spain
9. London Business School, UK
10. Tanaka, Imperial College, UK
Source: Financial Times 2005

FACT BOX

EMBA SNAPSHOT

Executives taking the top EMBA courses in the U.S., Europe and Asia have average salaries of around $130,000 to $200,000.

A typical EMBA student is likely to be aged in the early 30s, with 6-10 years of working experience.

A top EMBA course can cost $100,000. Customized courses start at a few thousand dollars.

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Asia

(CNN) -- Asia's rapidly growing economies have sparked an increase in demand for executive education -- and business schools throughout the world are responding with gusto.

Many have established relationships with universities in the region while others are going it alone, setting up remote facilities linked to their home campuses.

Offerings range from traditional MBA degrees to short courses focused on the particular requirements of local companies.

Faced with continuing globalization, Asian educational institutions in the region are acutely aware they need to offer courses that provide participants with both business and cultural insights from other parts of the world.

Executive education participant numbers are expected to remain strong, thanks to healthy competition between Asian companies to recruit and retain talented staff.

Global financial corporation Citigroup forecasts the Asian region, outside Japan, will experience economic growth of 5.6 per cent during 2005, further increasing executive demand.

In the island city-state of Singapore, the Nanyang Business School is planning to launch an English-language Executive MBA program in 2006, to complement the Chinese-language EMBA it has offered since 2003. EMBA students can also choose to take part in the Berkeley-Nanyang Advanced Management Program (AMP) and earn credit points towards their degree.

The AMP provides insights into U.S. management practices and gives participants a view of how western and Asian companies are approaching business challenges.

Following the normal schedule, the EMBA takes 18 months to complete, with much of the class work being conducted at weekends. EMBA participants can complete some study modules in the U.S. at the Berkeley campus as part of the Advanced Management Program. Fees for the 2005/06 AMP course are set at $27,600 and at about $42,000 for the proposed EMBA.

In Thailand, the Chulalongkorn University, in association with the U.S.-based Kellogg School of Management and the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton Business School has established the Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Administration.

Sasin uses a combination of locally based staff and visiting lecturers from the United States, offering MBA, EMBA and a range of executive education courses. The full-time MBA course runs for two years with tuition costs of $23,000.

According to Sasin director Professor Toemsakdi Krishnamra, the school's programs have developed significantly during recent years, to reflect the changing requirements of students.

"We initially taught our entire MBA and executive MBA programs with visiting professors, but we have gradually built up a core of experienced full-time faculty staff of our own," he says.

In the Asian economic and financial hub of Hong Kong, the Richard Ivey School of Business established a campus in 1998 and offers an MBA program ranked number one in Asia by the Financial Times in its 2005 survey. The course costs $67,000.

Erich Almasy, executive director of executive development at Ivey, says there is strong demand in Hong Kong for courses customized for individual client companies.

"We are working hard to have a global presence in this area and our campus in Hong Kong is an important part of that," he says. "When we talk to organizations, we talk about open and custom programs as well as EMBAs. They can select what they believe will work best for them and for their staff."

In China, where dramatic rates of economic growth are transforming the country, the uptake of executive education courses continues to climb. The China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) has campuses in Shanghai, Beijing and Shenzhen.

Established in 1994, the school is a joint venture with the Municipal Government of Shanghai. A joint-venture partner is the Shanghai Jiaotong University, one of the oldest in China.

CEIBS offers an 18-month full-time MBA course, conducted completely in English, as well as an EMBA course. According to the university, more than 2800 executives have graduated from the course since it was established in 1995.

Virtually every month, it seems there are more academic institutions from around the world recognizing the strong demand within Asia and investing in new facilities and programs.

For example, early next year work will begin in Singapore on a new $62 million campus for the Australian-based University of New South Wales. Stage one of the facility is designed to house 3500 students and when complete it will cater for more than 15,000.

UNSW deputy vice-chancellor Professor John Ingleson says the facility represents a new approach by the university in recognition of the opportunities presented by the Asia region.

"UNSW has developed a new international model for Singapore based on the principle of 'one university - two countries'," he says.

The Asia campus will offer post-graduate business courses, although a university spokesperson said details of the specific courses on offer would not be released until later this year.

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