How best to map our path to success? This was the question asked at the recent College of Business (CB) retreat workshop, Reaching New Heights: A New Way of Thinking, held on 2 February 2013 at CityU. The one day workshop took detailed stock of the current state of play with our flagship graduate business education such as MBA, EMBA, DBA and IDBA as well as Executive Education programmes, and a radical and wide ranging look at how best they may be developed.
In his opening remarks the Provost, Prof Arthur Ellis, noted that the retreat provided a timely platform for CB colleagues to review, consider and initiate new strategies for its graduate business education. The frame of reference was widened with insightful contributions from Prof Chen Hong and Ms Melody Guo of the Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance at Shanghai Jiao Tong University who shared with CB their experience in running the Doctor of Business Administration programme. Prof Xu Yan then gave a comprehensive introduction to an innovative programme at one of our sister universities: HKUST’s Bilingual EMBA for Chinese Executives.
The afternoon session reviewed the current status of CB’s portfolio of graduate business education programme offerings, outlining challenges, and looking at possible areas for development and enhancement. Presentations were given by Prof Wenyu Dou (on behalf of Dr Gang Hao) for the Executive Education Programme; Dr John Leung for the EMBA; Prof Doug Vogel for the DBA; Dr Chen Ziguang (also on behalf of Dr Gang Hao) for the IDBA; and Dr Kevin Chiang for the MBA.
Participants then broke into groups and analyzed the main customer groups and competitors for our various graduate business education programmes. ‘Maps to Success’ were drawn up for individual programmes – identifying obstacles and the initiatives required to successfully move forward. These initiatives include recruiting quality students, strengthening corporate linkages and alumni relations, image building as well as achieving coherence and exploiting synergy among these programmes.
Dean Houmin Yan wrapped up the workshop, highlighting feedback raised by our accreditation bodies. The importance of image branding, alumni relations and the creation of a sharpened CB identity on campus have been stressed. Dean Yan also shared with colleagues the space projection and allocation for CB in the new Academic 3 (AC3) Building. CB is grateful for the full support and understanding of senior management and the University in providing additional space so that a number of new initiatives to create the best ambience and amenities for our flagship graduate business education programmes and staff members can be implemented. The additional space at AC3 will include multiple break-out and meeting rooms, teaching labs, social spaces for students, and dedicated executive education facilities with state-of-the-art infrastructure for MBA/EMBA/DBA teaching and learning. It will also accommodate our keen need in developing career placement service, alumni relations and case center for the programmes. All these will help towards raising CB's profile as a leading business school in the region.