Chicago’s Booth School of Business will relocate its Asia Executive MBA program from Singapore to Hong Kong by next summer. With an eye on attracting top-tier businessmen and women, deepening diversity and developing stronger corporate ties in Asia, the B-school plans to gradually shift its operations closer to China, the world’s second largest market.
“Expanding into Hong Kong allows us to have impact on future leaders in business and build new corporate relationships in North Asia as well, complementing our activities,” Booth Dean Sunil Kumar said in a statement.
The Asia branch of Booth’s EMBA has been based in Singapore for 13 years. The school won’t close out the program there until the current cohorts have graduated. Afterwards, Booth plans to keep its footprint in the country through executive education, remote learning and recruiting.
To date, more than 1,000 students have received their MBAs through the Asia Executive MBA program. Another 2,000 students from Booth’s London and Chicago-based Executive MBA programs have passed through the campus for a required week-long study period.
Booth’s Asia EMBA class starting in June 2014 will be the first class to pass through Hong Kong. The school plans to start a cohort of some 60 to 90 students in a temporary location as officials scout out building sites for a more permanent campus. The Hong Kong government conditionally granted Booth approval to use a former detention site for political prisoners on Hong Kong Island. The final land grant is subject to local accreditation, town planning and preservation approval.
Booth maintains that the move will not affect tuition, and students can expect to pay some $150,000, roughly equivalent to the program’s cost in Singapore. Booth faculty will fly into Hong Kong to deliver the same curriculum taught in Booth’s other EMBA programs in Chicago and London.
The move will put Booth in direct competition with other international EMBA providers looking to make inroads in the Asian B-school market. Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management runs a top-ranked EMBA program with Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Columbia Business School also offers its Hong Kong-based EMBA-Global program with London Business School and the University of Hong Kong.
However, Booth doesn’t seem deterred by the presence of other top B-schools. “Asia is a critical region to University of Chicago faculty, students and alumni, and the University brings its distinctive intellectual approach to the region in many ways,” University of Chicago President Robert J. Zimmer said in a statement. “By establishing programming in Hong Kong, Chicago Booth takes an important step in this growing engagement.”