Hult International Business School has taken the unprecedented decision to open its doors for a second intake of Executive MBA students in Shanghai this February. Having just renovated the campus to better accommodate existing students, demand for places is set to rise even higher. So what’s all the fuss about? Why is there such a high demand for part-time MBAs in China amongst senior executives?

This trend has been seen in the region for a few years now, with more and more global business leaders seeing EMBAs as a way of exponentially growing their network and accelerating their career. In 2012, the Financial Times reported that, Shanghai in particular, was becoming a hot-spot for executive education, and predicted: “in the aggregate EMBA or business education space, there will be double-digit growth for the foreseeable future.”

In the same year, The Globe and Mail said:

“Today, China is the hottest place to study for an Executive MBA. With five of the top 11 programs in the 2012 Financial Times executive MBA ranking taught there, China dominates this degree sector.”

The realization that EMBAs are fast routes to high-quality global networks is seeing execs flying into Shanghai from all over Asia and beyond to take advantage.

Ksheerasagare Chandra Shekhar, a senior director at Gloria Jeans, is due to complete his EMBA at Hult’s Shanghai campus later this year. He says: “I knew I could expand my network in the global village, enhance my skills, and develop new relationships and contacts for my future endeavors.” The success of Gloria Jeans, a coffee chain that opened in China in 2009, points to the increasingly favorable conditions for start-ups in the country; another draw for entrepreneurially-minded executives like Shekhar.

For Shekhar’s classmate, Francis Perez, the connectivity of Shanghai and the internationalism of the program was also key: “My function includes a lot of traveling since I have global responsibility. My requirements for a business school were very specific. It had to be an American school with a campus in Shanghai and a diverse international student body.”

For those like Perez seeking to obtain a U.S. degree within China, Shanghai is the obvious choice, with international business schools like Hult catering for foreign nationals, offering local knowledge and expertise, and access to a global network. The city’s status as an international business hub and the home of some of the world’s biggest global companies also ensures a high caliber of corporate speakers.

The advantages of joining an exclusively English-language program was highlighted by Perez’s Hult contemporary, Ki Oh, as “vital in order to advance my career progression in a global field of business.” Whereas for Cheong Chin Theong, the flexibility of a part-time EMBA program is what swung the decision for him: “The minimum two-year and maximum four-year commitment would allow me to balance my study time with my responsibilities at work, plus the global network of campuses would also allow me to catch up with any courses that I missed in Shanghai.”

Whatever their reasons, the demand from senior executives for a part-time Executive MBA in Shanghai shows no sign of slowing. And with Hult taking the lead in opening admissions for a February intake, the supply of high-quality executive education in this part of the world looks set to continue to rise.


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Kickstart your career in the commercial center of Asia by studying at Hult’s Shanghai business school. To find out more, take a look at our blog Reflections from an EMBA grad. Download a brochure or get in touch today to find out how Hult can help you to learn about the business world, the future, and yourself.