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The Best MBA Programs in Hong Kong – Head to Head

The Ultimate Guide to Hong Kong's Top MBA Programs

Looking for the best full-time MBA programs in Hong Kong? Here’s your ultimate guide! Now you can compare the city’s best MBA programs head-to-head and get the inside scoop from Admissions Directors, MBA alumni and more from Hong Kong’s best MBA programs.

last updated: November 2018

5 Reasons to Get Your MBA in Hong Kong

1. Hong Kong has been ranked the the world’s freest economy for 24 consecutive years by the Heritage Foundation, and hosts more than 6,000 multinational companies, 3,800 of which have have regional headquarters in the city. The IMD World Competitiveness Center ranked Hong Kong the world’s 2nd most competitive economy in 2018.

2. Hong Kong is one of the world’s major banking and finance hubs, featuring 74 of the world’s largest 100 banks, and is consistently ranked one of the top 3-4 financial centers worldwide and top 3-4 in terms of funds raised through IPO.

3. Hong Kong has the world’s busiest cargo airport and a leading port and state-of-the-art business infrastructure. Hong Kong is one of the world’s most efficient cities, renowned for its logistics.

4. Hong Kong is a gateway to China – the territory handles one-fifth of China’s foreign trade and is the largest offshore pool of Renminbi liquidity.

5. Hong Kong is a dynamic place to live and study! More than 9,000 restaurants provide a mouth-watering choice of dining options from all over the world. Hong Kong is known as a shopping paradise, offering everything from high-end shopping malls to street markets. Its public transport system is one of the best in the world. Country parks cover 40% of Hong Kong’s territory and, with the outlying islands, provide plenty of walks, trails and beaches for those who wish to experience the greener and calmer side of Hong Kong.

Working in Hong Kong and Post-MBA Career Opportunities

  • Visa – Graduates can stay in Hong Kong for 1 year after graduation to look for jobs
  • Taxes – Low income taxes 15-17% for the highest income bracket
  • School reputations
    • Hong Kong University (HKU) – founded nearly 100 years ago, HKU is Hong Kong’s oldest and most prestigious university. QS ranked the university #25 worldwide in 2019; it is consistently ranked top 5 in the Asia region
    • The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) – was founded 1963 to bring together China and West and is known for its research; 4 Nobel Laureates are associated with the university. It has the largest campus of any university on Hong Kong and was ranked #49 worldwide by QS. CUHK Business School is Hong Kong’s oldest business school (50 years old) and was the first to offer MBA programs in Asia and get accredited
    • Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) – founded in 1991, is well known for its science, engineering and business and management research faculties. HKUST was ranked #37 worldwide by QS. Financial Times has ranked the HKUST MBA top 15 worldwide for 9 consecutive years
  • Geography – 40-50% of graduates at HKU, CUHK and HKUST stay in Hong Kong to work. Other popular post-MBA destinations for HKU and CUHK grads are China (roughly 25%) and the rest of Asia Pacific (10%). Interestingly, HKUST sent 10% of grads to China vs. 30% to APAC countries last year.
  • Industrythe majority of Hong Kong b-school MBA grads enter Finance (~30-40%). Consulting (15-30%) and IT/tech (10-20%) were other leading sectors of 2017 graduates.
  • Return on Investment – HKUST ranked #22 for value for money by Financial Times in 2018; CUHK and HKU were ranked 40 and 51. All 3 have strong exchange relationships. Hong Kong MBA Programs are generally less expensive than US and European programs, so you get a discount on your semester abroad

"All too often foreigners are hired and quickly leave, deterring employers from bringing them on board. The more successful you are at demonstrating you seriously want to live and work in Asia, the higher your chances are of being hired.”

- Tanya Vucetic, Business Development Manager, Asia Jet (China), HKUST MBA '17

MBA Application Tips for Top Hong Kong Business Schools

  • Hong Kong MBA programs are looking for diversity – applicants from Asia, Europe, the Americas, Africa & Middle East are highly sought
  • As all programs have a China focus, demonstrating interest in region is key; experience with Hong Kong/China and Mandarin or Cantonese-skills a plus
  • Demonstrating well-researched and achievable post-MBA career plans is important as Hong Kong is one of the world’s most open labor markets.

Top Full-time MBA Programs in Hong Kong

HKUST, HKU and CUHK are the top-ranked MBA programs in Hong Kong, consistently placing in the top 40 in the Financial Times Global MBA ranking. All universities have outstanding reputations too, placing top 50 in QS worldwide university rankings.

Hong Kong University (HKU) MBA 

HKU MBA Campus

  • After finishing 9 months of core courses at HKU, students can study at Columbia Business School, London Business School, or Fudan University for one semester
  • 14-month program with 60 students/year
  • HKU has its own Asia Case Research Centre; case studies are focused on business in China and Asia
  • Centrally located and closer to Central Business District than HKUST or CUHK
  • #1 ranked Asian MBA program by Economist for past 8 years

Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST) MBA

HKUST MBA Campus

  • Ranked #1-2 Asian MBA program in the world by Financial Times for past 9 years
  • 12 or 16-month options, and participants are guaranteed exchange spots with nearly 60 MBA programs around the world
  • Bigger (100-120 students) and more diverse class (90% international students, nearly 30 nationalities) than HKU and CUHK
  • Financial Times rated HKUST’s faculty #1 for research in Asia

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) MBA 

CUHK MBA Business School

  • Longest established Asia MBA Program and Hong Kong’s oldest business school – launched in 1966 with almost 6,600 alumni
  • 12 or 16-month options with 70-80 students per year, with exchange relationships with 50+ b-schools
  • Elite Mentorship Program pairs full-time students with successful, senior alumni who match their career interests and aspirations
  • Boasts 93% placement rate within 3 months for Class of 2015
  • Focused on “training leaders for a digital age” and offer 2 concentrations in FinTech and Entrepreneurship

Application Tips From Hong Kong B-School Admissions Directors 

(click to get in-depth interviews with each school’s MBA Admissions Director)

“First and foremost is they have to have a passion for Asia. They really need to understand why they are choosing HKU. Why are they coming to this part of the world? Why Hong Kong? Having an understanding and context to the Asian story is really important.”

– Sachin Tipnis, Executive Director, MBA Programmes, HKU

“We look for emotional intelligence. Will they be a good teammate? Do they respect the international diversity of the place? Do they say things during the interview where we get a sense of their work ethic and their approach and mindset as an individual?”

Sean Ferguson, Former Associate Dean of Masters Programmes, Director of MBA Programmes, HKUST

 

“Set up a reasonable path for your career progression and if the plans are reasonable and more possible, then you have a better chance of being admitted… because many students, to be honest, they have not done enough homework in terms of summing up their career plans…. So having a realistic plan, that will demonstrate you are mature enough, you have good knowledge of what’s going on in the market. So this is a tip to improve your chances.”

Lawrence Chan, Former Director, Marketing & Student Recruiting, MBA Programs, CUHK

 

What’s it Really Like at Top Hong Kong MBA Programs?

(click to get in-depth interviews with each school’s MBA Ambassador)

Join our Ambassador’s Forum to get the inside scoop from Hong Kong MBA students and recent alumni.

“If you have the same skill sets, employers in Hong Kong prefer someone with Mandarin or Cantonese proficiency than someone with just English proficiency. Job seekers in Hong Kong after their MBA need to leverage on their experience. You cannot just come here thinking that you can make that jump because you’re a foreigner who has insight into a different country or continent.”

Benson Cohun, CUHK MBA 2015

“The best part of HKUST is the collaborative culture, supportive & tight-knit community of classmates & alumni. If I need help with a subject area I’m unfamiliar with or a networking referral, just a call / message does the trick. I travel a lot for work and being able to ring up a classmate or alum for coffee or dinner in almost all the cities I frequent is an invaluable home base to have.”

Yuan Lee Chung, HKUST MBA 2015

Next Steps

Get an Early Indication of Fit from HKUST MBAHKU MBA and/or CUHK MBA

Get Free School Selection Help

Head to Head – HKUST MBA vs. HKU MBA vs. CUHK MBA

last updated November 2018

 HKUHKUSTCUHK
Degrees OfferedMBAMBA
Dual Masters of Advanced Management with Yale, Global Real Estate Masters with University of Wisconsin
MBA
Dual MBA degrees with Texas McCombs, HEC Paris, RSM Erasmus
JD/MBA
Class Size6090-10070-80
GMAT (avg)665680620-630
Age (avg)292830
Work Exp (avg)657
No. Nationalities15-2020-2515-20
Start DateJuneAugustAugust
Length14 months12 or 16 months12 or 16 months
RANKINGS
Financial Times 2018 (2017, 2016)33 (39, 44) 14 (15, 14)43 (36, 26)
Economist 2018 (2017, 2016)39 (25, 31)NR (97, 70)NR (97, NR)
Bloomberg 2017 (2016)NR (NR)25 (29)NR (NR)
Notable Rankings#1 ranked Asian MBA by Economist for 8 yearsTop 15 ranked MBA by Financial Times for 9 consecutive years1st MBA in Hong Kong with 50 year history
ADMISSIONS
RequirementsBachelor’s degree

GMAT/GRE

Min 2 years workexp

Minimum TOEFL score of 550 (paper-based)/80 (Internet-based) or IELTS band 6.5, with no subtest score lower than 5.5
Bachelor’s Degree

GMAT

Min 2 years workexp

TOEFL/IELTS
Bachelor’s Degree

GMAT/GRE

Min 3 years workexp

English Language Proficiency (TOEFL, IELTS, GMAT, degree taught in English)
Deadlines2 rounds, typically

Rd 1: Nov 22
Rd 2: Dec 31
3 rounds, typically

Rd 1: Nov 7
Rd 2: Jan 9
Rd 3: Mar 19
3 rounds, typically

Rd 1: Nov 15
Rd 2: Jan 15
Rd 3: Mar 31
Application Fee300 HKD1,560 HKD
1,200 HKD
Tuition552,000 HKD585,000 HKD550,000 HKD
Est Living Costs
(taken from school websites)
~190,000 HKD (for 14 months at 13,500/month)~215,000 HKD (for 12 months at 18,000/month)~220,000 HKD (for 16 months at 13,500/month)
Application MaterialsOnline application

Resume

2 recommendations

Academic transcripts

Official GMAT/GRE report

TOEFL/IELTS score report (if applicable)
Online application

Resume

2 essays

2 recommendations

Academic transcripts

GMAT/GRE score report

TOEFL/ IELTS score report (if applicable)

Proof of employment
Online application

Resume

Objective Statement

2 recommendations

Academic transcripts

GMAT/GRE score report

TOEFL/IELTS score report (if applicable)
ExchangeLondon Business School, Columbia Business School, Fudan60 schools in 18 countries; 96% of students get into 1st or 2nd choice49 schools in 18 countries
Scholarship20-25% receive scholarships ranging from 20-30% of tuition30-50% receive scholarships ranging from 10-40% of tuition30-40% receive scholarships ranging from 10-20% of tuition
LocationHKU station - 15-20 minutes to city center by public transportationClear Water Bay, Kowloon, beautiful view of bay - 45 minutes away from CBD using public transportationShatin, New Territories, beautiful view of bay - 45 minutes away from CBD using public transportation
PROGRAM
Core Curriculum
11 core + 1 capstone project required

Accounting for Business Decisions

Business Communications (half course)

Business Data Analysis

Business Ethics (half course)

Competitive Strategy

Corporate Finance

Global Economy

Information and Operations Management

Managerial Economics

Organisational Leadership

Strategic Marketing Management
15 core required

Preparing to Lead

Data Analysis

Financial Accounting Foundations

Global Macroeconomics

Managerial Accounting Foundations

Managerial Communication

Managerial Microeconomics

Corporate Finance

Information and Technology Management

Management of Organizations

Marketing Strategy and Policy

Operations Management

Doing Business in China

Responsible Leadership and Ethics

Strategic Management
9 core required

Management: Competencies and Current Perspectives

Corporate Financial Reporting

Statistical Analysis

Financial Management

Marketing Management

Leadership Development

Macroeconomics for Business Executives

Strategic Management

Operations Management
ElectivesChoose from 30 electives at HKU and electives at 3 partner schools (LBS, Columbia, Fudan)Choose from 70 electivesChoose 9 from 50 electives
ConcentrationsManaging in China & Asia

Entrepreneurship – Innovation

Financial Management

Marketing & Services Management
6 Career Tracks

Finance

Consulting

Entrepreneurship

Marketing

General Management

Business Technology & Analytics
Finance & Technology

Entrepreneurship & Innovation
CAREERSAvg of Class of 2015-16Class of 2017Class of 2017
Placement w/in 3 months85%90%87%
Average SalaryNot available

(128,000 USD average salary 3 years after graduation - Financial Times)
78,000 USD (excluding signing bonus)

(158,000 USD average salary 3 years after graduation - Financial Times)
Not available

(123,000 USD average salary 3 years after graduation - Financial Times)
Salary Increase
(the average difference in alumni salary before the MBA vs. 3 years after graduation - Financial Times)
121%112%108%
Top Geographies48% Hong Kong
24% Mainland China
7% Other Asia-Pacific
7% India
7% Europe
53% Hong Kong
30% Other Asia-Pacific
10% China
4% Europe
44% Hong Kong
36% China
8% Other APAC
8% Europe
4% Americas
Top Industries32% Banking, Finance, Accounting, Insurance
29% Consulting/Business Services
19% Consumer Products
9% IT & Telecoms
6% Supply Chain & Logistics
34% Banking & Finance
17% IT / Tech
12% Consulting
7% Manufacturing
5% Private Equity / Venture Capital
38% Banking & Finance
15% Consulting
13% Technology
8% Manufacturing
6% Private Equity / Venture Capital
Top Functions28% Finance
27% Consulting
18% Sales & Marketing, Business Development
12% General Management
7% Supply Chain
26% General Management
16% Finance (other)
15% Finance (investment management, sales & trading)
12% Consulting
11% Finance (research)
11% Marketing & Sales
38% Finance
23% Consulting
13% Marketing / Sales
10% General Management
8% Operations / Logistics
Company Score
(How many Top 25 Most Desired Employers for Business Grads Recruit from School)

see full explanation here:
http://touchmba.com/worlds-most-attractive-employers/
(19/25)(18/25)(8/25)
Alumni4,000 with 7 regional chapters; HKU has 220,000+ alumni in 150 countries6,200 across 60 countries (majority in Hong Kong and China); HKUST has more than 20,000 alumni
6,600 in 25 countries (over 1,000 live in China); CUHK Business School has more than 34,000 alumni

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