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Hottest Business Trends At The Core Of HKU’s Revamped MBA

HKU Business School has adapted its MBA curriculum to focus on some of the hottest emerging trends driving business


Wed Oct 20 2021

When HKU Business School took to revamping its MBA curriculum there was one key focus: the hottest trends in business. 

Business schools have a responsibility to prepare current and future leaders to drive growth and positive change with business. To do that, MBA grads need to know how to grab the opportunities made available by the trends shaping business beyond today.

That’s why the new MBA design aims to develop the next generation of digital leaders, with a renewed emphasis on soft skills, entrepreneurship, and Asian business culture. 

An entrepreneurial innovation incubator

The HKU MBA now features an Entrepreneurial Incubation (EI) Lab delivered in partnership with Cyberport Academy, Hong Kong’s largest startup incubator. Cyberport has previously partnered with leaders in tech including Amazon Web Services (AWS) and IBM.

The lab will help students to understand the latest cutting-edge technologies and integrate them into their business model design. Students will also be taught how to develop an idea and build a team.

HKU plans to use connections with companies located in the nearby Greater Bay Area—the region of China and Hong Kong recently chosen by the Chinese central government as a new technology hub—to expand the lab experience.

Learning from startup founders, students will develop expertise in identifying market opportunities and learn how to ensure their business plans are sustainable. They’ll also be given practical experience in writing pitch decks and pitching to investors.

“Hong Kong is among the top startup hubs globally,” says Sachin Tipnis, senior executive director of taught postgraduate programs at HKU. “The aim of the EI Lab is to help our students who are passionate about becoming entrepreneurs to experience the entire start-up journey.” 

At the end of the lab period, they’ll have the chance to pitch their business to secure funding and support via the Cyberport Creative Micro Fund (CCMF), worth HK$100,000. They’ll also have the chance to join the Cyberport Incubation Program (CIP), a HK$500,000 scheme designed to jumpstart your business. 

For HKU MBA, the new EI Lab is a chance to develop entrepreneurial students capable of using the very latest technological innovations to become leaders of the future. 

It joins a list of cutting-edge Business Tech and Innovation modules elective modules that students can choose to specialise in, which cover some of the latest business trends. 

These modules cover topics like artificial intelligence, big data, analytics, coding, and online business strategy; helping HKU MBA students to develop their expertise in the technologies and innovations driving the future of business. 

READ: How An MBA Artificial Intelligence Can Kickstart Your Career In FinTech bc06c8d96475b8f859ed4e5069a1c8ad705e4ced.png

A focus on business in Asia 

While technology is driving change in global business, Asia is rapidly becoming the global business leader. Asia’s economy is expanding, and at the beginning of 2021 the International Monetary Fund predicted the region’s yearly gross domestic product (GDP) would rise by 8.3%. 

This growth potential makes Asia a force in the global economy, thinks Sachin. “Asia now lies at the center of many business ventures worldwide,” he says. 

The HKU MBA homes in on Asia with a focus on China—the leading economic power in the region—during the China Immersion Program (CIP). The CIP sees students visit a number of cities in China to witness their business practices and understand the local culture. Students are also invited on a range of company visits and to guest lectures to get an insight into Chinese business. 

“Our unique China Immersion Program provides students with the opportunity to learn about the vast diversity of China’s economy,” Sachin explains. “While there, students will also have the opportunity to build networks and connections with some of the best-known companies.”

READ: Asia's Rapid Growth Makes Now A Great Time For An MBA  c5f9b35bf5134e653744c1dcc688eca2686a109e.jpg ©©CHUNYIP WONG via iStock

A focus on soft skills 

Employers are increasingly placing more value on soft skills during the recruitment process. In 2021, the most valued skill among recruiters of business school graduates has been interpersonal skills, according to the 2021 Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) Corporate Recruiter Survey.

HKU MBA has placed renewed focus on developing students’ soft skills through a series of Executive Development Workshops, which will take place throughout the MBA. The workshops will cover topics like business communication, collaboration skills, presentation skills, and managerial leadership. This change is essential in the context of the pandemic, says Sachin. 

“Technical business skills have always been at the forefront of a successful business leader,” he says, “but during uncertain times such as the pandemic, we have seen that great business leaders are the ones who uphold soft-skills.” 

Improved soft skill training aims to help students become more agile and more capable of adapting to crises. This will ensure they’re more resilient in future. 

“We have adapted the Executive Development Workshops into our curriculum to encourage students to fully engage and be prepared for future uncertainties,” Sachin says. 

HKU’s new MBA curriculum aims to ensure graduates are prepared to make the most of some of the key trends driving global business today.

“The curriculum has been re-designed to ensure our students are equipped with the skills and experience required in the ever-changing, demanding business world,” Sachin says.

Student Reviews

The University of Hong Kong (HKU) - MBA Programmes HKU Business School




On Campus


Very good academic, caes course amazing, ccs are all amazing, professors are excellent, the architecture and infrastructure is splendid, people here are awesome, made some really nice friends, and teachers support us




On Campus

Diversified culture

I highly recommend The University of Hong Kong to students all around the world because of their diversified culture, teaching standards, and the people which make the learning experience better every day.




A place where you best understand local and international cultures

With plenty of experiences available, HKU provides a plenty of experience for me to explore our own and other countries culture. She has excellent teaching and research staffs in the Department of Ecology and Biodiversity. Time allocate to students are considered sufficient and staffs are ready to reach anytime. Besides academic, she has various subsidised programmes that allow students to explore. This credit should be given to GenEd (general education) Office to provide different interesting programmes. These ranged from guest speaker giving talks on China-Hong Kong relationship; Contemporary art in Asia; or holding mini forum on geopolitics. Most, if not all, of which are free of charge!




Life at HKU

Pursued the SHS degree at HKU, academic and clinical staff members were very devoted and passionate. The academic program is under constant reviews, staff members are open minded and willing to modify the program with regards to students' opinions. Career prospect is good. Uni life is fruitful, many different activities for students to choose. Great facilities supporting learning.




Student Life in HKU

As an Accounting and Finance year3 undergrad student in HKU, the university provides lots of opportunities for me to learn and explore my interests. You could join a wide variety of activities, like being an committee member of societies and joining hall activities. As for me, I chose to join the winter exchange programme, be a committee member, and did volunteering servic and had latrine construction and volunteer teaching in Ghana, Africa. I also organized lots of activities for societies and had lots of meetings with company representatives. As for school work, it is okay normally but definitely u got a lot busier during November and April. You got a lot more free time compared to CUHK and HKUST. And of course, this is considered as the most ‘international’ uni in HK in a way that I could make friends coming from different countries. Just wanna add, HKU has a good location for foodie as its near Central, Causeway Bay and Tsim Sha Tsui. For those who love night lifes dont miss this. I didnt speak of anything i dislike coz there isnt anything i dislike much, but if I do have to say, it is the hall life of many local students, such as having cheers at night and never sleeps that may disturb others.






I think it’s a great university that gives you a lot of opportunities in terms of academics as well as extracurricular activities. The education system is fairly westernized and the professors are good for the most part.




International, stratified and political

Adequate resources and very convenient campus with sufficient channels to expand your social and professional circle. Also politically active, and perhaps too biasedly so. Its law school is firmly established, with the longest history in Hong Kong. Practical and professional training, with a constant atmosphere of anxiety and competition that encourages a relatively focused and narrow vision of career outlook. Good range of extra curricular activities available.




Life in HKU

HKU provides students with lots of opportunities in multidisciplinary researches and experiences. This encourages students to widen their horizons and prepare for the future. The programme I attended organised both local and oversea field trips that allowed me to have the first hand experiences of relative aspects. It was very useful for my later career.





I am a graduate of the BSocSc programme several years ago. I appreciate that the programme provided a flexible choice of majors and minors. Even I was admitted into social sciences programme, I could explore various streams of studies in and out of the social sciences faculty, including global studies, human resources, politics, science and music. I did a double major in psychology and sociology. Among all learning experiences in lectures, tutorials, field trips…, I would say the internship experience was one of the most memorable part of my university life. The faculty offers a credit-bearing internship programme in which students can go to various NGOs to work on social issues, ranging from poverty, education to adjustment of ethnic minorities. Students can be placed locally or overseas, depending on placement quota, their personal preference and past experience. I went to a social service agency that serves adults who are intellectually challenged and have autism spectrum disorder. It was an eye-opening experience in observing how different professionals work together to provide training for those people and reflecting on how psychological knowledge could come into play. I was also able to gain some hands-on experience in leading an activity. There are more and more internship opportunities for university students. It is just another way to gain practical experience apart from applying for interns in government agencies or business companies, especially in organisations that would not openly recruit interns but only work with tertiary institutions. It should be noted that for some majors/courses, there are really a lot of people studying. When I was an undergraduate back then, we often expected a lecture with 100+ students and a tutorial with nearly 20 students. If you favour close student-teacher interaction in small classes, you may look into the enrolment of particular courses.