NUS National University of Singapore


jcohen
any takers?

after Insead Singapore is this the best school in Asia?
any takers?

after Insead Singapore is this the best school in Asia?

quote
I would think so. IIMA (India), CUHK (Hong Kong) and Asian Institute of Management would be other top Asian programs to consider. For international applicant Insead, NUS and maybe CUHK will be the most obvious choices (not including Australia).
I would think so. IIMA (India), CUHK (Hong Kong) and Asian Institute of Management would be other top Asian programs to consider. For international applicant Insead, NUS and maybe CUHK will be the most obvious choices (not including Australia).
quote
jcohen
I would think so. IIMA (India), CUHK (Hong Kong) and Asian Institute of Management would be other top Asian programs to consider. For international applicant Insead, NUS and maybe CUHK will be the most obvious choices (not including Australia).


there are rumors of HKUST and HKU merging, that would surely create a top ranked school...
<blockquote>I would think so. IIMA (India), CUHK (Hong Kong) and Asian Institute of Management would be other top Asian programs to consider. For international applicant Insead, NUS and maybe CUHK will be the most obvious choices (not including Australia).</blockquote>

there are rumors of HKUST and HKU merging, that would surely create a top ranked school...
quote
The idea of a merger of HKUST ("MIT" of Asia) with another HK university has been discussed for some years. However, as far as I know this was mainly about a merger with CUHK, not HKU:
http://home.doramail.com/hkust/
http://www.scidev.net/gateways/index.cfm?fuseaction=readitem&rgwid=3&item=Features&itemid=192&language=1&CFID=8275422&CFTOKEN=95042387
http://www.ugc.edu.hk/eng/ugc/publication/press/2004/pr030304e.htm

Where did you find that rumor about HKUST/HKU?
The idea of a merger of HKUST ("MIT" of Asia) with another HK university has been discussed for some years. However, as far as I know this was mainly about a merger with CUHK, not HKU:
http://home.doramail.com/hkust/
http://www.scidev.net/gateways/index.cfm?fuseaction=readitem&rgwid=3&item=Features&itemid=192&language=1&CFID=8275422&CFTOKEN=95042387
http://www.ugc.edu.hk/eng/ugc/publication/press/2004/pr030304e.htm

Where did you find that rumor about HKUST/HKU?
quote
vasilijs
I categorically dissagree that National University of Singapore MBA is the second best school in Asia. I have applied for MBA course this year. Since I was interested in enterpreneurship/strategy or management of technology, the two schools I mostly focused on were National University of Singapore and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. I have got admission to both schools. In short, by my standards HKUST beats NUS in every single aspect. These schools are just incomparable - so much better HKUST was. Here is my reasoning for those who are interested.

First, the MBA Fairs. I have met both schools on two MBA Fairs. If NUS just bothered to handle as many leaflets as possible, and asked me not to trouble them with questions on the Fair because they are busy, the HKUST guys have found twenty minutes for one-to-one discussion and to answer my questions. This was the same thing on both Fairs.

Second, the way the schools handles the questions. I have sent a few emails to NUS, but received no any single answer. At the same time all emails to HKUST were answered in a couple of days or so. When I asked for the reason for this policy from NUS on the MBA Fair, they answered that they have no time to answer emails. Sorry, but this is not the approach a reputable school should take.

Third, spam. Yes, spam. The NUS did not bother to answer any single email I have sent them, but they kept sending me emails "our school is great, we encourage you to apply to our MBA programme" even after I have gained the admission to their MBA programme! It is quite annoying, and I don't think that this is a good sign. At the same time, I did not receive any such an email from HKUST.

Fourth, the admission interviews. NUS conducted two interviews with me. Each interview took about ten minutes, only general questions, which were almost the same for both interviews. Besides, neither of interviewers - including the professor in the area I was interested it - seemed to bother to read my applicaiton at all. Both were telephone interviews. The quality of connection was terrible, but they did not bother to do anything with it. And although they were impressed with me, I was dissapointed in them. HKUST conducted one interview, face-to-face, one hour of intersting questions and discussions. The interviewer knew my application by heart and asked really good questions.

I think that if the MBA programme administration cannot develop a competitive admission process, they would be unable to develop a good programme. Comparing my experience in NUS with experience in HKUST, I can say that HKUST is MUCH better than NUS. If I am asked for an advice, I would discourage from application to NUS MBA programme.
I categorically dissagree that National University of Singapore MBA is the second best school in Asia. I have applied for MBA course this year. Since I was interested in enterpreneurship/strategy or management of technology, the two schools I mostly focused on were National University of Singapore and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. I have got admission to both schools. In short, by my standards HKUST beats NUS in every single aspect. These schools are just incomparable - so much better HKUST was. Here is my reasoning for those who are interested.

First, the MBA Fairs. I have met both schools on two MBA Fairs. If NUS just bothered to handle as many leaflets as possible, and asked me not to trouble them with questions on the Fair because they are busy, the HKUST guys have found twenty minutes for one-to-one discussion and to answer my questions. This was the same thing on both Fairs.

Second, the way the schools handles the questions. I have sent a few emails to NUS, but received no any single answer. At the same time all emails to HKUST were answered in a couple of days or so. When I asked for the reason for this policy from NUS on the MBA Fair, they answered that they have no time to answer emails. Sorry, but this is not the approach a reputable school should take.

Third, spam. Yes, spam. The NUS did not bother to answer any single email I have sent them, but they kept sending me emails "our school is great, we encourage you to apply to our MBA programme" even after I have gained the admission to their MBA programme! It is quite annoying, and I don't think that this is a good sign. At the same time, I did not receive any such an email from HKUST.

Fourth, the admission interviews. NUS conducted two interviews with me. Each interview took about ten minutes, only general questions, which were almost the same for both interviews. Besides, neither of interviewers - including the professor in the area I was interested it - seemed to bother to read my applicaiton at all. Both were telephone interviews. The quality of connection was terrible, but they did not bother to do anything with it. And although they were impressed with me, I was dissapointed in them. HKUST conducted one interview, face-to-face, one hour of intersting questions and discussions. The interviewer knew my application by heart and asked really good questions.

I think that if the MBA programme administration cannot develop a competitive admission process, they would be unable to develop a good programme. Comparing my experience in NUS with experience in HKUST, I can say that HKUST is MUCH better than NUS. If I am asked for an advice, I would discourage from application to NUS MBA programme.
quote
jcohen
I categorically dissagree that National University of Singapore MBA is the second best school in Asia. I have applied for MBA course this year. Since I was interested in enterpreneurship/strategy or management of technology, the two schools I mostly focused on were National University of Singapore and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. I have got admission to both schools. In short, by my standards HKUST beats NUS in every single aspect. Comparing my experience in NUS with experience in HKUST, I can say that HKUST is MUCH better than NUS. If I am asked for an advice, I would discourage from application to NUS MBA programme.


it seems to me you are comparing both schools just on the admissions process.... who cares about that?

what about the quality of students, professors, facilities, career opportunities?

I assume you enrolled at HKUST over NUS?

would really appreciate some first hand experience from actual time spend on campus there.

Also while we are on the subject of b-schools in Hong Kong, isnt HKU more respected than HKUST?
<blockquote>I categorically dissagree that National University of Singapore MBA is the second best school in Asia. I have applied for MBA course this year. Since I was interested in enterpreneurship/strategy or management of technology, the two schools I mostly focused on were National University of Singapore and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. I have got admission to both schools. In short, by my standards HKUST beats NUS in every single aspect. Comparing my experience in NUS with experience in HKUST, I can say that HKUST is MUCH better than NUS. If I am asked for an advice, I would discourage from application to NUS MBA programme.</blockquote>

it seems to me you are comparing both schools just on the admissions process.... who cares about that?

what about the quality of students, professors, facilities, career opportunities?

I assume you enrolled at HKUST over NUS?

would really appreciate some first hand experience from actual time spend on campus there.

Also while we are on the subject of b-schools in Hong Kong, isnt HKU more respected than HKUST?
quote
vasilijs
Easy questions first :).

Regarding my enrollement, initially I was much more interested in NUS because it looked much better on paper - lots of interesting courses, lots of concentrations etc. But after the interviews I changed my mind and enrolled in HKUST.

Regarding HKU vs HKUST. So far as I understand, HKUST as an MBA brand is more respected in HK and the world since, in contrast to HKU, HKUST's Executive MBA is very highly ranked, and HKUST's GSB research rankings are high. But HKU is not to be neglected - in fact, I did not consider HKU only because their academic year starts, if I remember correctly, in November, and I was interested in programmes started in August only. Besides, I was interested in a school in HK with exchange programme in India (I am from Europe and I have MSc Asian Studies, so MBA from HK with exposure in India would strenghten my background a lot), while HKU concentrates on their arrangements with London and NY. I say it again, I do not know the real situation, but as far as I have nosed it out, HKUST is more reputable than HKU, but HKU is also very very reputable. But also it may be just because HKUST MBA better fits my expectations.


Now about what I have compared and why I made my decision like that. Of course, everything is subjective, but I hope it helps.

First of all, about the students. If the admission is easy, the students are usually not so good. Based on the essay topics, interviews, and the behaviour of the schools in MBA Fairs, I would say that (well, for me at least) the admission to NUS is much easier than the admission to HKUST. Also I suggest you search the internet for "admitted to NUS MBA" keywords - you will find a good MBA forum discussion on an Indian website. Read it, and you will see that at NUS MBA you will get about one third of its class of Indian students from IT industry with two-year work experience and rather immature life attitude. I have nothing against Indian students or IT industry at all (even more - I am going to specialize in IT in HKUST, and to spend a semester in IIM or ISB as an exchange student!), but I do have something against a class for my major MBA coursework where 30% of students represent one nation, one industry, and have two years of work experience. Yes, in HKUST I would get a lot of Chinese students. But mostly they have four-five years, not just two years of work experience, and come from a large spectra of different industries. Therefore, in my opinion, the MBA class is better in HKUST. Again, I am 29 with six years of work experience, three university degrees, and four years of residence abroad. If, for example, you are 25 with two years of experience and no residence abroad, NUS class may be more appropriated for you.

Second, as a foreigner in either Singapore or HK I will have a large spectra of problems, such as residency permit, dormitory assistance, medical insurance etc. I assume that if the admission office, or whatever person I talk to before the admission, does not bother to help me with simple questions, he or she will not help me efficiently with really complicated issues. Therefore, the admission was the first thing I judged - not the most important one, but just the first in order.

Third, professors. The interview in HKUST was conducted by the Associate Director for Graduate School of Management. God, this was the most interesting interview in my life! I mean, my feeling was "THIS is what I want to see in my MBA course!". The interviews in NUS were conducted by the Professor in Strategic Management, then by the Dean (or something like that) of the Graduate Business School together with Vice-Director (or something like that) for MBA programme. All three of them asked me the same quesitons: "Why MBA? Why NUS? What are you going to do after MBA? Do you have any questions?". This is not what I expect from MBA. And this is not what I expect from the teaching staff of the programme I am going to get involved in. Besides, please take into account that HKUST has 100% of their MBA lecturers with PhD degrees - this says something. HKUST Graduate School of Business lecturers provide, although in collaboration with Kellog, the second-third best Executive MBA course in the world - nothing similar exists in NUS. HK is also much more a business place than Singapore, therefore invited lecturers and guest speakers in HK are expected to be more interesting and more global. I may be mistaken in the last statement, but this is what many people told me.

Fourth, regarding the facilities. I would count the facilities in NUS absolutely equal to the facilities in HKUST. Both campuses are world-class, pretty new, and pretty rich. The differences in facilities, including libraries, computer rooms, sport facilities etc will be insignificant. I have not visited either of the campuses, but this is what I expect based on feedback from current students.

Fifth, the career opportunities. HK as a place is more booming than Singapore. Therefore, if you are looking for post-graduate employement and career in HK or Singapore, the HK option has higher growth opportunities. If you want to pursue a global career, than HKUST is also a better choice because it has a more global reputation, ranking etc (just compare the exchange arrangmenets of HKUST with those of NUS). The NUS MBA gives you a better start only in two cases. First, you are dreaming of living in Singapore . Second, you are going to work somewhere around Singapore, such as Malaysia or Indonesia.

Well, the last, but not the least. The tuition fee in HKUST is almost twice as high as the one in NUS. Usually the tuition fee is a good indicator of the quality of the programme. Also compare the rankings - the major ones, the Financial Times World top100 and the Economist World top100. HKUST is not in the FT this year due to insufficient number of responces. But last year's data places HKUST as N45 or so in the world, while NUS is ranked N92. The Economist this year ranks HKUST as N37, while NUS is only N99. Okay, rankings are easy to make-up. But the whole picture together looks to me like that this time the rankgins really show the right picture. Regarding HKU MBA, the Economist places it N39 this year - slightly under HKUST MBA, but this programme is not in the FT ranks, which makes it a bit weird. But I still think HKU may be better than NUS. Although you will get a larger course selection in NUS than in HKU or HKUST. Regarding the quality of the courses - probably NUS will be the last out of these three.
Easy questions first :).

Regarding my enrollement, initially I was much more interested in NUS because it looked much better on paper - lots of interesting courses, lots of concentrations etc. But after the interviews I changed my mind and enrolled in HKUST.

Regarding HKU vs HKUST. So far as I understand, HKUST as an MBA brand is more respected in HK and the world since, in contrast to HKU, HKUST's Executive MBA is very highly ranked, and HKUST's GSB research rankings are high. But HKU is not to be neglected - in fact, I did not consider HKU only because their academic year starts, if I remember correctly, in November, and I was interested in programmes started in August only. Besides, I was interested in a school in HK with exchange programme in India (I am from Europe and I have MSc Asian Studies, so MBA from HK with exposure in India would strenghten my background a lot), while HKU concentrates on their arrangements with London and NY. I say it again, I do not know the real situation, but as far as I have nosed it out, HKUST is more reputable than HKU, but HKU is also very very reputable. But also it may be just because HKUST MBA better fits my expectations.



Now about what I have compared and why I made my decision like that. Of course, everything is subjective, but I hope it helps.

First of all, about the students. If the admission is easy, the students are usually not so good. Based on the essay topics, interviews, and the behaviour of the schools in MBA Fairs, I would say that (well, for me at least) the admission to NUS is much easier than the admission to HKUST. Also I suggest you search the internet for "admitted to NUS MBA" keywords - you will find a good MBA forum discussion on an Indian website. Read it, and you will see that at NUS MBA you will get about one third of its class of Indian students from IT industry with two-year work experience and rather immature life attitude. I have nothing against Indian students or IT industry at all (even more - I am going to specialize in IT in HKUST, and to spend a semester in IIM or ISB as an exchange student!), but I do have something against a class for my major MBA coursework where 30% of students represent one nation, one industry, and have two years of work experience. Yes, in HKUST I would get a lot of Chinese students. But mostly they have four-five years, not just two years of work experience, and come from a large spectra of different industries. Therefore, in my opinion, the MBA class is better in HKUST. Again, I am 29 with six years of work experience, three university degrees, and four years of residence abroad. If, for example, you are 25 with two years of experience and no residence abroad, NUS class may be more appropriated for you.

Second, as a foreigner in either Singapore or HK I will have a large spectra of problems, such as residency permit, dormitory assistance, medical insurance etc. I assume that if the admission office, or whatever person I talk to before the admission, does not bother to help me with simple questions, he or she will not help me efficiently with really complicated issues. Therefore, the admission was the first thing I judged - not the most important one, but just the first in order.

Third, professors. The interview in HKUST was conducted by the Associate Director for Graduate School of Management. God, this was the most interesting interview in my life! I mean, my feeling was "THIS is what I want to see in my MBA course!". The interviews in NUS were conducted by the Professor in Strategic Management, then by the Dean (or something like that) of the Graduate Business School together with Vice-Director (or something like that) for MBA programme. All three of them asked me the same quesitons: "Why MBA? Why NUS? What are you going to do after MBA? Do you have any questions?". This is not what I expect from MBA. And this is not what I expect from the teaching staff of the programme I am going to get involved in. Besides, please take into account that HKUST has 100% of their MBA lecturers with PhD degrees - this says something. HKUST Graduate School of Business lecturers provide, although in collaboration with Kellog, the second-third best Executive MBA course in the world - nothing similar exists in NUS. HK is also much more a business place than Singapore, therefore invited lecturers and guest speakers in HK are expected to be more interesting and more global. I may be mistaken in the last statement, but this is what many people told me.

Fourth, regarding the facilities. I would count the facilities in NUS absolutely equal to the facilities in HKUST. Both campuses are world-class, pretty new, and pretty rich. The differences in facilities, including libraries, computer rooms, sport facilities etc will be insignificant. I have not visited either of the campuses, but this is what I expect based on feedback from current students.

Fifth, the career opportunities. HK as a place is more booming than Singapore. Therefore, if you are looking for post-graduate employement and career in HK or Singapore, the HK option has higher growth opportunities. If you want to pursue a global career, than HKUST is also a better choice because it has a more global reputation, ranking etc (just compare the exchange arrangmenets of HKUST with those of NUS). The NUS MBA gives you a better start only in two cases. First, you are dreaming of living in Singapore [I don't like HK too much, and I love Singapore, but still I don't love it so much to sacrifice on education]. Second, you are going to work somewhere around Singapore, such as Malaysia or Indonesia.

Well, the last, but not the least. The tuition fee in HKUST is almost twice as high as the one in NUS. Usually the tuition fee is a good indicator of the quality of the programme. Also compare the rankings - the major ones, the Financial Times World top100 and the Economist World top100. HKUST is not in the FT this year due to insufficient number of responces. But last year's data places HKUST as N45 or so in the world, while NUS is ranked N92. The Economist this year ranks HKUST as N37, while NUS is only N99. Okay, rankings are easy to make-up. But the whole picture together looks to me like that this time the rankgins really show the right picture. Regarding HKU MBA, the Economist places it N39 this year - slightly under HKUST MBA, but this programme is not in the FT ranks, which makes it a bit weird. But I still think HKU may be better than NUS. Although you will get a larger course selection in NUS than in HKU or HKUST. Regarding the quality of the courses - probably NUS will be the last out of these three.
quote
iuri
Hello Vasilejis,
It's true that your arguments in favour of HKUST were more annex, they are not core arguments. It's not the main issue how good the admission procedure is, but how the quality of studies is, and alumni network etc, all these things that lead for the program to be ranked in the relevant rankings.
Of course it tells us something more significant about the overall qualitiy of the program to know the rank it has in the FT ranking or the Economist ranking.

Anyways, it was very interesting for me to read you comment, especially what you wrote about your experience at the fairs and during the interviews at both schools. I think that for the users of this board it is most useful to get this kind of information you cannot get on the website of the schools - ideally from people with a personal experience.
Did you start your studies yet or only next August? If, what can you say about the courses, professors, composition of classes etc.? Please share!
Hello Vasilejis,
It's true that your arguments in favour of HKUST were more annex, they are not core arguments. It's not the main issue how good the admission procedure is, but how the quality of studies is, and alumni network etc, all these things that lead for the program to be ranked in the relevant rankings.
Of course it tells us something more significant about the overall qualitiy of the program to know the rank it has in the FT ranking or the Economist ranking.

Anyways, it was very interesting for me to read you comment, especially what you wrote about your experience at the fairs and during the interviews at both schools. I think that for the users of this board it is most useful to get this kind of information you cannot get on the website of the schools - ideally from people with a personal experience.
Did you start your studies yet or only next August? If, what can you say about the courses, professors, composition of classes etc.? Please share!
quote
vasilijs
I will start my studies in August 2007, so that I will try to update this topic some time after that date.

Of course, the arguments I have listed above are not the very core arguments. The very core arguments can be derived from the rankings (HKUST is much higher than NUS in almost every ranked category), lists of the professors, curiculum etc - you can get it all from the school's website. What I tried to list here is - correctly! the information which is not available from the oficial sources. I guess, you all more or less agree that the general rule is, it is more likely that a well-managed school will provide a better programme and attract better students than a mismanaged one. Remember the basics of management science: bad general management leads to bad performance. And the general management is what you can evaluate through observing the school in the activities prior to start of the course. In my case the situation with the general management of the school, in fact, was approximatly the same as with the rankings. But - will see what I can say when i start the studies. At the moment, based on my experience on admission process, HKUST is clearly and incomparably better than NUS.
I will start my studies in August 2007, so that I will try to update this topic some time after that date.

Of course, the arguments I have listed above are not the very core arguments. The very core arguments can be derived from the rankings (HKUST is much higher than NUS in almost every ranked category), lists of the professors, curiculum etc - you can get it all from the school's website. What I tried to list here is - correctly! the information which is not available from the oficial sources. I guess, you all more or less agree that the general rule is, it is more likely that a well-managed school will provide a better programme and attract better students than a mismanaged one. Remember the basics of management science: bad general management leads to bad performance. And the general management is what you can evaluate through observing the school in the activities prior to start of the course. In my case the situation with the general management of the school, in fact, was approximatly the same as with the rankings. But - will see what I can say when i start the studies. At the moment, based on my experience on admission process, HKUST is clearly and incomparably better than NUS.
quote
jcohen
Easy questions first :).

Regarding my enrollement, initially I was much more interested in NUS because it looked much better on paper - lots of interesting courses, lots of concentrations etc. But after the interviews I changed my mind and enrolled in HKUST.

Regarding HKU vs HKUST. So far as I understand, HKUST as an MBA brand is more respected in HK and the world since, in contrast to HKU, HKUST's Executive MBA is very highly ranked, and HKUST's GSB .....blockquote>

oh man, that is some piece !! thanx a lot!
really enlightening info.

so I assume you are enrolling in HKUST in late August 07?
<blockquote>Easy questions first :).

Regarding my enrollement, initially I was much more interested in NUS because it looked much better on paper - lots of interesting courses, lots of concentrations etc. But after the interviews I changed my mind and enrolled in HKUST.

Regarding HKU vs HKUST. So far as I understand, HKUST as an MBA brand is more respected in HK and the world since, in contrast to HKU, HKUST's Executive MBA is very highly ranked, and HKUST's GSB .....blockquote>

oh man, that is some piece !! thanx a lot!
really enlightening info.

so I assume you are enrolling in HKUST in late August 07?
quote
vasilijs
One more note. HKUST MBA is about 20 year old. HKU MBA is less than 10 year old. Even with the quality of both programmes being equal or comparable, HKUST MBA has a longer reputation and is better known on the market.

I enroll in early August 2007 to take the Preparatory Chinese class.
One more note. HKUST MBA is about 20 year old. HKU MBA is less than 10 year old. Even with the quality of both programmes being equal or comparable, HKUST MBA has a longer reputation and is better known on the market.

I enroll in early August 2007 to take the Preparatory Chinese class.
quote
copernicus
One more note. HKUST MBA is about 20 year old. HKU MBA is less than 10 year old. Even with the quality of both programmes being equal or comparable, HKUST MBA has a longer reputation and is better known on the market.

I enroll in early August 2007 to take the Preparatory Chinese class.
<blockquote>One more note. HKUST MBA is about 20 year old. HKU MBA is less than 10 year old. Even with the quality of both programmes being equal or comparable, HKUST MBA has a longer reputation and is better known on the market.

I enroll in early August 2007 to take the Preparatory Chinese class.</blockquote>
quote
vasilijs
I am hoping to enroll in 07 :-)
anyone interested in talking about hkust 07' pm me !

I definetely would be! Did you apply for the first round or for the second round?
<blockquote>I am hoping to enroll in 07 :-)
anyone interested in talking about hkust 07' pm me !</blockquote>
I definetely would be! Did you apply for the first round or for the second round?
quote
copernicus
quote
vasilijs
Good luck! I have applied for the first round. It took three weeks for them to notify me that I am shorlisted, the interview took place within a week after I received the notification, and I received the admission decision two weeks after the interview.

Drop me a personal message - we can talk online in some chat programme if you have questions.
Good luck! I have applied for the first round. It took three weeks for them to notify me that I am shorlisted, the interview took place within a week after I received the notification, and I received the admission decision two weeks after the interview.

Drop me a personal message - we can talk online in some chat programme if you have questions.
quote
vasilijs
Anyways, it was very interesting for me to read you comment, especially what you wrote about your experience at the fairs and during the interviews at both schools. I think that for the users of this board it is most useful to get this kind of information you cannot get on the website of the schools - ideally from people with a personal experience.

Did you start your studies yet or only next August? If, what can you say about the courses, professors, composition of classes etc.? Please share!


Reading the discussions INSEAD vs HKUST vs CEIBS on this board in the last few months, I finally decided to describe my experience in HKUST since I was actually the one who started the HKUST campaign over here :). Currently I am am HKUST MBA student, two months of studies are done, and I want to share my experience so far.

First of all, I am VERY satisfied with my choice of HKUST as the MBA place. I will recommend it to everybody who asks my opinion about this school. As far as I am aware, most, if not all, alumni hold the same opinion - the experience here is great, the requirements are rigorous, and the outcomes are really good. Will tell in more details below.

Second, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don't compare INSEAD with HKUST. These are schools targeting different segments, and therefore just cannot be comparable. It is the same thing like comparing a video camera with washing machine - these schools are not comparable not because one is better or worse, but because they are not supposed to be comparable! In their own segment each of this school is far ahead the competitors. INSEAD is definetely the best (and the only) global programme with a campus in Asia [which does not mean "an Asian Business School"], HKUST is definetely the best MBA programme delivered by an Asian Business School. INSEAD targets people with global portfolio who want to have a taste of Asia, HKUST is oriented on people who want to get a deeper experience in Asia opposite to global management issues. PLEASE do not compare these two schools further...

Third, CEIBS. In our class there are at least five people (inlcuding me) who were interested in CEIBS. A few of us lost any interest before applying there, others applied and were admitted, but switched to HKUST because of the quality of admission, transparency of the programme, and other factors. CEIBS may be a good brand in China, but it is definetely not a place for non-Asian person to do MBA. We also have a professor who was invited to move to CEIBS, and in the discussion he basically quoted the same reasons for refusal as we did. Even if CEIBS would beat Harvard in the '09 FT ranking, I will still hold this opinion - CEIBS is a far lower level school than HKUST.

Now let me talk about my experience in HKUST in details.

THE QUALITY OF STUDENTS. From the first glance you may say that HKUST class is not that good - an average GMAT score of 620, and N85 (or so) in "student quality" category in the Economist Intellegence Unit. But don't be fooled. The Programme Director of HKUST Business School is a former Admission Director from Northwest Kellogg MBA, a PhD in psychology and MBA Kellogg. He is a cunning fox - in a good sense. The admission criteria were stated to us in the very first days of our programme. The major thing is, HKUST does not recruit the students based on GMAT. In fact, GMAT is a minor criteria. The number of years in work experience is a minor criteria as well. There is a very complex assessment tool the MBA Programme Director has described to us in the first days of classess, and, believe me, his theory makes sense. As for the REAL EXPERIENCE with the classmates, I don't think the top global business schools would have a much better mix. First of all, we got quite a number of people with first degrees done in UCalifornia, Stanford, Yale etc - and a large number of people have Master Degrees as well. Second, most, if not all, admitted students have spent some significant time working or studying abroad. In our class we have quite a number of really interesting combinations - Europeans working in Asia and Africa before. To summarize, the class is really good, I cannot imagine a better class on average. Note: ON AVERAGE - I mean, in the top global schools you may get a few brighter stars, but I don't think it would beat the HKUST intake by far on average. A little bit - quite possible, but not that much.

THE QUALITY OF CLASSES. So far I have had five classes. All classes are case-based. Some classes don't use any other books than cases - you do the case at home (using any books you want), and then there is a discussion in the class. All classes are based on the team-work - all cases are done individually first, then discussed in teams, and then discussed in the class. Most of professors teaching in MBA programme also teach the EMBA programme - the one which is N2-3 in the world. I don't think EMBA programme will drop in ranking - quite a number of CEOs for Asia of Fortune World Top 100 are HKUST MBA, EMBA, or PhD Finance graduates. All professors have PhD, at least 50% of them come from world global top schools. Among the professors teaching to us this quarter, three professors are outstanding, one professor is good but not outstanding, and one professor is below average. Interesting enough, the "below average" professor is the most famous of all five in his reasearch. The "good but not outstanding" professor is a co-author of the text-book we use in the class - the text book is NOT published by HKUST, but by Prentice Hall - which makes difference. The curriculum of the classes is mostly developed in line with top global schools. Most of cases are the Harvard Business School cases. Those which are not, are Ivey Business School ones or Case Analysis Compatition cases. We also have some CEOs for Asia of global companies coming to us as guest speakers/lecturers/evaluators - and their sessions are harsh, but invaluable. The homeworks are rigorous - no free-riding. Normally I wake up at 7am to come to the class 9am-1pm, and go to sleep at midnight because of studies. The MBA Office is very supportive in academic issues, and in case if there are problems between class and professors, they help to find the constructive solution. One VERY important thing is that ALL classes and ALL career sessions are given by professors or career services heads, not assistants. That means, the guy, who teaches the CEO's in EMBA also teaches us, and answers our questions. I bet, no assistants can beat the good professors. Besides, the interpersonal relation in the class and class-professor link works better in small class (we are 75 students in the whole class) than in a global school of 300+ students - in fact, for some of us, apart from the segment of the schools, the small class was among the key criteria for chosing HKUST over INSEAD.

THE CAREER SERVICES. The career service works, realy works. We have on average one recruitment talk a week for MBA programme (we are promised more later, since now it is not that relevant) plus two talks a week for the university recruitment. Career training is also constructive - I have lots of changing circumstances now, and the career service is able not only to comment on my problems when I ask a question, but also to comment on them constructively - I have got a lot of useful hints from them. As for the job search and placement, the HKUST MBA is subscribed to the same MBA job databases as MIT, Harvard, Kellog etc, and, according to both, the career service and the second year students, people DO FIND a job through these databases - outcompeting the top global school graduates. Don't be scared by the average salary after HKUST MBA - the $78k (something like this was the last year average) includes from 30% of students working in China were $40k is the top salary for most jobs. I am also not sure that European companies operating in Asia prefer the very-top global programme MBA over HKUST - at least at the career talks many of recruiters said differently. For the summer internship, although students work really hard to land it, five internship offers for a Chinese speaking person and three for a non-Chinese speaking perios are not exceptions. Investment Banking and Consulting are also among the fields the interns and graduates enter. But according to the second year students' experience, some people who were initially interested in these fields leave these jobs after internship because they prefer to have more free time out of office than more money. EMBA students, including those which are now CEOs for Asia of some top global companies also participate in networking. HOWEVER, students do work hard to get a job. But most people get a GOOD job, and almost everybody get more than one offer - again, according to the information from the class graduated in '07. Those who prefer to work outside Asia, do find a job outside Asia - and usually it is a competitive job. But one should remember than HKUST still focuses on peole who are going to work in Asia upon graduation.

These are my impressions of the programme after almost two months since enrollment. Again, this post was not targeted to say how much better HKUST is than, let's say, INSEAD - please don't misinterpret. But one comment to the INSEAD student who writes that if one ranks the business schools similarly to the restaurans, five-star to one-star, HKUST wouldn't be in the ranking. Have a look on the Economist Intellegence Unit ranking 2007 - HKUST is ranked higher than Wharton, Darden, Yale, and many others, and only three to ten positions lower than INSEAD, MIT, Harvard, LBS, and Northwestern. We are waiting for the FT ranking in January, and most people think HKUST won't drop from top50 there. Of course, ranking is not everything - it would be stupid to make a desicion on the school based entirely on ranking. But if the business schools were classified in a similar way as restaurans, with five-star being the top category, HKUST would definetely be mentioned in this list, and would score at least three, but most probably, four stars according to this classification. As for INSEAD, I am sure, it would score full five stars in this ranking. But it is stupid to buy a good video camera if you are really looking for a washing machine.
<blockquote>Anyways, it was very interesting for me to read you comment, especially what you wrote about your experience at the fairs and during the interviews at both schools. I think that for the users of this board it is most useful to get this kind of information you cannot get on the website of the schools - ideally from people with a personal experience.

Did you start your studies yet or only next August? If, what can you say about the courses, professors, composition of classes etc.? Please share!</blockquote>

Reading the discussions INSEAD vs HKUST vs CEIBS on this board in the last few months, I finally decided to describe my experience in HKUST since I was actually the one who started the HKUST campaign over here :). Currently I am am HKUST MBA student, two months of studies are done, and I want to share my experience so far.

First of all, I am VERY satisfied with my choice of HKUST as the MBA place. I will recommend it to everybody who asks my opinion about this school. As far as I am aware, most, if not all, alumni hold the same opinion - the experience here is great, the requirements are rigorous, and the outcomes are really good. Will tell in more details below.

Second, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don't compare INSEAD with HKUST. These are schools targeting different segments, and therefore just cannot be comparable. It is the same thing like comparing a video camera with washing machine - these schools are not comparable not because one is better or worse, but because they are not supposed to be comparable! In their own segment each of this school is far ahead the competitors. INSEAD is definetely the best (and the only) global programme with a campus in Asia [which does not mean "an Asian Business School"], HKUST is definetely the best MBA programme delivered by an Asian Business School. INSEAD targets people with global portfolio who want to have a taste of Asia, HKUST is oriented on people who want to get a deeper experience in Asia opposite to global management issues. PLEASE do not compare these two schools further...

Third, CEIBS. In our class there are at least five people (inlcuding me) who were interested in CEIBS. A few of us lost any interest before applying there, others applied and were admitted, but switched to HKUST because of the quality of admission, transparency of the programme, and other factors. CEIBS may be a good brand in China, but it is definetely not a place for non-Asian person to do MBA. We also have a professor who was invited to move to CEIBS, and in the discussion he basically quoted the same reasons for refusal as we did. Even if CEIBS would beat Harvard in the '09 FT ranking, I will still hold this opinion - CEIBS is a far lower level school than HKUST.

Now let me talk about my experience in HKUST in details.

THE QUALITY OF STUDENTS. From the first glance you may say that HKUST class is not that good - an average GMAT score of 620, and N85 (or so) in "student quality" category in the Economist Intellegence Unit. But don't be fooled. The Programme Director of HKUST Business School is a former Admission Director from Northwest Kellogg MBA, a PhD in psychology and MBA Kellogg. He is a cunning fox - in a good sense. The admission criteria were stated to us in the very first days of our programme. The major thing is, HKUST does not recruit the students based on GMAT. In fact, GMAT is a minor criteria. The number of years in work experience is a minor criteria as well. There is a very complex assessment tool the MBA Programme Director has described to us in the first days of classess, and, believe me, his theory makes sense. As for the REAL EXPERIENCE with the classmates, I don't think the top global business schools would have a much better mix. First of all, we got quite a number of people with first degrees done in UCalifornia, Stanford, Yale etc - and a large number of people have Master Degrees as well. Second, most, if not all, admitted students have spent some significant time working or studying abroad. In our class we have quite a number of really interesting combinations - Europeans working in Asia and Africa before. To summarize, the class is really good, I cannot imagine a better class on average. Note: ON AVERAGE - I mean, in the top global schools you may get a few brighter stars, but I don't think it would beat the HKUST intake by far on average. A little bit - quite possible, but not that much.

THE QUALITY OF CLASSES. So far I have had five classes. All classes are case-based. Some classes don't use any other books than cases - you do the case at home (using any books you want), and then there is a discussion in the class. All classes are based on the team-work - all cases are done individually first, then discussed in teams, and then discussed in the class. Most of professors teaching in MBA programme also teach the EMBA programme - the one which is N2-3 in the world. I don't think EMBA programme will drop in ranking - quite a number of CEOs for Asia of Fortune World Top 100 are HKUST MBA, EMBA, or PhD Finance graduates. All professors have PhD, at least 50% of them come from world global top schools. Among the professors teaching to us this quarter, three professors are outstanding, one professor is good but not outstanding, and one professor is below average. Interesting enough, the "below average" professor is the most famous of all five in his reasearch. The "good but not outstanding" professor is a co-author of the text-book we use in the class - the text book is NOT published by HKUST, but by Prentice Hall - which makes difference. The curriculum of the classes is mostly developed in line with top global schools. Most of cases are the Harvard Business School cases. Those which are not, are Ivey Business School ones or Case Analysis Compatition cases. We also have some CEOs for Asia of global companies coming to us as guest speakers/lecturers/evaluators - and their sessions are harsh, but invaluable. The homeworks are rigorous - no free-riding. Normally I wake up at 7am to come to the class 9am-1pm, and go to sleep at midnight because of studies. The MBA Office is very supportive in academic issues, and in case if there are problems between class and professors, they help to find the constructive solution. One VERY important thing is that ALL classes and ALL career sessions are given by professors or career services heads, not assistants. That means, the guy, who teaches the CEO's in EMBA also teaches us, and answers our questions. I bet, no assistants can beat the good professors. Besides, the interpersonal relation in the class and class-professor link works better in small class (we are 75 students in the whole class) than in a global school of 300+ students - in fact, for some of us, apart from the segment of the schools, the small class was among the key criteria for chosing HKUST over INSEAD.

THE CAREER SERVICES. The career service works, realy works. We have on average one recruitment talk a week for MBA programme (we are promised more later, since now it is not that relevant) plus two talks a week for the university recruitment. Career training is also constructive - I have lots of changing circumstances now, and the career service is able not only to comment on my problems when I ask a question, but also to comment on them constructively - I have got a lot of useful hints from them. As for the job search and placement, the HKUST MBA is subscribed to the same MBA job databases as MIT, Harvard, Kellog etc, and, according to both, the career service and the second year students, people DO FIND a job through these databases - outcompeting the top global school graduates. Don't be scared by the average salary after HKUST MBA - the $78k (something like this was the last year average) includes from 30% of students working in China were $40k is the top salary for most jobs. I am also not sure that European companies operating in Asia prefer the very-top global programme MBA over HKUST - at least at the career talks many of recruiters said differently. For the summer internship, although students work really hard to land it, five internship offers for a Chinese speaking person and three for a non-Chinese speaking perios are not exceptions. Investment Banking and Consulting are also among the fields the interns and graduates enter. But according to the second year students' experience, some people who were initially interested in these fields leave these jobs after internship because they prefer to have more free time out of office than more money. EMBA students, including those which are now CEOs for Asia of some top global companies also participate in networking. HOWEVER, students do work hard to get a job. But most people get a GOOD job, and almost everybody get more than one offer - again, according to the information from the class graduated in '07. Those who prefer to work outside Asia, do find a job outside Asia - and usually it is a competitive job. But one should remember than HKUST still focuses on peole who are going to work in Asia upon graduation.

These are my impressions of the programme after almost two months since enrollment. Again, this post was not targeted to say how much better HKUST is than, let's say, INSEAD - please don't misinterpret. But one comment to the INSEAD student who writes that if one ranks the business schools similarly to the restaurans, five-star to one-star, HKUST wouldn't be in the ranking. Have a look on the Economist Intellegence Unit ranking 2007 - HKUST is ranked higher than Wharton, Darden, Yale, and many others, and only three to ten positions lower than INSEAD, MIT, Harvard, LBS, and Northwestern. We are waiting for the FT ranking in January, and most people think HKUST won't drop from top50 there. Of course, ranking is not everything - it would be stupid to make a desicion on the school based entirely on ranking. But if the business schools were classified in a similar way as restaurans, with five-star being the top category, HKUST would definetely be mentioned in this list, and would score at least three, but most probably, four stars according to this classification. As for INSEAD, I am sure, it would score full five stars in this ranking. But it is stupid to buy a good video camera if you are really looking for a washing machine.
quote
jona
Hi Vasilijs,

Thanks so much for taking the time and making the effort tho write such a long post. This is the valuable first hand information we all REALLY need, going beyong the information you can get from outside, rankings, statistics, random opinions.

I guess we will refer to your post quite a few times from now on, whenever there is a question about HKUST ;-)

Have a good time - anyways, sounds like a good experience!
Hi Vasilijs,

Thanks so much for taking the time and making the effort tho write such a long post. This is the valuable first hand information we all REALLY need, going beyong the information you can get from outside, rankings, statistics, random opinions.

I guess we will refer to your post quite a few times from now on, whenever there is a question about HKUST ;-)

Have a good time - anyways, sounds like a good experience!
quote
kit
Hi vasilijs,

Terrific post! Can you shed any light on why Insead's average salaries are higher than HKUST's in Hong Kong?

Thanks,
Hi vasilijs,

Terrific post! Can you shed any light on why Insead's average salaries are higher than HKUST's in Hong Kong?

Thanks,

quote
wonderful observations. Thank you very much. it was really helpful.

To introduce myself, I am an IT professional from India. Currently am in USA. I have a some total experience of 4 years.
I want to do pursue my MBA so that it would enhance my career in the IT field.

Would a MAB from NUS (or any other Asian B school) be a good choice for me ?
Secondly, what should be my specialization?


Thanks in advance
wonderful observations. Thank you very much. it was really helpful.

To introduce myself, I am an IT professional from India. Currently am in USA. I have a some total experience of 4 years.
I want to do pursue my MBA so that it would enhance my career in the IT field.

Would a MAB from NUS (or any other Asian B school) be a good choice for me ?
Secondly, what should be my specialization?


Thanks in advance
quote
vasilijs
Hi vasilijs,

Terrific post! Can you shed any light on why Insead's average salaries are higher than HKUST's in Hong Kong?

Thanks,


First of all, I don't know what is the tenative salary range of an INSEAD's graduate working in Hong Kong. Therefore, my guesses are pure speculations. But here is what I think.

1) The taxes in Hong Kong are 15% versus 30-50% in Europe and the US. Therefore, US$80k before tax in Hong Kong results in US$68k after tax, which is the same amount of money as if one's salary were US$115k with 40% tax rate. If most INSEAD's MBAs work in Europe, US, Japan, Korea, or other countries of this kind, US$115k before tax in these countries is the same as US$80k before tax in Hong Kong.

2) As it was noted in one of the HKUST-INSEAD fights on this forum, most of INSEAD's graduates go to Investment Banking and Consulting - the areas where the salaries are higher than in any other field of business. HKUST folks are engaged in these fields, but still some 30% work in manufacturing, where the salaries are lower than in consulting and investment banking because of the nature of the industry. This is not the matter of "these HKUST folks cannot get a job in IB or Consulting", but that people here may have different preferences - they may not want to go to these industries [for example, I myself see Consulting as the last option for me - if I cannot enter Product Development or Strategic Marketing areas because very few positions in these fields are available to outsiders, and wouldn't succeed in Enterpreneurship, I will go to Consulting, probably, in-house consulting, where many jobs are available - but this is my last choice]. As the result, the purely industrial specifics also contributes into the salary gap. For more details read the Economist Intellegence Unit's comments to the 2007 rankings - they ellaborate on this question.

Just remind you again, this is my personal opinion, and it may be wrong.
<blockquote>Hi vasilijs,

Terrific post! Can you shed any light on why Insead's average salaries are higher than HKUST's in Hong Kong?

Thanks,

</blockquote>
First of all, I don't know what is the tenative salary range of an INSEAD's graduate working in Hong Kong. Therefore, my guesses are pure speculations. But here is what I think.

1) The taxes in Hong Kong are 15% versus 30-50% in Europe and the US. Therefore, US$80k before tax in Hong Kong results in US$68k after tax, which is the same amount of money as if one's salary were US$115k with 40% tax rate. If most INSEAD's MBAs work in Europe, US, Japan, Korea, or other countries of this kind, US$115k before tax in these countries is the same as US$80k before tax in Hong Kong.

2) As it was noted in one of the HKUST-INSEAD fights on this forum, most of INSEAD's graduates go to Investment Banking and Consulting - the areas where the salaries are higher than in any other field of business. HKUST folks are engaged in these fields, but still some 30% work in manufacturing, where the salaries are lower than in consulting and investment banking because of the nature of the industry. This is not the matter of "these HKUST folks cannot get a job in IB or Consulting", but that people here may have different preferences - they may not want to go to these industries [for example, I myself see Consulting as the last option for me - if I cannot enter Product Development or Strategic Marketing areas because very few positions in these fields are available to outsiders, and wouldn't succeed in Enterpreneurship, I will go to Consulting, probably, in-house consulting, where many jobs are available - but this is my last choice]. As the result, the purely industrial specifics also contributes into the salary gap. For more details read the Economist Intellegence Unit's comments to the 2007 rankings - they ellaborate on this question.

Just remind you again, this is my personal opinion, and it may be wrong.
quote

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