Launched in 2005, Global Business Studies (GBS, internationally known as GLOBE – Global Learning Opportunities in Business Education) is an undergraduate business programme jointly offered by The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), Copenhagen Business School (CBS), and The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC). GLOBE, the acronym of “Global Learning Opportunities in Business Education”, summarises the key programme feature – to provide students with opportunities in learning business around the world. The unparalleled learning experience provided by GLOBE equips students not only with professional business knowledge but also a strong global business sense and an international perspective, which are the qualities valued in today’s dynamic globalised world economy.
Unlike other individual exchange opportunities, the international cohort of 54 elite students from CUHK, CBS and UNC study, work and live together in 18 months , one term at UNC to learn the American business practices, one term at CUHK to learn about business environment in Asia and one term at CBS to learn the European approach to business operations. Not only students can develop their global mindset through this internationally-oriented curriculum, but also build an international network that prepares them for a culturally-diversified career in the future.
The classroom learning is further reinforced by study trips. Through attending executive sharing at selected organisations, students gain first-hand exposure to foreign business operations and different management styles. This can be of a high reference value when students take up internship or get on board for their graduation job.
A Tale of Three Cities
Studying overseas, a dream for secondary school leavers in the older days, has become a common feature of undergraduate studies in the 21st century—at least for a term’s duration. Given that, to study in two overseas cities and one’s home place with the young people of diverse origins for a total of three terms is still a rare experience too good to be true.
The Global Business Studies (GBS)/ GLOBE, offered by the Faculty of Business Administration at CUHK with partners Copenhagen Business School (CBS) and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), has made this super dream come true.
Launched in 2005, GBS, dubbed by the media as one of the most competitive programmes in Hong Kong, has been attracting the cream of secondary school graduates both from the local and non-local systems. It aims at empowering highly aspiring students with distinct business acumen, cultural fluency and an entrepreneurial mindset through an internationally oriented curriculum and unique tri-continental learning experience to become leaders who create meaningful impact on the global community.
Programme Co-Director Dr. Raymond Wong elaborated on features that make GBS unique in terms of knowledge, experience and network:
‘GBS offers an innovative curriculum that includes the best and most challenging business courses from the three top international business schools,’ said Dr. Wong. This is achieved with the expertise of each school, and by integrating the tailored, regional-focused classes on global business environment with hands-on projects on different industries.’
The class-based learning is reinforced by study trips, e.g., to Singapore, Tokyo, Malaysia, and more. ‘During these expansive learning trips to developed and emerging markets, students are exposed to a wide spectrum of industries ranging from healthcare, energy, consumer goods, banking, financial consulting services, steel to aviation. They will have high-level interaction with owners, CEOs and senior executives for a greater global experience.’
Eighteen students from each of the three partner schools are admitted each year. They will study as an international cohort in Copenhagen, Hong Kong and Chapel Hill for three semesters starting from the first semester in Year 3. Dr. Wong pointed out that the experience of living and working with global counterparts allows students to fully integrate into and understand the nuances of the local cultures, developing their global mindset and essential skills to confront the challenges in the ever-changing business environment.
The 18 months of in-depth interaction among students helps build strong and long-lasting bonding within the class. In addition, through various alumni engagement opportunities, students can develop connections across the uniquely global alumni network. As observed by Dr. Wong, ‘Our GBS alumni are now positioned in some of the most prestigious investment banks, financial institutions, consultancies, government, and multinational corporations. They are always ready to share their experiences and frequently come back to engage current students in a variety of ways.’
GBS graduates also demonstrate genuine concern for the global community, without ignoring the disadvantaged. Alumna Bonnie Chiu, at just 26 years old, has previously been named as one of Forbes 30 Under 30’s Social Entrepreneurs in Europe. She is the co-founder and CEO of the non-profit social enterprise Lensational which was initially launched in Hong Kong in 2013. It empowers marginalized women in 15 countries by offering them training in photography. Outside of Lensational, Bonnie is the Managing Director at the London-based Social Investment Consultancy, advising clients ranging from UNICEF to Kettle Foods.
Current student Johnny Ho found the truly global elements of GBS most appealing when he chose the programme among other business programmes available in Hong Kong. What he has encountered so far reassures him of this choice. ‘I believe it is the practicality and comprehensiveness of the GBS curriculum making it stand out from all other business programmes. Furthermore, the 1.5-year cohort exchange opportunities would definitely be another highlight of the university life, in which students from USA, Denmark and Hong Kong can bring together innovative ideas and learn from various cultures,’ he said.
To address the quest for new knowledge and skills that meet the society’s latest needs and the current development of the industrial and business sectors, GBS has established an advisory board comprising graduates to review the curriculum on a regular basis. This ethos of constant pursuit of excellence and readiness for changes could have been embedded in the delivery of the programme. The Programme always encourages students to seek to equip themselves with the knowledge and skills for changes at any time. Johnny said, ‘The Programme emphasizes on critical thinking with a global perspective, and a constant awareness of the turbulence on the international stage. Also GBS is more than resourceful to provide us with an extensive alumni network, where we get in-depth and up-to-date business insights from competitive insiders.’
Johnny is aspiring to develop a career in finance as his interest in this sector is induced by its ever changing landscape that seeks dynamic talents.
Published: Summer 2017
Last Updated: Summer 2019