February 4, 1999
Vol. 18 No. 9

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    Graduate School of Business to offer executive M.B.A. Singapore program

    The University of Chicago Graduate School of Business announced Monday, Jan. 25, that it will establish a permanent campus in Singapore to teach an Asian international executive M.B.A. program. It will be the first campus established in Asia by a leading U.S. business school.

    Classes will begin in the fall of 2000 and will be taught by the same faculty who teach at the school’s Chicago and Barcelona campuses. “This represents the first time a business school will offer a globally integrated, executive M.B.A. program on three continents taught entirely by its regular faculty at permanent campus locations,” said Robert Hamada, Dean of the Graduate School of Business.

    Modeled after the North American and European executive M.B.A. programs, the Asian program will target the same type of middle- and upper-level business executives who have at least 10 years of work experience.

    “The new University program is designed to have leading companies throughout the Asia-Pacific region nominate their high-potential managers as students,” Hamada said, adding that “the program is also intended for other professionals, such as government officials, physicians, lawyers, and health service administrators as well as entrepreneurs.”

    Enrollment will be limited to 80 executives per year, drawn from throughout the region, said Hamada. Most of the students will continue to work full-time and commute from countries outside Singapore, which is why the program is being offered in 16 one-week modules spread over 19 months.

    During four weeks of the program, students from the Chicago, Barcelona and Singapore programs will participate in an academic exchange by traveling to one another’s programs. They will also form small management teams for study purposes during weeks when classes are in session. Between sessions, students will work on assignments and communicate with their study groups and the faculty using a variety of technologies, including CD-ROM, the World Wide Web, computer facilitated discussion software and multimedia software.

    “Students will be linked to their classmates and the faculty regardless of their distance from the campus,” Hamada said.

    The new program in Asia will provide participants with “a truly global immersion into the fundamentals of business,” Hamada said, adding that the expanded international focus of the school will also benefit students in Chicago’s traditional M.B.A. program.

    “Since the professors who will teach in Singapore are the same ones who teach on our main campus, the cases and material they develop for the Singapore program will also be featured in our classes in Chicago,” he said.

    Major supporters of the project include Cheng Wai-Keung (M.B.A. ’73), chairman and managing director of Wing Tai Holdings Ltd. based in Singapore; John Wadsworth Jr. (M.B.A. ’63), chairman of the W.L.S. Spencer Foundation; and Bette Sue Wadsworth, foundation president.

    Cheng encouraged the school to establish a campus in Singapore and assisted in lease negotiations for the House of Tan Yeok Nee, site of the new campus. The property is a national heritage monument in the Orchard Road section of Singapore owned by a consortium headed by Wing Tai Holdings.

    The building will be completely restored and will feature modern classrooms and group study space. The W.L.S. Spencer Foundation has agreed to help fund the cost of outfitting the classrooms. Additional startup funding is being provided by the Singapore Economic Development Board.

    “Having a campus in Singapore of the world renowned University of Chicago Graduate School of Business will be a significant benefit to executives from Asia-Pacific regions who are seeking more formal business education,” Cheng said.

    “This is not just another business school,” said Wadsworth, who also is chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia Limited. “This is one of the world’s leading graduate business schools whose faculty have had a major impact on creating present-day global capital markets.”

    The University’s Graduate School of Business pioneered executive business education in 1943 when it established the first executive M.B.A. program in the world. In 1994, it opened its executive M.B.A. program in Barcelona.