EMBA-Global Asia - FAQs

EMBA-Global Asia - FAQs

Below is a list of the frequently asked questions concerning EMBA-Global Asia. If you cannot find the answer to your question here, please feel free to contact us. Attending an EMBA-Global Asia information event is another great way to find out more about the programme.


  • Why should I choose EMBA-Global Asia?

    EMBA-Global Asia is a unique Executive MBA programme offered jointly by three leading business schools. The programme is based in the three cities that are driving the future of world enterprise, and also offers exposure to dynamic emerging markets. Upon successfully completing the programme, you will receive an MBA degree conferred jointly by London Business School, The University of Hong Kong and Columbia University.

    The programme is taught by world-renowned expert scholars, practitioners and teachers, and brings together diverse, high-calibre, globally-focused managers from a wide variety of nationalities and industries. You learn from each other as well as from faculty, while continuing your career. You are able to immediately apply what you are learning in the classroom to your workplace, while bringing your professional experience into the classroom.

    Each school also takes advantage of its location to draw upon the surrounding business community to attract exciting guest speakers from around the world.

  • What can I do to find out if EMBA-Global Asia is the right programme for me?

    There are plenty of things you can do to explore whether EMBA-Global Asia is the right programme for you.  Apart from looking at the website and programme brochure, we recommend you join one of our events and talk to our admissions staff.

    Also, you can submit your CV to determine your eligibility for EMBA-Global Asia.

  • What is the difference between EMBA-Global Asia and other Executive MBA programmes?

    There is no other Executive MBA programme that is based in the three most dynamic cities driving today's world economy: London, Hong Kong and New York. EMBA-Global Asia also provides opportunities to study in Shanghai, as well as in other markets around the world through the international seminars and assignments.

    EMBA-Global Asia covers similar material in the first three terms to that covered in the first academic year of a traditional MBA programme. However, since EMBA-Global Asia is designed for people who have, or will have, significant trans-national responsibilities, all courses reflect a greater proportion of global material. EMBA-Global Asia's hub in China brings an important regional flavour to learning and relationships.

    The elective portfolios of London Business School, The University of Hong Kong and Columbia Business School are available to you, where you will share a class with an even more internationally experienced peer group. 

    EMBA-Global Asia graduates become alumni of all three schools and have full, life-long, access to the alumni networks of these top schools.

  • How would I decide between applying for EMBA-Global Asia, or other Executive MBA or full-time MBA programmes offered by London and Columbia Business Schools?

    EMBA-Global Asia students and students on the other Executive MBA programmes offered by London Business School and Columbia Business School have a similar level of experience, while full-time MBA students tend to have less experience. The main difference is that EMBA-Global Asia students have an even more international orientation, a real commitment to a global career and a passion for the future of global business in Asia.

    EMBA-Global Asia is taught in a residential block format. You study over several consecutive days per month in London, Hong Kong or New York for the first three terms. The other Executive MBA programmes offered at London Business School and Columbia Business School are taught in a Friday/Saturday format.

    The main advantage of participating in an Executive MBA over a full-time programme is that you remain in full-time employment while undertaking your studies and, therefore, do not interrupt your career path.

  • Can I apply for more than one programme at the School?

    No, you cannot apply for more than one Masters Programme at London Business School or our partner schools at the same time or in the same academic year. You cannot re-apply to the same programme within the same academic year.

  • What is the typical EMBA-Global Asia student profile?

    The targeted student profile of EMBA-Global Asia is similar to that of the established EMBA-Global Americas & Europe. We aim for a diverse class in terms of nationality, academic background and work experience.

    View the EMBA-Global 2019 intake class directory

  • What is the difference between EMBA-Global Asia and EMBA-Global Americas & Europe?

    EMBA-Global Americas & Europe offers core courses in alternating block weeks each month either in London or New York. EMBA-Global Asia conducts a large portion of its core courses in Hong Kong with some visits to New York and London. EMBA-Global, wherever it is conducted, is designed for executives and managers who want their learning to carry a definitively global outlook, each arm of EMBA-Global gives the learning a different regional flavour.

    While all EMBA-Global students have access to the elective portfolios of all three schools, only EMBA-Global Asia students take core courses in Hong Kong. Furthermore, the teaching on EMBA-Global Asia is split equally among faculty from the three schools.

  • Is it possible to study EMBA-Global Asia while living outside Asia?

    There are no admissions restrictions in terms of geographic location. However as the majority of the EMBA-Global Asia programme is delivered in Asia, candidates need to be realistic about what travel is possible for them whilst continuing with their full-time employment.

  • Can I swap between the EMBA-Global Asia and EMBA-Global Americas & Europe programmes?

    You must apply and commit to only one of the programmes. This decision will determine the primary locations of your core coursework. After you have completed the core, you are free to take electives from any of the schools' elective portfolios, thereby customising your experience on the programme.

Programme details

  • How is the EMBA-Global Asia curriculum structured?

    EMBA-Global Asia is a five-term, 20-month programme, although certain elective choices in the final terms may enable completion in 16 months. For details see the Timetable page.

  • When does the programme start?

    The next intake for EMBA-Global Asia will start in May 2021. We recommend that candidates apply early to allow enough time to make arrangements before commencing the programme. See the Admissions page for more information.

  • How many days will I need to take out of the office to undertake the programme?

    In the first three terms, you are required to attend 11 blocks of four or five days for the core courses. These comprise a total of 55 class days, 43 days of which are week days. Please note that this does not include days needed for travel to attend the programme.

    During the last two terms, you will undertake electives and your schedule will vary depending upon which courses you choose and in which format these courses are offered.

  • Can I waive a core course if I have already studied that subject?

    You are not able to waive core courses as recognition of prior learning. In addition, we do not accept credits from other educational institutions. Since the experience that each student brings to the classroom is a vital part of the learning achieved on the programme, attendance through every core course is essential.

  • What are study groups? / How are they put together? / Can I choose my group?

    You will be assigned to a group of approximately six people at the beginning of the programme, and you will work with them throughout the core curriculum. The study groups are put together based on a series of psychometric tests, which you undertake as part of the pre-programme activities. We aim to make each group as diverse as possible in terms of nationality, and educational and professional backgrounds to ensure the learning experience is as enriching as possible.

  • How does the elective portfolio fit into the programme structure?

    Electives offer you the opportunity to focus on areas of special interest and deepen existing knowledge. In the last two terms, you choose electives from the diverse portfolios of all three schools. See the Elective portfolio page for more details.

  • Where do I take my electives?

    You can choose from the elective portfolio of any of the three schools. An elective option offered by a given school is taught at that school by that school's faculty. Please see the Elective portfolio page for more information.

    International seminars and assignments take place in various markets worldwide and are designed to enhance your global perspective in a key international business location. Please see the International seminars and assignments page for details of the range of locations.

  • How much time do I need to allocate to each elective?

    Time spent in preparation outside of class will vary according to the course chosen and your background in the subject matter. On average, however, you can expect to spend approximately 1-2 hours in preparation outside of class for each course undertaken.

  • What format are the electives offered in?

    Each school offers electives in a variety of formats. These are outlined on the Electives page.

  • What else does the curriculum include?

    The programme also includes professional development workshops that provide you with the information and skills necessary to develop your personal career strategy.

  • How much time will I need to spend studying outside the classroom?

    The time spent studying outside the classroom varies from student to student. However, most students estimate they spend around 15 hours studying each week in addition to time spent in class. You get more out of the programme the more you put in, so the more time committed outside classroom hours leads to greater gains in learning and assessment.

  • How is continuity in teaching maintained between the schools and between modules?

    Faculty plan the integration of their teaching. When faculty and students are away from campus between sessions, they communicate via a web-based courseware system. 

  • How is the programme assessed?

    Each course on the EMBA-Global Asia programme is assessed using a variety of tools, which may include individual projects/essays/reports, examinations, class participation, group assignments/reports and/or class presentations.

    In order to successfully complete the degree, you must complete 14 core and 8 elective options. Please see the teaching and assessment page for more details.

  • Will I be able to interact with students on other programmes?

    Electives are a key opportunity to broaden your network as they are open to the masters degree students of each of the three partner schools.

  • Where do I stay when I'm attending classes?

    You will be provided with accommodation when you are studying in London, Hong Kong or New York during the core teaching blocks in the first three terms, and during the international seminar or assignment. You will stay together during the teaching blocks to facilitate group discussions.

    While in London, you will stay at the Radisson SAS Portman Hotel - within walking distance of London Business School. While in Hong Kong, you will stay at the Le Meridien Cyberport hotel, adjacent to the Cyberport campus. While in New York, you will be accommodated at a midtown hotel, currently The Renaissance New York Times Square Hotel.

    You are required to arrange your own accommodation during elective blocks in the last two terms.

Employer support

  • What does sponsorship involve?

    Sponsorship is essentially support from your employer to complete the programme.

    There are two types of sponsorship. The first is required by all students: consent from your employer to take time away from the office and your work responsibilities to participate in the programme. You must provide a letter from your employer explicitly giving this permission. See the how to apply page for details on this. If you are self-employed, you must submit a letter stating that you understand the time commitment needed away from the office to successfully complete the programme.

    You may also be financially sponsored by your employer, either fully or partially. If you are financially sponsored to any extent, you must submit complete information on the terms of that support. See the how to apply page for details.

  • How many days will I need to take out of the office to undertake the programme?

    In the first three terms, you are required to attend 11 blocks of four or five days for the core courses. These comprise a total of 55 class days, 43 days of which are week days. Please note that this does not include days needed for travel to attend the programme.

    In the last two terms, you are required to attend eight elective blocks of four to five days. Your schedule will vary depending upon electives you choose and in which format these courses are offered. See the elective portfolio page for more details.

  • Do I need to be financially sponsored by my employer to undertake the programme?

    You must be sponsored by you organisation in terms of time, but you are not required to secure financial support. However, many organisations recognise sponsorship as an important investment in their human capital, and so many EMBA-Global students are also financially sponsored. 

  • How can I convince my employer to support me through EMBA-Global Asia?

    EMBA-Global Asia provides immediate payback. You will be able to instantly apply the theory learned in the classroom to your job. An organisation can use sponsorship as a way to recognise and reward exceptional performance and to announce that candidates are being targeted for advancement. By presenting sponsorship as a reward, a firm can enhance loyalty among its best and brightest employees. Companies can also become associated (through the student) with the schools offering the programme and benefit from the networks and events they offer. For more information on how to create a business case for company scholarship click here

Admissions requirements

  • What level of work experience do I need to have?

    You need to be able to demonstrate experience in the management of projects, budgets, processes or people over a sustained period, which should include some international experience or exposure. Students typically have between 5 and 14 years full-time work experience.

  • Does my work experience need to be as a manager?

    Generally, EMBA-Global Asia students will have managerial experience in at least one of four areas - people management, project management, process management or budget management. Not everyone leads large teams of people, but they usually manage in one of these key areas. You are required to be in this kind of role so that you can directly apply your classroom learning to your job. This is one of the key benefits of the programme.

  • Do I need to have an undergraduate degree?

    You are required to have an undergraduate degree granted by a recognised university.

  • Is GMAT essential?

    The Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) is one of the many criteria we use when assessing an applicant's suitability, since it provides useful information about quantitative and verbal reasoning abilities. It also gives us a useful benchmark to judge applicants across degree subjects, academic institutions and nationalities. GMAC Executive Assessment is an alternative option.

    All applicants are required to sit the GMAT or GMAC Executive Assessment. To find out more and register to take the test, please visit: www.mba.com/mba/TaketheGMAT or www.gmac.com/executive-assessment


  • What GMAT/ GMAC Executive Assessment score do I need?

    We do not set a minimum required GMAT or GMAC Executive Assessment score. GMAT or GMAC Executive Assessment score is a required admissions criterion, but not the only thing we consider when assessing a candidate. A high score does not guarantee admission and, equally, a below-average score does not automatically discount your candidacy.

  • Do I need to take TOEFL/IELTS/PTE?

    All applicants whose native language is not English are encouraged to take either the TOEFL, IELTS or PTE, unless they have received a degree from an institution where English was the language of instruction or have lived and worked in an English-speaking environment for a minimum of one year.

  • Can I transfer between programmes or to/from a programme at another institution?

    The School does not have any arrangements for students to transfer between its programmes or to/from a programme at another institution.

Application process

  • When should I apply? / When is the application deadline?

    We operate a rolling admission process so you do not need to wait for a deadline date to submit your application.  A HKU EMBA scholarship will be based on merit and take into consideration applicants who will add diversity and make a significant contribution to the class and to the EMBA-Global Asia community.  The sooner you apply, the sooner we can schedule your interview and the closer you will be to securing your place on the programme. Please see the admissions page for more information or contact The University of Hong Kong admissions team.

  • How much is the application fee?

    The application processing fee is US$250. Cheques should be made payable to The University of Hong Kong.

  • Who should my references be from?

    One of your letters of recommendation (reference) should be from your immediate supervisor; the other letter may come from anyone who can speak directly about your managerial ability and professional promise and/or academic capabilities.

    You have two options for providing your letters of recommendation. If your referees have web access and an email address, they may provide their recommendations electronically through the online application site. Alternatively, you may download the online recommendation form and have your recommenders send in their completed forms to The University of Hong Kong admissions team.

  • What are the requirements for academic transcripts?

    You are required to submit the academic transcripts from your undergraduate or graduate educational institutions. If the original transcripts are not in English, please also provide The University of Hong kong admissions team with certified translated copies.

  • What do I need from my employer?

    A signed letter of support on your organisation's letterhead stating your sponsorship agreement with your organisation must be submitted with your application. This may come from your department head, president, CEO or head of human resources. You may be self-sponsored financially; however, we still require a letter of support from your employer indicating their support in terms of time.

    If you are self-employed, you must submit a letter stating that you understand the time commitment needed away from the office to successfully complete the programme.

  • How should I submit my application?

    Applications for EMBA-Global Asia are completed online. Please see the how to apply page for details.
  • What happens once I have submitted my application?

    Once you have submitted your complete online application and provided supporting documentation, it will be processed by The University of Hong Kong. An Admissions Committee comprising representatives from each of the three schools will evaluate the application. See the how to apply page for more details.

    If you successfully pass this evaluation, you will be invited to attend a personal interview to explore your fit with, and contribution to, the programme.

    Your interview will take place at the school closest to your primary location (i.e. London Business School if you are based in Europe, the Middle East or Africa, The University of Hong Kong if you are in the Asia-Pacific region and Columbia Business School if you are in the Americas).

    Following your interview, the Admissions Committees of the three schools will make a joint admissions decision.

  • What happens if my application is not successful?

    If your application is not successful, please review the admissions criteria against your application and ensure that your experience and objectives are strongly aligned with the admissions criteria. Remember that competition for places is high and consequently we are not able to offer places to a number of entirely suitable candidates. We aim to treat all applications fairly and equally, in accordance with our published application policies and procedures. In a small number of cases we actively encourage applicants to improve their application and reapply (for example, with a higher GMAT score or enhanced work experience). In the great majority of cases we do not give individual detailed feedback however, as the decision is the result of the high degree of competition, not because of any specific weakness in the application.

Fees and financing

  • What are the tuition fees for the programme?

    Please see the fees page for more details.

  • What do the fees include?

    The fees include all tuition, course materials (including most textbooks and teaching cases), accommodation and meals for all teaching blocks through the first three terms, and accommodation and most meals on the required international seminar or assignment. Please see the fees page for more details.

  • When do the fees need to be paid?

    You and your sponsoring organisation (if appropriate) will be billed in two instalments. For self-sponsored or partially company sponsored, you will be billed in four instalments.

  • What other costs should I budget for?

    Travel expenses to the class locations; any optional international seminars or assignments; accommodation and meals for the elective blocks.

  • Are there any scholarships or loans available?

    Many students find other sources of financing to supplement any support they receive from their employers. A HKU EMBA scholarship will be based on merit and take into consideration applicants who will add diversity and make a significant contribution to the class and to the EMBA-Global Asia community.  See the Fees page for more details and assistance.

  • Are there other recommended sources of funding?

    Many students access government-subsidised student loans, home equity loans, or other types of personal loans. See the fees page for more details and assistance.

Finding out more

  • I have read the information on the website. How do I find out more about the programme?

    If you are a high-potential, globally-focused executive or manager and would like to find out more about this exciting programme, please contact us