A meeting on higher education: (from left) Director of Public Affairs of the US Consulate General in Hong Kong Darragh Paradiso, AmCham President Richard Vuylsteke, Vice President of SCAD Hong Kong David Pugh, Secretary for Education Eddie Ng, Associate Dean of Executive MBA Program (Asia) of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business Richard Johnson, and Deputy Secretary for Education Brian Lo

The purpose of the delegation led by AmCham Chairman Walter Dias, Vice Chairman Steve Lackey and President Richard Vuylsteke is to promote international trade, share Hong Kong’s perspectives on regional and global political, economic and commercial trends, and gain a better understanding of the latest US views on Sino-US relations, global financial development and other trade-related topics

By Kenny Lau

Two US institutions of higher education, SCAD Foundation (Hong Kong) and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business (Hong Kong), have been approved by the Education Bureau to admit Mainland students to their designated locally accredited non-local degree programs, following years of advocacy highlighting Hong Kong’s unique and strategic position as an international education hub which provides students in the region with opportunities of high quality academic training.

The news was announced on July 4th, coinciding with the celebration of the US Independence Day this year.

It was a much welcomed arrangement which could serve as an impetus for the future development and competiveness of the institutions and Hong Kong. The Hong Kong campuses of SCAD and Chicago Booth School of Business may now start to recruit Mainland students for admission to their Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programs in Fine Arts and Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) program, respectively, starting from the 2016/17 academic year.

“Over the past few years, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government has been in liaison with the Ministry of Education [of Mainland China] for allowing locally accredited non-local degree programs in Hong Kong to admit Mainland students. We are grateful for the support of the Mainland authorities concerned in finalizing the arrangement,” says Secretary Ng, noting the broadening of their recruitment base is conducive to Hong Kong’s position as a regional education hub, while congratulating the two US schools, which are both subsidiaries of world-renowned institutions in Hong Kong.

SCAD, founded in 1978 to provide college degree programs in the US state of Georgia and to create a specialized professional art college for students domestically and internationally, established its campus in Hong Kong in September 2010 to provide degree programs in art and design, with a curriculum for the dual goals of excellent arts education and effective career preparation. Today, it has campuses in multiple locations as well as online distance education offerings.

The University of Chicago Booth School of Business opened its Hong Kong campus in August 2014, after a relocation of its Asia Executive MBA Program from Singapore to Hong Kong in a move to expand and strengthen the school’s presence and influence across the region while continuing a robust presence in Singapore. In addition to classes in the new location for corporate executives and organizational leaders, its programs such as research, entrepreneurship, remote teaching, custom executive training and alumni events, have been substantially expanded in Hong Kong.