PolyU SPEED Joins Ranks with Top Business Schools Worldwide By Becoming the Only Self-Financing Tertiary Education Institution in HK To Earn AACSB Accreditation
24 Nov 2022
The School of Professional Education and Executive Development of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU SPEED) proudly announces that its 14 full-time and 6 part-time business-related bachelor’s degree programmes have earned AACSB accreditation, making it the first and only self-financing tertiary education institution in Hong Kong to accomplish this feat. Founded in 1916 in the US, AACSB is the longest-serving global accrediting body for business schools. Less than 6% of all business schools worldwide are AACSB-accredited, and they are considered the best in the world. They include Harvard University, Yale University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Tsinghua University and Peking University. In Hong Kong, only eight institutions are AACSB-accredited – seven UGC-funded universities and PolyU SPEED. This accreditation is highly conducive to PolyU SPEED students’ career development and further studies. It also brings its teaching staff more opportunities for academic exchanges and future development.
“AACSB accreditation recognizes institutions that have demonstrated a focus on excellence in all areas, including teaching, research, curriculum development, and student learning,” said Stephanie M. Bryant, Executive Vice President and Chief Accreditation Officer of AACSB. “Today’s students are tomorrow’s business leaders, and the addition of The School of Professional Education and Executive Development (SPEED), The Hong Kong Polytechnic University to the network of AACSB-accredited business schools will have a lasting positive impact for their institution, both locally and globally.”
“We are excited by the AACSB accreditation,” said Prof Peter P. Yuen, Dean of the PolyU-affiliated College of Professional and Continuing Education. “Currently, PolyU SPEED is the only self-financing institution in Hong Kong to earn this accreditation. This is an affirmation of our mission and the quality of our business programmes.”
Collective Efforts by the PolyU SPEED Team
This AACSB accreditation is the fruit of six years’ collective efforts by the PolyU SPEED team composed of administrators, teaching staff and students. To meet the high standards required by AACSB, PolyU SPEED had to provide solid and objective information on a wide range of areas such as marketing, teaching and learning, admission, types of programmes offered, and on where its unique strengths lied when compared to other institutions. During the lengthy accreditation process, teaching staff often took to joining international conferences and workshops to expand their networking with top business schools worldwide and to keep themselves abreast of the latest trends and information in business education.
Due to COVID-19 in the past three years, the PolyU SPEED team had to put in extra efforts to make things work. For example, during the last phase of the AACSB review in 2022 when the fifth wave of the pandemic hit, the team had to resort to arranging hybrid-mode site visits to safeguard the health and safety of all parties. This made it possible for the overseas members of the AACSB peer review team to perform their “site visits” to PolyU SPEED online. During the process, the PolyU SPEED team not only showed the peer review team pre-recorded campus videos but actually took the latter through a live-streaming campus tour. Thanks to adequate preparation, the review was conducted smoothly and efficiently.
The Only Education Institution to Provide Both Full-time and Part-time Local Self-financing Articulation Degree Programmes
PolyU SPEED currently offers around 30 full-time articulation honours degree programmes, of which 10 are also offered in part-time mode. In fact, PolyU SPEED is the only local tertiary education institution which offers both full-time and part-time local self-financing articulation degree programmes in Hong Kong. In doing so, PolyU SPEED is able to fully cater for the further study needs of not only sub-degree graduates but also aspiring working adults. Upon graduation, students of PolyU-SPEED award programmes will earn a degree awarded by PolyU. Besides, new students admitted in 2023/24 may receive scholarships of up to HK$60,000.
1. Mason Chan： Facilitates Graduates’ Career Development
Chan Wang-chun, Mason, a year-2 student of BBA (Hons) in Accountancy, was interviewed by the peer review team of AACSB during the accreditation process, where he spoke from his own experience of how PolyU SPEED had facilitated his academic studies and career planning.
Mason praises PolyU SPEED for its well-qualified lecturers who have rich industry experience in various fields. For example, having thorough knowledge of the real-world workplace, lecturers can illustrate to students how major enterprises change their strategies to cope with issues triggered by the pandemic. The lecturers also stay close to students – by not only teaching them theoretical knowledge in the classroom but also offering them advice on studies and careers outside the classroom.
Arranging Internships for Students
PolyU SPEED is committed to providing students with ample internship opportunities, including openings in government departments and large corporations, so as to ensure that they can accumulate sufficient internship hours before graduation. Mason was given an internship opportunity at the Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency, where he learned a lot. For facilities and resources, students can also access the library and facilities on the PolyU main campus.
PolyU SPEED actively paves the way for students' career development, such as organising workshops to teach students how to highlight their strengths in their CVs to draw the attention of employers. Mason said that he believed the AACSB accreditation of PolyU SPEED would greatly enhance the recognition of its programmes and facilitate its graduates’ employment and further study.
2. Amy Choi: From Bowling Green to the Field of Marketing
Choi Ging-yi, Amy, a year-2 student of BA (Hons) in Marketing and Public Relations, was a member of Lawn Bowls’ Hong Kong team who won the Women's Doubles Tournament in the “Hong Kong International Bowls Classic” in 2015. After retiring from the team, she joined the Kai Tak Sports Park as a marketing and sales professional. Although her performance was well recognised by her supervisor, the lack of a degree became a bottleneck in her career development. As a result, she decided to enrol in PolyU SPEED.
Lecturers Help Her Mingle with Younger Classmates
Amy said that at first it was difficult for her to fit in at school because of age difference. Thus she was particularly grateful to the lecturers for their enthusiasm in helping her integrate into the classmates' circle, and in answering her questions about studies even after class. The lecturers not only have strong academic backgrounds, but also many years of practical experience in relevant fields.
Practical Teaching Contents to Enhance Students’ Work Ability
With her work experience in marketing, Amy found the programme contents highly practical. For example, in the past she did not know how to design a market research questionnaire to obtain information about customers' purchasing preferences for formulating marketing strategies. Her programme was very practical in that it was able to equip her with the theory and professional knowledge on how to design such a questionnaire to get the needed marketing information.
Besides, the way she was taught at PolyU SPEED ignited her passion for learning, transforming her from an associate degree student uninterested in studies to a top bachelor’s degree student with a GPA of over 3.5. She was selected to participate in the Executive Leadership Programme where industry elites joined hands to teach students workplace skills such as how to attend interviews and how to dress in the workplace.
Amy mentioned that most of her lawn bowls teammates had good grades, but she had low self-esteem at the time because her academic performance was not so good. However, after studying in PolyU SPEED, she realised that she could also get recognition and good grades through hard work. As a result, she has now become a more confident and cheerful person.
Both students' experiences testify to PolyU SPEED's mission in providing quality articulation degree programmes for aspiring individuals to facilitate their career and professional development. This is the key to earning the AACSB accreditation.