Feature Stories

24.03.2020

B2M – From Local to Global Reach

The B2M network which consists of six worldwide business schools, helps students pursue a master’s degree at a respected institution overseas

To foster an international outlook amongst business students, the unique Bachelor-to-Master (B2M) network helps undergraduates pursue a master’s degree at a member institution overseas. The network provides individual support, a waiver of application fees, and advantages such as a guaranteed invitation to an admission interview. This makes it easier for undergraduate students to join a master’s program overseas.

The B2M network gives participating students the opportunity to experience different cultural and academic settings. The knowledge gained enables students to navigate an international environment when they graduate.

“An international outlook is a very important element of the education we provide, so we really want to encourage our students to take this opportunity,” says Chris TSANG, Head of School Development and MSc Program Director at the HKUST Business School. “If students are aiming to pursue a higher degree outside of Hong Kong, this will certainly be of use to them. It also brings more diversity to the MSc programs we offer.”

The program was founded on the idea that business students who graduate from multiple international institutions will be ready to navigate an international environment at the very start of their careers. This appeals to employers, as such students are more able to tackle critical challenges.

“More and more companies are looking for people who embrace or have developed global mobility,” says Tsang.

Prepare to work in different places

“Companies are increasingly looking for candidates who want to stay and work in different places. We want to prepare our students to better meet the challenges of mobility, as we predict this will become ever more important,” Tsang says.

Tsang notes that many mainland companies are looking to expand their business overseas, to Hong Kong, Singapore or Indonesia. Such companies need employees who possess the ability to navigate the international business scene, and who are willing to work abroad. The network equips students with the international outlook and experience to meet such needs.

The B2M network is an alliance of six business schools from around the world. The six founding members are the ESSEC Business School (France and Singapore), IE Business School (Spain), the HKUST Business School (Hong Kong, China), the Smith School of Business, Queen’s University at Kingston (Canada), the University of Mannheim Business School (Germany), and the Warwick Business School (the UK).

“We began with these schools because we have collaborated with them in the past. We all share the same goals of increased global mobility and international experience,” Tsang says.

The network hopes to grow by integrating new member institutions over time who share the same values and demonstrate a common commitment to high-quality management education.

Tsang stresses that the network benefits HKUST’s business programs as well as the students. “We want to tap into this international and talented group of students for the business school. It will create mutual benefits,” Tsang says.

The program is suitable for students who want to pursue an international career, or have an international component in their career plan. The selection process will very much reflect this, Tsang says.  

Build an international network

“This program is more of a privilege,” says Tsang. As such, selection criteria will include academic readiness. Students must be competitive academically, and have the potential to develop an international mindset.

“If students have not studied abroad, but show that they can embrace cultural diversity and cope with international exposure, they should apply. Students must be ready to learn from this program and contribute to the cultural developments,” Tsang adds.

One of the major benefits of the program is that it offers students an opportunity to widen the scope of their portfolio. 

Each year, 20 to 30 students will be chosen from each participating university and given a ‘passport’ which allows them to apply to programs from member universities if they qualify.

“The passport shows that these students have been carefully selected,” Tsang explains.

Applicants will have already been assessed by the time they apply to member programs, so their applications are essentially pre-selected. Schools will also provide individual advisory services to passport holders.

“The program provides an international experience for participants, and enables them to build an international network of contacts by tapping into an alumni network outside of Hong Kong,” Tsang says.

“We want to prepare our students to better meet the challenges of mobility, as we predict this will become ever more important.”

Chris Tsang, Head of School Development and MSc Program Director, HKUST Business School