Peking University’s HSBC Business School has acquired a property in Oxford, England that it will use to launch an overseas campus. When the campus opens in summer of 2018, the business school will become the first in China to launch a campus abroad.
Peking University’s HSBC Business School, or PHBS for short, was founded in 2004 and named in honor of a 2008 donation from banking company HSBC. The school has an international bent, with classes taught in English.
According to the school, programs at the new UK campus will “focus on professional knowledge of China’s economy, financial market and corporate management.” Students will spend a year at the Oxford campus and a year at PHBS’s main campus in Shenzhen.
The Oxford campus will also be home to a number of shorter programs that business leaders can use to “learn and update their knowledge of China’s economic development and policies.”
Peking University’s president, Lin Jianhua, said he hoped the new PHBS campus would “further strengthen the school’s international reputation as well as its teaching and research capabilities.”
The expansion comes as part of a major push to improve the international profile of China’s universities. Peking University is currently 29th in Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings.
PHBS’s new campus was acquired from Open University for £8.8 million, or about $11 million. Several other schools, including a college at Oxford University, were bidding for the site, which contains several medieval buildings.
But according to Hai Wen, PHBS’s dean, PHBS decided to “offer a very tempting price leaving Britain’s Open University with little room to say ‘no.'”
Part of the reason PHBS was keen on offering the highest bid, he said, was that the new campus marks a major milestone for the business school. He said the expansion was of “great importance to PHBS’ further internationalization” and would “facilitate academic exchanges among China, UK and Europe.”
PHBS expects that the majority of students at the Oxford campus will be international students from Europe. However, a portion of PHBS’s Chinese students will also use the campus as an opportunity to study overseas.
PHBS said students who split two years of study between Oxford and Shenzhen would “gain international values and experiences which is a significant plus for business practitioners and international students.”
The Oxford campus will also provide another location for those enrolling in PHBS’s shorter executive programs.
PHBS will open its first courses at the Oxford campus in spring of 2018, with its full array of programs launching in summer. For more information, see the school’s announcement.