UChicago to open Global Center in Hong Kong, House MBA Studies

A $30 million grant from Hong Kong Jockey Club supports hub for Chicago Booth Executive MBA, scholarship, social sector programming

A $30 million (HK$234million) grant from the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust will support the construction of the University of Chicago’s global center in Hong Kong, creating a hub for scholarship and research in Asia and new programming to strengthen Hong Kong’s social sector. It will host the University of Chicago Booth School of Business Executive MBA Program Asia and the Programme on Social Innovation. Watch video >

An aerial view of the University of Chicago Francis and Rose Yuen Center

The donation will be made in the form of a “Social Impact Grant,” which is a committed 15-year collaboration between the University and the Trust, to create long-term social impact and to strengthen capacity building of the local NGO sector. The funding will cover the cost of heritage conservation and revitalization and the creation of The Hong Kong Jockey Club Programme on Social Innovation.

The facility will be known as the University of Chicago Francis and Rose Yuen Center in Hong Kong in honor of University Trustee Francis Tin Fan Yuen, AB’75, and his wife, Rose Wai Man Lee Yuen, for their support of its construction, their dedication to the University’s global engagement, and their commitment to Hong Kong.

The new Center, located on Mt. Davis, is scheduled to open in 2018. In addition to housing Chicago Booth, the center will provide space and support for University study abroad programs, and facilitate academic exchanges with regional partner institutions. The business school programs will be based at the Hong Kong Jockey Club Chicago Booth Academic Complex. 

“The Yuen Center will be a home for education and research in the context of collaboration and engagement in Hong Kong, China, and Asia, building upon the University’s rich history of scholarship in the region,” President Robert J. Zimmer said. “The generosity of The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust and Francis and Rose Yuen will allow for new opportunities for the University’s faculty and students and the contributions they can make through new education and research partnerships and programs in Hong Kong and China more generally.”

NEW PARTNERSHIP FOR SOCIAL INNOVATION

The Hong Kong Jockey Club Programme on Social Innovation, funded by the Trust, will be operated by Chicago Booth’s Social Enterprise Initiative (SEI). The Programme will offer a range of opportunities to enhance the social impact sector in Hong Kong and engage Booth students and alumni in Hong Kong and Asia.

Each year, the Programme will award two full-tuition scholarships to Chicago Booth’s Executive MBA Program Asia and eight scholarships for non-degree Executive Education courses to qualified applicants from Hong Kong’s social impact sector. In addition, the Programme will host a variety of events and educational opportunities each year for social impact sector professionals, business members, and members of the local Hong Kong community.

“The Center will provide Chicago Booth with an important platform for deeper involvement in Asia,” said Douglas J. Skinner, Interim Dean of Chicago Booth and Eric J. Gleacher Distinguished Service Professor of Accounting. “Not only will it serve as a base for existing programs in the region, most notably our Executive MBA, but it will allow our faculty and students to engage more fully in a part of the world that is increasingly important to the global economy. We are excited about the important role our social programs will play in Hong Kong.”

The Programme will establish a social entrepreneurship and innovation platform to support collaboration in Hong Kong among local businesses, universities, and the social impact sector. Its aims include improving the capacity of non-governmental organizations through educational opportunities, and connecting community members with meaningful opportunities to give back.

“As Hong Kong’s largest community benefactor, the Club has been a strong supporter of education for many years. The Club’s Charities Trust has in the past decade alone donated over HK$4.1 billion in this area,” Mr. Anthony W K Chow, Deputy Chairman of The Hong Kong Jockey Club said. “This includes many projects in the tertiary sector, and most recently collaborations with such internationally recognized institutions as Oxford and Harvard Universities and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.”

HERITAGE REVITALIZATION

The Center is designed by internationally renowned Bing Thom Architects. Construction started in late June this year. The hillside site was originally part of the Jubilee Battery in the late 1930s to 1940s, then a British Army Royal Engineers’ Mess and Quarters in the 1950s, and later a detention center.

The design of the complex includes adaptive reuse of key heritage buildings and the creation of an interpretation center as part of The Hong Kong Jockey Club Heritage Preservation Project. The Hong Kong Jockey Club The University of Chicago Heritage Courtyard and Interpretation Center will provide tours and exhibitions highlighting the history of the site. Public hiking trails are also part of the campus.

The decision of Francis and Rose Yuen to support the Center recognizes the commitment of the University to research, academic and entrepreneurship programs, public access to ideas and innovations, and a history of collaboration with higher education institutions across the globe. Yuen, who has been a trustee since 1999, is the Deputy Chairman of Pacific Century Regional Developments Ltd. Rose Yuen is Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive of Hang Seng Bank Limited.

"The University of Chicago thrives on ideas," Francis Yuen said. "Rose and I are excited by the prospect of turning this former detention center into a tree house of ideas with a history and a story to tell."

About the University of Chicago

The University of Chicago is a leading academic and research institution that has driven new ways of thinking since its founding in 1890. As an intellectual destination, the University draws scholars and students from around the world to its home in Hyde Park and campuses around the globe. The University provides a distinctive educational experience, empowering individuals to challenge conventional thinking and pursue research that produces new understanding and breakthroughs with global impact.

89 Nobel Prizes have been awarded to University of Chicago faculty members, students, or researchers at some point in their careers, including 28 Nobel Prizes in the Economic Sciences. There are five current faculty members who have received a Nobel Prize, including James Heckman who has worked extensively in Asia. The first Chinese Nobel prize winners Chen-Ning Yang and Tsung-Dao Lee are University of Chicago alumni.

Hong Kong is the first University global center to house a Chicago Booth Executive MBA program. The Center in Hong Kong is an important addition to the University’s international presence.

About the University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Founded in 1898, the University of Chicago Booth School of Business is the second-oldest business school and the first and only school with permanent campuses in North America, Asia and Europe. With a faculty of more than 200, Chicago Booth consistently ranks among the top business schools in the world. Booth has more than 3,000 MBA, executive MBA and doctoral students and a powerful network of 50,000 accomplished alumni. The school’s Executive MBA Programs in Chicago, London and Hong Kong are all taught by Booth faculty who fly to the school’s campuses in Hong Kong and London from Chicago. This distinctive “Pure Chicago” approach is unique to Booth. The school’s faculty teach the same courses and implement the same approach in all of Booth's MBA programs, guaranteeing students the same exceptional education. The Chicago Approach to management education is also distinguished by how it leverages fundamental knowledge, its rigor and its practical application to business challenges.

About the Chicago Booth Social Enterprise Initiative

The Social Enterprise Initiative (SEI) at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business educates leaders committed to working on the world’s biggest problems and strives to influence practice with research that helps sector professionals create lasting impact. Through ongoing curricular development, alumni and student programming and research and support of faculty pursuits, SEI builds on Chicago Booth's commitment to rigorous analysis and its discipline-based approach to understanding organizations, markets, and policy.

About The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust

Founded in 1884, The Hong Kong Jockey Club (“HKJC”) is a world-class horse racing operator and Hong Kong’s largest community benefactor, as well as one of Asia’s most prestigious membership clubs. Operating as a not-for-profit organization, the HKJC allocates its surplus for charitable and community projects through its Charities Trust.

Working with government, non-governmental organizations and community partners, the Trust is committed to improving the quality of life of the people of Hong Kong, and providing immediate relief to those most in need. A philanthropic organization in its own right, the Trust also proactively identifies and initiates projects that anticipate future community and social needs

About Francis Tin Fan Yuen

Francis Tin Fan Yuen is currently the Independent Non-Executive Deputy Chairman of Pacific Century Regional Developments Limited, a company listed in Singapore; an Independent Non-Executive Director of China Foods Limited and Shanghai Industrial Holdings Limited, both listed in Hong Kong; an Independent Non-Executive Director of Agricultural Bank of China Limited, a company listed in Shanghai and Hong Kong; and an Independent Non-Executive Director of China Chengxin International Credit Rating Co., Ltd.

He was Chief Executive of The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited from 1988 to 1991. He was formerly Deputy Chairman (executive) of the Pacific Century Group, Deputy Chairman (executive) of PCCW Limited and Executive Chairman of Pacific Century Insurance Holdings Limited.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of Chicago and is currently a member of Board of Trustees of the university.

About Rose Wai Man Lee Yuen

Rose Wai Man Lee Yuen is Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive of Hang Seng Bank and Chairman of Hang Seng Bank (China), Hang Seng Life and Hang Seng Insurance Company. She is Chairman of the Hang Seng Index Advisory Committee of Hang Seng Indexes and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Ho Leung Ho Lee Foundation. She is also a Director of The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation and an independent non-executive Director of Swire Pacific and CK Hutchison Holdings.

She joined the HSBC Group in 1977 and held various senior positions. She was appointed Chief Executive of Hang Seng Bank in 2012 and Group General Manager of the HSBC Group in 2013.