The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) announced on 6 October 2016 the launch of the Bachelor of Business Administration (Integrated BBA Programme) and Juris Doctor ("BBA-JD") Double Degree Programme. This new five-year BBA-JD programme jointly offered by CUHK Business School and CUHK Faculty of Law is the first of its kind in Asia. The first intake with up to 40 students will be admitted in 2017-18.
The new BBA-JD programme brings to Asia, for the first time, an articulated undergraduate/postgraduate double degree combining business and law. It is designed for students seeking cross-disciplinary knowledge with parallel concentration on legal and business studies. Leveraging the synergy between legal and business training, graduates will be well-equipped to assume leadership roles in business and various sectors including the government, community service, law enforcement, education and media. Graduates intending to enter the legal profession may apply for the Postgraduate Certificate in Laws (PCLL) programme offered by CUHK or other local universities.
The BBA-JD programme blends two strategic disciplines into a single programme and students will obtain two degrees in five years – a BBA degree awarded by CUHK Business School and a JD degree awarded by CUHK Faculty of Law, as opposed to the usual six years required for a BBA (four years) degree and a JD degree (two years). During the first three years, students are required to complete most of the Integrated BBA programme curriculum and six undergraduate law courses (LLB). In the fourth year, students will take both business and JD courses and will mainly focus on JD courses in the fifth year. The programme also provides the flexibility for students who wish to complete their study in four years with a BBA degree and a minor in Law, according to their interests, strengths and needs.
In sharing the mission of this double degree programme, Prof. Kalok Chan, Wei Lun Professor of Finance and Dean of CUHK Business School at CUHK said, "It's wonderful to offer a global business programme that can provide guidance on how to navigate the complexities of the legal framework. CUHK Business School is committed to the partnership with the CUHK Faculty of Law to prepare students to go beyond a single traditional discipline and acquire an unparalleled and interdisciplinary learning experience."
Prof. Christopher Gane, Simon F.S. Li Professor of Law and Dean of Faculty of Law at CUHK said, "The Faculty of Law at CUHK recognises the importance of offering students from other disciplines the opportunity to study law in a graduate programme as an alternative to the existing undergraduate LLB programme. Our JD programme has been very popular among business graduates, and that prompted the two Faculties to develop this new study option, which we believe will greatly widen the graduates’ career opportunities in both the business and the law sectors. Business studies provide an excellent foundation for entrants to the legal professions – for whom an understanding of business is essential, and the legal qualification offered by the JD widens the opportunities available to business studies students."
In today's global and complicated business environment, interdisciplinary knowledge and skills has become one of the core competencies for business professionals. The synergy of combining legal and business training is, in fact, widely appreciated by the industry and many young professionals. "The timing is right for such initiative", said Ms. Angel Ng, Country Business Manager, Hong Kong, Citibank Global Consumer Banking. "In the wake of global financial reforms, compliance has become one of the fastest-growing professions in highly-regulated fields including financial services. As new laws such as anti-fraud regulations and the revised Code of Banking Practice emerge, compliance expertise and skills are in great demand to support the planning and implementation of enhancements and control measures that serve our strategic objectives while adhering to the highest ethical and regulatory standards. At the same time, the rise of digital calls for a more agile and adaptive approach to regulatory policies that is in line with the rapidly-changing operating environment."
Mr. Henry Leung, Head of Legal Department in The Kowloon Motor Bus Company (1933) Limited said, "Increasingly companies today need people who have exceptional understanding of both business and legal issues. This new programme is a step forward to equip young executives with the capacity to address complex challenges such as operations management, design of corporate policies and contracts with the necessary navigation of the regulatory frameworks a business operates within."
In the press conference, Mr. John Lee and Ms. Tina Wong, who both obtained a BBA degree and a JD degree from CUHK, shared their views about the new BBA-JD programme and the benefits of JD training to their career. Mr. John Lee, Senior Risk Supervisor of Linklaters said, "I was one of the founding students of the CUHK JD programme. My decision to pursue law largely came down to appreciating the important and complementary relationship between law and business, an area of interest of mine since my undergraduate business studies at the CUHK. I started my full-time career in the banking while studying the JD part-time. The experience of being able to bring my work knowledge into the classroom (and vice versa) was rewarding and thought-provoking; certainly it helped bring to life the practical applications of different legal rules and principles. In my current roles as an in-house senior risk / compliance advisor at the international law firm, I am still reaping the fruits of the knowledge and skills from my business and legal studies at the CUHK."
With her PCLL qualification awarded by CUHK as well, Ms. Tina Wong, a Trainee Solicitor at Jones Day, a multinational legal institution, said, "I always wanted to do both business and law because the two do go hand in hand. This may sound like a cliché but it is true. Business is not just about numbers, but also about how one's interest can be protected to the largest extent by agreeing good legal terms. During our undergraduate studies in business, we learned how to market products to boost sales and use financial models to give insight into business structures and to evaluate key performance drivers. Often, though, we neglected the underlying legal issues, such as how to avoid potential claims from other parties, what to do to prevent others from stealing ideas, etc. This is where law comes in. I also think law helps provide a more complete picture of how to run a business and how to uphold a company's best interests, whether commercial or legal, without affecting business progress."
The catalogue no. of BBA-JD in the Joint University Programmes Admissions System (JUPAS) is JS4264. For further details, please email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo caption: (From left to right) Dr. Anthony Law, Co-director of BBA-JD Programme, CUHK Business School; Dr. Andy Wong, Assistant Dean (Undergraduate Studies) and Co-director of IBBA Programme, CUHK Business School; Prof. Steven Brian Gallagher, Associate Professor of Practice in Law and Associate Dean (Teaching and Learning), CUHK Faculty of Law; Ms. Angel Ng, Country Business Manager, Hong Kong, Citibank Global Consumer Banking; Prof. Christopher Gane, Simon F. S. Li Professor of Law and Dean of CUHK Faculty of Law; Prof. Kalok Chan, Wei Lun Professor of Finance and Dean of CUHK Business School; Ms. Tina Wong, Trainee Solicitor at Jones Day; Mr. John Lee, Senior Risk Supervisor at Linklaters