After 17 days of packed program, the final day has arrived. We met a little before 9a.m. to head out for the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Before the class caught the train to the campus, Professor Rüttimann informed us about the importance and challenge at the same time to build partnerships with other universities all over the globe. Especially in a more and more international perspective of studying, keeping up a good reputation by seeking contact to other institutions of knowledge is crucial. It is a long way down the road to establish these kinds of connections but on a long term perspective a rewarding effort for the school, as well for the students.
With direct access to the subway, the university was connected to the probably most important means of transportation in this city. Students could directly walk up to the campus by crossing an over path. Not far away was the coast line of Hong Kongs harbor. Warmly welcomed by Dr Alison Lloyd, Associate Dean of the Hong Kong Polytechnical University, the class got to know the most important facts about the University and the value of Hong Kong as a city for education. Over 50 percent of the world´s population is reachable within four hours from Hong Kong by plane making it the hub to mankind. Furthermore, she informed us about a recently published survey by The Economist. It named HK the third best place in the world to study.
After Dr. Lloyd´s brief introduction about the university, two Master programs were introduced by the directors. Dr Haitian Lu presented the MSc in China Business Studies, followed by a brief presentation of Dr Allen Ng, introducing the university´s Master of Finance. It gave the group an insight to the content, as well as the demands and requirements of the courses. After a short Q&A-session and handing over once more the Swiss presents as a sign of appreciation, the class was led to the lounge for a group-photo with Hong Kong´s skyline and the school´s owned Hotel ICON, which we were about to visit as well.
The university´s activities turned out to be even more varying than most participants may have expected. A brief visit to the House of Innovation gave an insight to the most important works for society from the universities. The presentation of different innovations, from medical supply to special therapeutic clothing, confirmed yet another, by the heads of the departments the aforementioned focus of the university: staying close to reality. It is important to keep track of theoretically oriented methods, but in the end, it has to be applicable to the reality.
Hong Kong is very well known for its harbor. Therefore, a university such as the Hong Kong Polytechnic University is also interested in educating in this important and challenging topic. Therefore, The MSc in International Shipping and Transport Logistics was presented by Dr Venus Lun and Dr Xinyu Sun at the C. Y. Tung International Centre for Maritime Studies. Some of our students even got the opportunity to navigate a container ship through the harbor of Hong Kong on a simulator.
The tour was about to end with a tour at the Hotel ICON, which was used as a learning facility as well as a luxurious possibility for accommodation. We enjoyed a tour through the impressive and brightly constructed lobby, where there is the biggest vertical garden in Asia and then had the chance to go up to one of the suites. After we had visited the Hotel, we all headed out for lunch in different directions.
After everyone had eaten, we moved to our next destination, Leonteq. Located in the ICC-building together with numerous other highly acknowledged companies as well as the Ritz-Carlton hotel, the view from the office was astonishing. We were greeted by a former student of Prof. Rüttimann, Mr. Simon Kühne, who is now working for the financial service provider. After a brief introduction about his person, we were joined by Mr. Sven Haefner, CEO Asia, who gave us an overview about what the company does. Afterwards, Mr. Kühne explained to us more precisely what kind of business handling and issuing structured financial products is. During the Q&A session we had the chance to ask important business questions and we found out what many before had already told us; In Asia, connections and customer proximity are crucial. Shortly after this, Mr. Haefner had to leave us as he was heading for Bangkok. This gave us a chance to exchange some thoughts with Mr. Kühne as he had only graduated two years ago from the ZHAW and then completed a master’s course in Shanghai.
After an interesting insight into a financial company that operates in Asia, we met at the lobby of the Ritz-carlton for a group picture. Sadly, this already concluded the last official activity of our trip. Prof. Rüttimann explained the last few steps of the trip, including the farewell dinner, henceforth we dispersed to get ready for the final activity.
At about 7 o’clock we started walking from our hotel, heading for a ferry that would take us to the other side of Hong Kong. Having withstood a five minute crossover we marched towards the ropeway to reach the peak of the island. Unfortunately, there was a line forming in front of the ropeway, therefore we decided to default on a one hour wait and took the taxi instead. At the summit, we went for a short walk on a rather small path that had a blocked view for some 500 meters. With hope almost lost for a good sightseeing spot, we stumbled upon one of the most beautiful sights one can have of Hong Kong at night.
After everybody had stretched out their camera’s limit with pictures, Professor Rüttimann gathered everybody to give his last official speech. Before thanking all of the students for their participation, he had us think about all the steps we went through over the past two and a half weeks. That gave us the chance to once again reflect on the awe that we had the opportunity to witness. After a great round of applause we turned around and headed for a restaurant to commemorate this trip with a “last meal”. Having concluded a lovely dinner that had a vast variety of cuisines for selection, we all headed down to the bottom of the hill and were eager to find a bar not only to celebrate the achievements and adventures had, but also to prepare for the upcoming birthday of Sarah Ehrensperger. Almost like a countdown to midnight we awaited her birthday in order to once again cheer and get together for a last drink as some of our friends were heading off already early in the morning.
This concludes our activities in China for this Year. We from the Org. Team as well as the whole class would once again like to extend our most sincere gratitude to Prof. Rüttimann that he has made this trip possible.