Luxury ‘made in China’ may be synonymous with counterfeit Louis Vuitton handbags, but a French business school is turning the tables and offering an MSc in Luxury and Fashion Management at its campus in China.

Starting in September 2011, the Masters degree course from SKEMA Business School has been designed to help young managers understand the ins and outs of the Chinese luxury market.

Thirty students will follow the programme, which will be taught in English but also includes three hours a day of Chinese lessons. Students will visit local specialists in silk, ceramic and porcelain making and must complete a mandatory three-month internship at an Asian-based company.

“Today, China is the world’s third largest market in luxury goods with a growth rate of almost 30% in 2010,” says programme director Ivan Coste-Manière.

“Forty percent of the Asian population is less than 20 years old and Shanghai has become a central point of the luxury trade.

“By offering this programme in China we are opening up new opportunities in a burgeoning market and at the same time reinforcing the school’s international presence and reputation.”

Since opening in 2008, SKEMA’s China campus, located in the Suzhou Technology Park, has hosted 500 students from the school’s Grande Ecole and Master of Science programmes.

All students have followed a semester of intense Chinese lessons and courses on China’s socio-economic systems and how to do business in Asia.

The “Luxury and Fashion Management” programme will continue to be taught at SKEMA’s Sophia-Antipolis campus in the South of France.