New York University’s Stern School of Business (NYU Stern) is gearing up to expand its presence in various countries, including India.
Geeta Menon, dean of NYU Stern Undergraduate College, in an interview with M Saraswathy talks about the institution’s focus areas and strategies for this year. Edited excerpts:
How does the institute plan to expand its presence in India?
There are several aspects of India NYU Stern is interested in. There are opportunities for NYU Stern faculty members to carry out India-related research. For education beyond research, we have several programmes involving India.
At the undergraduate college, we have a programme called Stern around the world. Through this programme in India, students enroll for courses on social and economic development in India. Though the course is conducted in New York, the students visit India for a week in January. They attend classes in HR College and St Xavier’s College in Mumbai, meet officials from various companies and discuss case studies. Students have given positive reviews about this initiative.
Apart from this, full-time MBA (master of business administration) students come to India for the ‘Business in India’ programme. Executive education students also come to India during their course. So, there is a lot of traffic from NYU Stern to India.
Is NYU Stern planning to get more Indian students on board?
Students from HR College and St Xavier’s College, Mumbai, come to our institute for a short period in May. India is very important to us and we plan to gradually increase our presence here.
India is one of the top four leading providers of students to NYU Stern. One of every four students at the undergraduate college is international. Overall, we have about 2,400 students and 24 per cent of them are international ones. Every year, we get about 20 students from India.
Are scholarships for international students on the anvil?
This is one of my priorities and we are working on scholarships. We have faculty and students, a location advantage and a global network. We are less competitive, in terms of financial scholarships. Currently, we do not have international scholarships. But we plan to introduce these.
We are trying to find a way to procure funds and work out a mechanism to provide these. We don’t give financial aid to international students; it is important for us to start doing so. This is crucial, as most of the people at the senior levels of the institution are from different nations.
Has NYU Stern seen a shift in terms of students opting for entrepreneurship, as is the case with many institutions?
Most placements at the institution are in the finance segment. We have a new assistant dean, who feels entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship are important. Students are also interested. But our placements are very good. About 95 per cent of the students in graduating classes find jobs in the first six months.
Have you seen a fall in placements?
Statistics at the undergraduate level are a little different from the graduate level. In the previous year, it stood at about 98 per cent, while now, it is about 95 per cent. However, we do not see any trend here.
Do you plan to introduce online courses?
It is an important area for us and we have set up a committee to look into it. We want to go online. Some professors conduct all their lectures online.
Would you consider tie-ups with more colleges in India?
We have a traditional partnership with Loyola College in Chennai---a traditional partnership under Stern International Business Exchange Partnerships. With HR College and St Xavier’s College, it is a little different. Getting more partners may be a good thing, but we need to be more strategic with additional partners.
Considering the popularity of dual degrees, would NYU Stern introduce such programmes at the undergraduate level?
We are working on it at present. Though students might major in a course, taking minor courses from diverse fields is becoming popular. It is a blockbuster course. However, the number of years required to complete this course may be different.
NYU Stern has campuses across the globe. Do you plan to set up a branch office in India?
We would be interested in that. However, we need assistance from local alumni and individuals, in terms of finance, resources and infrastructure. While spreading our base in other nations, too, we worked with the locals.