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Global attractions

Kalpana Pathak & M Saraswathy  |  Mumbai 

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International universities and global B-schools are finding their ways to India, while over a dozen international institutions have visited India to explore tie-ups in the past one year, and few more are yet to pay to visit

Even as The Foreign Education Providers (Regulation) Bill has been gathering dust for almost two years, international universities and international B-schools are finding their ways to India.

In the past one year, over a dozen international institutions have visited India to explore tie-ups, set up research centres and test the executive education waters. The coming few weeks will see more universities and institutions that are slated to visit the country.

In fact, international universities are looking beyond than just training employees of conventional industries in India. They are increasingly focusing on sunrise sectors such as healthcare, pharma and higher education. In addition to cashing in on Indian companies’ growing need for executive education, universities are now looking at research. These universities say they are looking for opportunities to work closely with Indian firms in addition to attracting Indian students to their shores.

Mike Green, head of school (chemistry) at Newcastle University, says: “The Indian pharmaceutical sector is growing at a fast pace. For this, you also need the right talent to meet the demand. India has the capability to reduce reliance on imports in chemical industry. What is needed is the finance and time to build it.”

Green is of the view that at their university, an MSc (masters in science) degree in drug chemistry is one of the most popular courses among students. His department is also looking at a partnership with Indian organisations in the medicinal side of chemistry, especially cancer treatment and diagnosis.

Last month, the centre for executive education at the Indian School of Business has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the centre for executive education at the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) Karachi, Pakistan to offer world-class executive education programmes in Pakistan. IBA is the oldest business school outside North America, and it was established in 1987 by Wharton. This strategic alliance with IBA further fortifies ISB’s international footprint. According to a press handout from the 10-year-old B-school, ISB, Hyderabad: “The course offerings will include open programmes or short-duration programmes that are driven by research, custom-designed programmes or specialised courses devised to cater to specific needs of a particular organisation, workshops and seminars. The proposed programmes would focus on family business, entrepreneurship, business leadership, strategy and related domains. This would later be expanded to include programmes on Public Private Partnership.”

While ISB will focus on the design and delivery of the programmes, IBA will be responsible for their marketing and promotion. The programmes will be conducted by ISB’s faculty. The first programme is slated to commence in June this year.

Newcastle University in association with the department of civil engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, collaborated for work on water and environmental engineering groups. This is being extended to geotechnical and structural engineering with key industrial partners such as Coal India. At the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn), the focus is not only on getting more Indian students on campus but also on working with India in areas such as higher education, food security and healthcare.

Ezekiel J Emanuel, vice-provost for Global Initiatives and University Professor at Penn, says: “We are working with the Apollo Hospitals in the area of liver transplant. We are talking to various Indian organisations and institutions. Apart from such mutually beneficial collaborations, we are looking forward to attract Indian students to our courses.”

Of UPenn’s 2,500 students, 15 per cent are Asian students of which Indian students form the largest number. Though UPenn wants more students from India, it does not have a set target. The alumni network is helping the institute in this endeavour. Apart from collaborations on how to provide food security, UPenn will also assist individuals who want to set up liberal arts colleges across India.

UPenn is also looking to contribute through its research in the area of food security. “India was a natural fit, given our long history of engagement. The Centre for the Advanced Study of India at UPenn has done a lot of work in the areas of Indian politics and the states. Our focus is to address the global problems and learn from them,” adds Emanuel.

Duke University’s Duke Medicine, Duke Global Health Institute, Nicholas School of the Environment, and Sanford School of Public Policy are engaged in various research or teaching partnerships with Indian organisations as diverse as the state of Uttar Pradesh, National Institute of Ocean Technology, Jubilant Organosys and Medicity.

On the front, while Harvard Business School already has its India Research Centre, Wharton is exploring options in India. US-based Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business is here with Duke Corporate Education (Duke CE) which delivers custom corporate education programmes to Indian executives in association with the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.

B-schools of three Canadian Universities — Richard Ivey School of Business at University of Western Ontario, Rotman School of at University of Toronto and Schulich School of Business at York University — have already identified India as one of their most important markets. Ivey has 10 per cent Indian students in its MBA programme, and it is planning to increase this number. Scholarships (50 per cent, for Indian students given by an Indian-origin Canadian businessman) and alumni network are being used to attract students. The institute has already developed executive programme for GAIL, and is now ready to partner with a leading telecom player for the same.

Schulich has tied-up with GMR (one of the fastest growing infrastructure enterprises in the country with interests in airports, energy, highways and urban infrastructure sectors) to set up a joint campus in Hyderabad, while Rotman is currently spreading the word about its institute in India through the alumni network. Sheldon Dookeran, assistant director, MBA recruitment and admissions, Rotman School of Management, informs that India is its largest market with about 57 students in a batch of 256. It will be increasing the batch size to 330 for the class of 2014, and expects the number of Indian students to go up. Rotman is also involved in setting up events for its Indian alumni in the country, where former students and prospective students interact to understand more about the school.

First Published: Sat, June 02 2012. 02:20 IST
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