Trends, insights and research to inform growth and innovation strategies in international higher education.

November 23, 2009

Tim Gore, Director, CIB, The University of Greenwich

Tim Gore
Director of the Centre for Indian Business
The University of Greenwich

Tim Gore OBE is the founding Director of the Centre for Indian Business, the University of Greenwich. His role is to engage the University of Greenwich's intellectual capital with India and to create sustainable and mutually beneficial partnerships.

Tim has worked closely with educationalists, institutions, companies and governments to improve bilateral and multilateral educational links in Hong Kong, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, Jordan and India over a 23 year career. He has led the development of programmes on creativity for professionals with the Singapore Government (CREST); established e-learning and blended learning programmes for Hong Kong, Singapore and Dubai; led the establishment of the British University in Dubai; and helped Jordan establish an evaluation framework for its ICT led Jordan Education Initiative. His most recent role was Director, Education at the British Council in India where he was responsible for growing the knowledge partnership between India and UK. In addition, Tim led the establishment of the UK India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI).

Tim is pursuing a doctorate in business administration (DBAHEM) at the University of Bath focussing on higher education. His research concerns the positioning of universities as knowledge producers in a globalising world.

Rahul- What were the drivers of setting up of the Centre for Indian Business at the University of Greenwich? Please share some of the highlights of your work as the Director of the Centre.
Tim-The vision for the Centre for Indian Business came from two different perspectives. Firstly, the University of Greenwich has links with India go back to the 1950s and it now has the largest number of Indian students of any university in the UK. Secondly, the areas of strength that the University has chime very well with India. Greenwich has over 100 years of experience in providing relevant, skills-based, industry-facing training and applied research. As a large, publicly funded university, that serves a very diverse student body it faces many of the challenges that Indian institutions also do in enhancing employability and widening engagement.

Many of our areas of strength are extremely relevant to India’s current and future development – our business school; our work in the pharmaceutical industry; the expertise in adapting agriculture to changing climactic conditions or our complex simulations in computing or engineering. The University of Greenwich specialises in applying knowledge to real industry needs in a broad range of industries.

The Centre for Indian Business works in two directions. On the one hand it provides easy access to knowledge and understanding of the Indian business world and acts as a hub where people can network, discuss and access information. We also run two MBAs focussed on India. At the same time, the centre works closely with institutions, industry and its communities to forge strong and mutually beneficial knowledge links with Indian business and business education through the centre into UK.

My role as the founding director has been stimulating and diverse. In order to engage the university effectively with India I have to understand the strengths that Greenwich can bring to bear in the engagement. As an example, I have worked closely with the School of Science looking at how their expertise in drug formulation and expertise fits with the aspirations of the rapidly developing Indian pharmaceuticals and biotechnology sector. I then visited a number of these companies in India with the Science team and engaged in a fascinating series of discussions about harnessing our ability to recombine existing techniques of drug formulation and delivery to create novel solutions to problems in the industry such as vaccine delivery systems for different types of domestic animals.

The other side of the role is the need to be very ‘in-touch’ with India and this entails meeting people from across many sectors in India and being able to make connections with them. I keep in touch with contacts through regular events, engaging forums that we run; and attending key events. I also have an active LinkedIn site and I run a couple of specialist groups within the site. It is important to be visible and accessible and I keep a regular calendar of public events. Recently, I had the privilege of running a master class on higher education partnerships with Pawan Agrawal and Shobha Misra at the annual FICCI higher education summit in Delhi.

Rahul- One of your projects relate to mapping business research capacity and networks in India. Please share the project background and major outputs expected.
Tim- India is relatively under-published in relation to its scholarly capacity in both science and social sciences. Indian management research output tends to concentrate almost exclusively around the IITs and then the IIMs. The links to the US are strong but to other countries much less so. The Government of India are keen to increase research outputs and are establishing a new class of research-led university as well as new IITs and IIMs. A number of excellent business schools are developing in India outside of the traditional IIMs and IITs and the field of management education is developing rapidly. At the same time, an increasing number of leading business writers, such as CK Prahalad and Pankaj Ghemawat are of Indian origin and the leading institutes of management in India are of world class. There are few leading journals or academic publishers coming out of India at the moment but there are signs that this is changing too as Emerald releases its new Journal of Indian Business Research and other publishers such as Tata McGraw Hill set up in India.

The Business Research Capacity and Networks project is a partnership between the Centre for Indian Business, Emerald Group Publishing; IMT Ghaziabad and FICCI. Emerald are funding a research student who works out of IMT Ghaziabad and the Director of IMT, Dr Anwar Ali, chairs an impressive advisory committee. The research project aims to characterise published Indian management research and compare it with international norms and do a social analysis of the research environment to look at the factors involved in the development of Indian journals; the process of publishing and the motivations and constraints involved. It will also map the collaborative networks in the sector and how they relate inside and outside the country.

The study will identify, areas of strength, networks of researchers, leaders in their class and overseas linkages as well as the trends likely to emerge in the coming years. It would also review the publishing industry and identify current leading publications as well as where there is scope for future excellence. We expect this study to generate considerable interest in India and internationally.

Rahul- You have extensive experiences in UK-India relationships in the area of education. What are the top two trends you are witnessing in this area?
Tim- The main trend is the escalation in academic collaborations aimed at offering joint, dual or franchised degrees from UK universities in India. There is tremendous excitement in this area at the moment particularly in view of the promised introduction of new legislation to regularise these sort of partnerships. The UK has been in the vanguard of this type of activity for nearly a decade but the interest has increased enormously over the past year.

India has a robust and burgeoning middle tier of institutions nearly all of which are private. These tend to be very employment focussed and overall I think this feeds very effectively into the growth of the Indian economy. The current estimates of the gross engagement ratio for India is around 12.9% and the current government are hoping to lift this to 30% by 2020 – an increase of around 40 million students in the system. The capacity is growing very rapidly as both the private sector and public sector expand and I see signs that growth in capacity is actually outpacing growth in demand despite these ambitious targets for the GER (which after all are actually targets rather than real students). This situation will lead to a bit of a shake-out in the higher education sector where visible quality will become increasingly important to the survival of institutions. Good international links will undoubtedly play a major role in this brand differentiation.
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November 18, 2009

Global Research Centers in India

With the globalization and "flattening" of the Indian economy, more global universities want to be a part of the growth story and integrate it with their academic and research offerings. In addition, they may want to have a local presence to create stronger brand visibility for attracting high potential students and also to test the local market for possible expanded offerings in the future.

Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad was one of the early pioneers of collaborating with the world-class universities. Although, ISB's partnerships focused more on academic rather than research collaborations, it created a new expectations for global collaborations. Following ISB, Yale-Great Lakes Center for Management Research was established in 2005.

Most recently, Monash University from Australia has partnered with IIT-Bombay to setup a high profile research academy on the IIT Campus. This $10 million facility aims to undertake collaborative approach to multidisciplinary research to provide engineering solutions in areas including infrastructure, clean energy, water and nanotechnology. The Academy is also offering a joint PhD degree and has gaining lot of interest from students. Nearly 900 applications were received for 20-30 seats for the PhD program.

However, finding effective research collaborations in India is not easy for top-tier foreign universities and hence several other research collaborations have achieved limited success. This is primarily because Indian universities lack the research culture and enabling environment. Thus global universities which want to stay on the cutting of the research and do not wanting to dilute their brand, are going beyond research collaborations and establishing dedicated research centers in India.

Founded in 1997, the University of Pennsylvania's Institute for the Advanced Study of India in New Delhi was one of the early movers to establish a research centers in India. UPIASI's undertakes research projects and engages scholars across a range of institutions in to produce research relevant to the regional needs.

Harvard Business School (HBS) established the India Research Center (IRC) in 2006 in Mumbai was a major milestone about the prominence of India in management research. In an earlier brief interview for this blog, Anjali Raina, Executive Director, HBS IRC said that "The IRC seeks to play a proactive role in the social transformation of India by engaging HBS faculty, sharing knowledge and best practices through research and case studies, encouraging talent and skills among students who are managers in the making and with leaders. The IRC works to bring the best of Harvard to India and take the best of India to Harvard."

Overall, research collaborations and dedicated research centers of foreign universities would immensely help Indian universities in developing a culture and approach towards research which is both cutting edge and rewarding. Likewise, foreign universities gain immensely from the research engagement, networking, brand visibility and local presence in India.
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November 16, 2009

100,000 Indian students contribute Rs.12,500 crores to the US economy

In these times of recession, Indian students contributed Rs.12,500 crores (USD 2.75 billion) to the US economy in the form of tuition and living expenses. To put in perspective, total budget of Indian department of higher education for 2008-09 was 10,800 crores.

India continues to be the leading place of origin for the eighth consecutive year with more than 100,000 students enrolled in the US higher education institutions for the academic year 2008-09, according to the latest report by IIE Open Doors. Every sixth international student enrolled in US higher education institutions is from India. Enrollment of Indian students had been growing at a rate faster than the total enrollment of all international students (see table).

Much of this growth has come from two levels:
1. OPT
2. Undergraduate

3,000 more students enrolled at OPT...
Total number of international students enrolled on OPT has increased by 17.3% from 56,766 to 66,601 in 2008-09. This is a result of the new rule issued in April 2008 that allowed students with a degree in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics to extend the duration of OPT from 12 to 29 months. This has clearly resulted in 3,000 more Indian students enrolled in OPT in 2008-09 as compared to the previous year.

Undergraduate is the new growth area...
Nearly 725 more Indian students are enrolled at the undergraduate level as compared to 3,300 lesser students enrolled at the graduate level (see table above). This may be a function of the characteristics and funding sources of the undergraduate students as compared to the graduate students. Graduate students are mostly seek financial support from the university or take a bank loan. Given the concerns of slowdown and recession some graduate students would have put their plans on hold. In contrast, most undergraduate students come from the top of the socioeconomic pyramid and are funded by their families.

Likely drop in number of Indian students for 2009-10
It is expected that the growth of Indian students on US campuses may take a sharp U-turn for the academic year 2009-10. Number of F-1 student visas issued for the period Oct'08-Sept'09 have decreased by 25%. Likewise, recent survey from the Council of Graduate Studies reports 16% drop in the first-time enrollment of Indian students in fall'09.

It is important to note that IIE Open Doors numbers are based on a comprehensive survey of 3,000 institutions across levels and types for the previous academic year (2008/09) as compared to Council of Graduate Schools which reports numbers from current academic year (2009/10) but surveys a smaller sample of graduate schools (257 graduate institutions responded in Phase-III).
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November 11, 2009

Excellence in B-Schools

Excerpt from my article published in MBA Review (November 2009).
Click here to download.

Indian higher education is in serious need of regulatory reforms, but I argue that many institutions are also finding excuses in the regulatory structures for ignoring areas which are very well within an institution’s reach. Institutions underestimate the value of students in their reputation building process. Students (and future alumni) are both their product and salesman. Quality of institution is very much judged by the quality of alumni and, hence, institutions should work on not only attracting the best talent, which includes faculty members, but also nurturing them as long-term brand ambassadors.

Excellence is directly related with leadership and leadership cannot be regulated. Hence, institutions which are truly determined to build world-class institutions, would assess, adapt and lead to achieve the goals. Indian B-Schools aspiring to achieve excellence need to make a transition from the existing mindset of imitation, costs and competition towards innovation, investments and collaborations.

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November 09, 2009

Guru Mantra: Dr. Mitch Leventhal, Vice Chancellor for Global Affairs, SUNY

Dr. Mitch Leventhal
Vice Chancellor for Global Affairs
The State University of New York (SUNY)

Prior to his appointment at SUNY, Dr. Mitch Leventhal served as vice provost for international affairs at the University of Cincinnati, with responsibilities for global strategy, institutional collaboration, international recruitment, and curricular internationalization. Reporting units included UC International Planning, UC International Programs and UC International Services. Dr. Leventhal has extensive international experience across many industry verticals, including shipping, chemicals, finance, insurance, information technology, technology transfer and education. He is widely recognized as a leader in international student recruitment strategy, enterprise-wide data systems, consortium-based initiatives, and public-private partnerships.

Prior positions include founder and president of the Microstate Corporation, adjunct assistant professor of Information Management Systems at The George Washington University, founding CEO of the Intellectual Property Technology Exchange, and co-founder vice president for strategic initiatives and managing director of Planet Payment, Inc. Prior to his last position at the University of Cincinnati, he headed North American operations for IDP, a firm owned by Australian universities.

Dr. Leventhal is Chairman and President of the American International Recruitment Council (AIRC), and sits on numerous other commissions and boards. Leventhal earned a bachelor’s degree in Latin American Politics and a master’s in Comparative and Developmental policies from the University of Pennsylvania. He earned his Ph.D. in the International Political Economy of Education from the University of Chicago.

RC- What excites you about your new position as vice chancellor for global affairs at SUNY system? What are your strategic priorities?
ML- SUNY is the only public system of higher education in the united states which has prioritized global affairs to such a point as to create a cabinet level position. Given the immense complexity of our system, which has a comprehensive range of institution types (ranging from community colleges to technical institutes, comprehensives and research institutions), with 64 campuses and more than 440.000 students, the challenges are huge – but the potential benefits of coordination are also gigantic. My priorities will be to create an infrastructure which allows the 64 campuses to benefit more from their “systemness,” that is to create mechanisms that allow them to focus on their core strengths (including internationalizing all aspects of the educational experience), while the system provides services that need not be undertaken at the campus level. For example, we will create an information system that will allow all campuses to see the global relationships that exist across the entire system so that they are not always re-inventing the wheel with each opportunity; we will create master recruiting agreements with the system such that campuses do not need to negotiate separate deals with agents but can instead focus on recruitment; we will create a global center in Manhattan, New York City, so that each campus can have a base for delivery of its curriculum at the heart of the world financial system.

RC-  Your previous high impact work at University of Cincinnati and now appointment at SUNY has proved the value and need of international education profession in university strategy. What advice do you have for future education leaders in international education administration? What do you believe are the top competencies required to be a successful in this area?
ML- Senior International Education Officers (SIOs) have been too timid in the past. They need to demand a seat at the table – not just the study abroad/exchange/recruiting table, but at every table which may touch on international affairs. All too often, important issues are missed because someone focused on the international dimension is not involved in early discussions. International issues pervade university operations today. In additional to those listed above – which conventionally define the responsibilities of the position – there are others, such as: international technology transfer, global corporate relations, international alumni relations, foreign currency risk, human risk, institutional review for human subjects, export controls, compliance regulations, and much more. So SIOs need to push their way to many tables and demonstrate their value at each. As their centrality within the many institutional debates grows, so do the resources available to them.

Effective SIOs need a broad range of skills. A broad liberal education can be very helpful, since they must effectively deal across many disciplines. In addition, diplomatic tact, consensus-building and persuasive skills are vital – but timidity is definitely not an asset. A leader must know when the time has come to push hard on initiatives, otherwise institutional inertia inevitably takes over. Entrepreneurial skills are also essential – universities are long on ideas and perpetually short on cash. A creative approach to initiative and project launch will take an SIO a long way. These skills are often best honed in the private sector, though there are many examples of entrepreneurial leaders in academe. Last, having academic street cred is vital for obtaining the respect of faculty and enlisting the support – in most cases this means having earned a doctorate, though it does not necessarily require having worked one’s way up through the traditional academic career pathway.

Last, and perhaps most difficult, is the need to abandon fear of losing one’s position or being fired. Bold leaders are respected, and it is difficult to be bold if one is always looking over one’s shoulder.

RC- You are also the Chairman of American International Recruitment Council (AIRC). How do you assess the evolution of AIRC in last 15 months and future directions?
ML- AIRC is having a truly transformative effect on us international recruitment practice. Since its creation in late June 2008, I have discovered many institutions who have finally admitted publicly that they have worked with agents for years, but lacked the institutional cover to discuss their approach publicly. AIRC has removed much of the stigma of agency-based recruiting, by framing the practice within a rigorous quality assurance framework.

The AIRC pilot phase is nearing an end, and AIRC now has more than 15 additional agencies in the pipeline – all of this with no organized marketing or promotion. As institutions begin to adopt agency recruitment – and make AIRC certification a prerequisite for consideration – I believe agencies will scramble to go through the process.

The paradigm is shifting in a big way. Consider the fact that SUNY never had an agency policy before. Now, SUNY will start working with selected AIRC certified agents at the system level. Don’t you think that access to a comprehensive system of 64 campuses – and unlimited capacity to absorb international students - will be a strong incentive to pursue AIRC certification? And imagine the effect this will have on other universities and state systems across the United States.

I believe that we are on the verge of a new renaissance in the US as a study destination.
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November 07, 2009

Student Exchanges: Internationalization of B-Schools

A recent story in the New York Times highlights the trend among US business schools to widen the scope of international learning experiences for full time MBA students. Adding international experiences strengthens student learning, expands faculty research and enhances prestige of the institution in an increasing competitive environment.

Even in India, international collaborations are emerging as one major area of pursuit especially among the leading business schools. For example, premier institutions like ISB , IIM-AIIM- B , and MDI have already built extensive student exchange programs.

One of major challenge for Indian institutions face is to convince prospective partners about their ability to deliver quality experience to international students. This challenge seems to be of greater magnitude in attracting the US B-schools as compared to European B-schools.  For example. IIM-A has partnered with only 9 American B-schools as compared to 26 European B-schools. Likewise, for IIM-B of the 93 exchange B-schools only 15 are from the US.

This skew poses challenges for partners on both sides in terms of managing the demand and supply of students. For example, IIM-A website states that "The number of outgoing students benefiting from the [exhcange] programme has risen from 6 to 94 and incoming students from 16 to 55 in the same period." This means that there are more Indian students interested in studying abroad as compared to foreign students coming to India.

While India has gained lot of attention for its economic growth and impact on the world economy it has still not caught eye of American MBA students for spending a semester of study. This is also evident from the IIE OpenDoors, China (11,000) attracts nearly four times study abroad students from the US as compared to India (2,600).

Given the global ambitions of some of the Indian B-schools, building and sustaining portfolio of high quality exchange programs is one of the critical steps in achieving global excellence. It builds the platform for bigger and more reputed form of collaborations.

To build and sustain global exchange programs, Indian B-schools should consider the long-term implication of these relationships. They should become more strategic, assertive and articulate in communicating and delivering quality of experience to exchange partners and building brand advocates.
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November 02, 2009

Guru Mantra: Keith Hampson, Director, Ryerson University

Guru Mantra
Dr. Keith Hampson
Director, Digital Education Strategies
Ryerson University
Toronto, Canada

Keith Hampson is Director, Digital Education Strategies at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada. Prior to entering university management, he was a member of the University Faculty, where he lectured on contemporary media and consumer culture. He has a number of publication credits; most recently as the coauthor of Mastering Digital Research: A Guide for Students (2009). He is founder of LinkedIn’s “Higher Education Management Group” with close to six thousand members.
Dr. Hampson is an experienced higher education consultant who has worked with companies such as Flat World Knowledge, Eduventures, Pearson Education, WebCT, Ninthhouse Communications, Digital Learning Interactive, Nelson Education, The McGraw- Hill Companies, Convergence Management Consultants, Canadian International Development Agency, NEXTMove Communications and has served on the advisory boards of Flat World Knowledge Inc., GradeGuru, and EdTek Services Inc.
He is a regular speaker at higher education conferences on topics including content development models, productivity strategies and competition between institutions. Keith earned his doctorate from the University of Queensland (Australia).

RC: You founded one of the most popular blogs on higher education--Higher Education Management Group. Please share how you thought about starting it and what are some of its success factors?
KH: The blog and the associated LinkedIn group grew out of recognition that the changes that need to be made in higher education need leadership. Our poor track record at innovation in higher education should have taught us by now that isolated efforts by lone faculty members are rarely sustainable, and because of the highly segmented quality of our organizations, poorly communicated (and thus, disseminated). Substantive change requires thoughtful planning, organization-wide coordination to be realized.

It’s also important to remember that for most faculty – given the design of their jobs, the ways in which they are rewarded, and so forth – there is little incentive for them to dedicate their time to institutional change. Rewards for faculty are primarily a  result of research productivity, and most of the issues we are facing – particularly with respect to online education – concern teaching. Despite the rhetoric of academic leadership, rewards for excellence in teaching appear to be declining; I don’t see this trend reversing anytime soon given the state of the economy and the fundamental role of university research in driving prosperity.

Any success the blog might have had is due to a few factors.  Unlike most blogs, this one is connected to an existing group – the Higher Education Management Group within Linked In. In addition to acting as a channel for readers, this lends the blog a greater sense of community than most. Secondly, I try to keep the focus of the blog narrow. The properties of the Internet and of improved search capabilities, is encouraging all content providers to specialize. It is simply easier for readers to use your content efficiently if they know, roughly, what they will get from it. This doesn’t mean that the readers won’t be occasionally surprised by what they find, but it does mean that the surprises will concern a relatively narrow range of topics.

I also think the blog is serving an unmet market of readers. There is very little written about the “business of higher education”. At the same time, this is an increasingly important aspect of higher education.

RC: What are the top two trends you are witnessing in online higher education? What opportunities and challenges do you see in offering online courses to international students (for example, a US university offering online course in India)?

KH: Because the area of international online higher education is relatively new, and the issues so unfamiliar to most, it is difficult to write a brief response to this question.

Nevertheless . . . I’ll start by stating that I’m not optimistic about the current ability of most traditional colleges/universities to successfully offer online programs to non-domestic students. This is not because of a lack of demand, which I think will emerge, or even because of the lack of stable, affordable technology in the source country (e.g. bandwidth in India). Rather, it is because administrators and academics in traditional colleges and universities tend to underestimate the range of skills and processes required to establish, build and manage these international ventures. When online learning first took hold in universities, many leaders got very excited about the idea of creating a “borderless” campus. You can imagine how appealing this vision might have been. But at that time, few people had actually thought-through what would be involved in successfully realizing this vision, such as international marketing, processes for maintaining control over the student experience, intellectual property implications, student language and writing skills, or even operating costs (few schools know the real costs of their domestic online learning operations).

So, in answer to your question, I think we will see schools interested in international online learning ventures come to recognize that there is more to this than they realized. And they will (should?) do one of two things: one, identify which parts of the venture they can do on their own (for which they are well suited), and which they are less well suited for. With this insight in-hand, they can then more thoughtfully define their plans. One form I’d like this to take is a move away from internationalizing their programs, to acting as consultants for universities in other countries to help them develop their capacity to establish and grow their own online ed operations. This means getting away from the notion of simply expanding the reach of the school (in geographic terms), to working with client-institutions in other nations to help them avoid the common and predictable pitfalls. I also think this will encourage a more collaborative approach, that minimizes the tendency of Western institutions to believe they know what is best for the client-nation. Similarly, I expect to see new kinds of full-service consultancies emerge that help Western institutions expand their programs internationally.

RC: Please share some of the highlights of your work as the Director of Education Strategies at Ryerson University.
KH: I left a faculty position to go into university management because I knew that digital was going to be brilliant (eventually) and in order to have an impact in this new area of education, I would need to learn about the business side of operations. Being a mere subject matter expert is an increasingly tenuous position; you need to know how to get things done.So, the “highlights” of this experience revolve, primarily, around what I’ve learnt about how great projects are realized. Here are a few:

1. High quality professionals are priceless. Do whatever you can to keep them happy (and on your team).
2. Don’t let your ego make your decisions.
3. Passion trumps intellect 9 out of 10 times. If you care about a subject and let it show, people will want to help.
4. Go around people that want to stop you. They’ll soon find someone else to bother.
5. Figure out what matters to people, then help them get it.
6. Shut up and listen.
7. You’ll get more out of an hour talking to bright, experienced and generous people than 100 hours with a committee. Or 200.
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