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

August 24, 2009

AIEA 2010 Annual Conference: Call for Proposals

The Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA), is a professional association founded in 1982. It engages institutional leaders who deal with the international dimensions of higher education. It is an excellent forum for institutional leaders from India to connect with corresponding leaders from the US universities. It is not only an opportunity to learn about the latest trends and issues in international higher education but also to explore future collaborations and networking. The 2010 conference takes place in Washington DC and provides ample opportunities visiting and engaging some of the best global universities located in the East coast. I would encourage you to submit proposal for the 2010 conference.Please review the guidelines and feel free to write to  for further questions.
2010 Call for proposal
2009 Conference program

I am also sharing the perspectives of Dr. William B. Lacy, AIEA 2010 Conference Chair & President-Elect and Dr. Darla Deardorff, AIEA Executive Director.
Rahul Choudaha, PhD
Member, Promotions Subcommittee, AIEA 2010 Conference

Dr. William B. Lacy
AIEA 2010 Conference Chair & President-Elect
Vice Provost of University Outreach and International Programs at University of California, Davis

Approximately ten years ago, I became the Vice Provost of University Outreach and International Programs at the University of California, Davis. Since I was relatively new to the rapidly expanding field of internationaleducation, research and outreach, I sought out colleagues and professional organizations in the field. The Association of International Education Administrators quickly became my primary professional organization. The association has provided excellent access to fellow university administrators, substantive and stimulating annual meetings, a broad based communication network for advice and counsel and a key policy advocacy group for federal international agendas.

The role of the AIEA in providing leadership for internationalizing higher education in the U.S. and abroad will only increase in the future. As the world becomes more complex and interconnected, it is critical that our colleges and universities effectively engage in international research, outreach and collaboration and prepare our graduates to be proficient in foreign languages, knowledgeable of different cultures, and informed about international and global citizenship. I believe that the AIEA is well positioned and is one of the best professional organizations to help campus leaders successfully pursue these key goals.
- Dr. William B. Lacy

Dr. Darla K. Deardorff
Executive Director, AIEA

The AIEA conference is an invaluable networking and professional development opportunity for senior-level leaders in the international education field. Highlights from previous conferences including stimulating keynote addresses by such persons as author Francis Fukuyama and human rights activist Naomi Tutu (daughter of Nobel laureate Desmond Tutu) along with stellar, informative sessions on such topics as international partnerships, international crisis management, and internationalizing the curriculum. Comments that participants have made about past conferences include: "The conference provided practical strategies and solutions to several issues on our campus. The conference also provided great networking opportunities to work with other institutions on concerns of similar interest." Another said "The conference was ....packed with information, contacts and sessions. It's great to get the macro view...and the sharing of information is wonderful. And another participant commented that the conference is an "ideal forum to exchange ideas, experiences, wisdom." The AIEA conference is definitely the highlight of the year in terms of networking and learning - don't miss this!
- Dr. Darla Deardorff
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August 23, 2009

Guru Mantra: Dr. Asha Gupta, Author, Education in the 21st Century

Dr. Asha Gupta
Director, University of Delhi
Author, Education in the 21st Century - Looking Beyond University

Dr. Asha Gupta, Director at the Directorate of Hindi Medium Implementation, University of Delhi, a former principal of Bharati College, recipient of Shastri Indo-Canadian, Norwegian and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Research Fellowships, is a political economist by training with keen interests in research on higher education in India and abroad. Dr Gupta has been a UGC Career Awardee in Humanities, recipient of UGC Major Research Grant and the Convener of IPSA RC 44 on Military Rule and Democratization. She has been associated with many national and international bodies, such as, International Studies Association and World Federation of Mental Health. She has been a National Merit Scholarship holder and a gold medalist. Her books include: Beyond Privatization: A Global Perspective; Changing Perspectives of Welfare State: the Issue of Privatization; Towards privatization; Socialism in Theory and Practice: Narendra Deva’s Contribution; Military Rule and Democratization (edited) and Private Higher Education: Global Trends and Indian Perspectives (co-edited). She is a PROPHE affiliate and Salzburg Seminar alumni.

RC- You have published "Education In The 21st Century : Looking Beyond University." It is a highly opportune and relevant book. Please share some of the highlights of the book.
AG- Whereas the impact of globalization on politics, economy, society and culture are well-studied and well-researched, it is difficult to visualize and conceptualize the changes occurring at the power knowledge realm. The book is an attempt to look beyond the traditional concept of a university to be able to grasp not only the drastic changes taking place at higher education systems worldwide but it also traces the causes and consequences of the same. Earlier the universities acted as the handmaids of the nation state but today they are required to promote global ethos transcending cultural and linguistic differences beyond the nation state. Today the focus is more on outputs, performances and public accountability rather than on inputs, academic freedom and solidarity. I delved deeper into the very idea of university, latest trends, issues at stake, rise of private and non-state stakeholders, role of technology, emphasis on vocational skills, status of higher education in India, etc. I make a precaution against some of the underpinnings behind the de-contextualization moves by the economic and political hegemony in the name of higher education reforms.

RC- You were also a post-doctoral scholar at the CSHE. Please share your key learnings and experiences as a scholar to the US university. What were the primary projects you worked on?
AG-I got an opportunity of interacting with many US scholars at the Salzburg Seminars on Higher Education. I visited SUNY-Albany, SUNY-New York, CSHE, Berkley, Boston College in connection with my post-doctoral research on vocationalization and privatization of higher education in India. I participated at various national and international conferences on higher education and published articles in international journals. I co-edited a book with Prof Daniel C Levy on " Private Higher Education: Global Perspectives and Indian Trends".

RC- What are your thoughts on the current state of private higher education in India with specific reference of quality issues?
AG- I believe that India should allow both the private and foreign universities to function in India, including for-profit HEIs. We must adopt proper regulatory system and profession approach in this regard. We need to provide the necessary incentives in the hey days of market economy.
It is high time to adopt a business like model to deal with the business of higher education. India can make a place for itself as educational hub in the international market as it did in the field of telecoms sector. It has the necessary resources. It only lacks vision and determination.
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August 20, 2009

Engineering Pipeline: Disproportionate and Disconnected

Engineering in India is an highly aspirational field of study and has grown rapidly in popularity. From 1997-2007, the number of AICTE approved seats of engineering grew from 115,000 to 551,000 (CAGR of 17% per year). The demand for engineering education mirrors the growth in the IT jobs starting late 1990s. Private higher education institutions acted in a proactive manner and contributed to most of the demand for engineering education.

However this expansion came at the expense of quality. On one side, there are reports of unemployment among engineers and on other side there are concerns of future unmet demand. Thus, there is a significant gap between what industry needs and what education is providing.

This recession has made the situation worse and radical quality assurance measures to address the problem of unemployment and skill gap. The primary reasons for current situation are:
1) Number of engineering institutions have increased at a fast pace
2) Demand by industry for engineering graduates has slowed due to recession
3) Quality of engineering institutions and students have not improved due to poor regulatory and incentive system

There is disproportional growth in engineering institutes creating a situation of oversupply for the academic year 2009-10. According to AICTE, 886 new institutions applied for this academic year which is 37% increase from existing 2388 engineering colleges.
Many states are facing a scenario where engineering seats available but there are not enough interest from students. For example, the Tamil Nadu Engineering Admissions counseling process may see more than 30,000 engineering seats to be vacant. With 91 new colleges starting operations in the State in one year, there is oversupply of engineering seats in Tamil Nadu.

Slower demand:
In the last one year, IT industry, which employs majority of the engineering graduates, have become cautious and slower in their hiring. According to NASSCOM, the IT industry employed nearly 2.2 million in 2009 fiscal, as compared to 2 million and 1.6 million in 2008 and 2007 respectively. The growth of IT jobs slowed to 11% from 2008 to 2009 after growing at 24% from 2007 to 2008. In absolute terms, there were nearly 160,000 lesser jobs created in 2009 as compared to 2008.

Poorer Quality:
Recent reports of corruption against regulator indicates that quality assurance and regulatory mechanism have simply failed. Many engineering institutions are finding loop holes in the requirements and working around the quality norms. The lack of faculty and administrative incentive for quality improvement further complicates the process. This is resulting in poorer quality of teaching and learning and corresponding lack of competencies among the graduates. According to a survey, by McKinsey only 25% of the Indian engineering graduates are suitable for employment with multinational corporations. A recent article in Time magazine refers to the skills gap in America. Imagine if America is worried about skills gaps what challenges India has to face.

Engineering education pipeline in India is becoming disproportionate and disconnected with the demand of the industry in terms of quality. In the process of providing access and meeting quantity needs, institutions and regulators have lost their focus on quality. According to McKinsey report, "Countries seeking to play a role in the emerging global labor market should concentrate on improving the quality of their talent, not just the quantity of educated workers." Indian engineering education needs to wake up to this call for quality and industry can play a significant role in this transformation process.
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August 16, 2009

World-Class Universities: Making Aspirations Achievable

University World News published my article on the challenge of making the aspirations of world-class universities achievable.

GLOBAL: Aspiring to world-class universities achievable
Rahul Choudaha*
16 August 2009
Issue: 0089
University World News

The prestige seeking behaviour of universities is ever increasing as the global war for talent intensifies and education's role in the knowledge economy becomes more critical. In this process, the quest for world-class status among universities has become more prominent.

For example, the Prime Minister of India has announced establishment of 14 world-class universities in the XIth five-year plan 2007-2012. Likewise in 2007,Pakistan announced its ambitious US$4.3 billion project to create nine world-class engineering universities in collaboration with European universities, with 50% of its academics and administrators coming from Europe.

The big question is how achievable these aspirations are? Are countries and universities beng unrealistic in benchmarking what a world-class university is and what resources are required to achieve it?

The notion of world-class universities can be broken down into three stages: self-declared, aspirational, and externally validated. The issue of self-declaration of world-class status is most serious as it results in failure of vision and also duping of the stakeholders' expectations.

Recently, the World Bank released a report by Jamil Salmi, The Challenge of Establishing World-Class Universities. It points out that, "Becoming a member of the exclusive group of world-class universities is not achieved by self-declaration; rather, elite status is conferred by the outside world on the basis of international recognition."

Self-declaration of world-class status often results because of two primary reasons: lack of knowledge and understanding of what world-class standards really mean and how to achieve them ,and exaggeration of the relatively mediocre standards of the institution.

Universities are in a haste to declare themselves as world-class because of competitive pressures to gain attention from stakeholders and attain prestige. Gaining external validity is not easy as it takes significant investment of time and resources to achieve world-class standards.

"The lack of an absolute set of performance criteria and measures may mean that world class will always be positional, referring to those universities that are at the top in terms of academic reputation rather than those that fit a class of standards." Levin, Jeong and Ou reported in 2006. Thus, self-declaration works as an easy way out for institutions.

The definition of what makes a world-class university is subjective and contextual. Given the diversity of global education systems and different societal needs and priorities, it is extremely difficult to define common standards.

For example, Indira Gandhi National Open University in India is the world's largest university with an enrolment of more than two million students. The university serves a very different mission of providing access to disadvantaged segments of society through distance education and may not have the resources and even the need to adhere to "world-class" standards.

Its noble mission and low-cost operations appropriately serves its mission. It has created its own standards which has implications for developing countries. Global fascination for rankings and its parameters discounts the local contexts and the institutional missions.

"There is no universal recipe or magic formula for 'making' a world-class university. National contexts and institutional models vary widely. Therefore, each country must choose, from among the various possible pathways, a strategy that plays to its strengths and resources," Salmi writes.

But despite the subjectivity involved in defining world-class standards, there is a need for it so that institutions may appropriately benchmark themselves with the best in the world and strive to work towards quality improvement.

It will also help in better planning and execution of the institutional mission.

Salmi provides an interesting framework for building world-class universities by leveraging three complementary sets of factors:

(a) a high concentration of talent (faculty and students)

(b) abundant resources to offer a rich learning environment and to conduct advanced research

(c) favourable governance features that encourage strategic vision, innovation, and flexibility and that enable institutions to make decisions and to manage resources without being encumbered by bureaucracy

Likewise, Philip Altbach suggested a combination of conditions and resources for creating world-class universities:

1. Sustained financial support, with an appropriate mix of accountability and autonomy

2. The development of a clearly differentiated academic system--including private institutions--in which academic institutions have different missions, resources, and purposes

3. Managerial reforms and the introduction of effective administration

4. Truly meritocratic hiring and promotion policies for the academic profession, and similarly rigorous and honest recruitment, selection, and instruction of students

Educational excellence is a gradual and resource-intensive process and excellence in the local context is a must before setting aspirations for global standards. This results in a realistic assessment of the institutional capability to serve societal needs. Furthermore, resources are better allocated to meet the needs of the vision.

Institutions also need to recognise that achieving world-class standards requires a strong commitment to global best practices adapted to the local context. There is nothing wrong with the aspiration of achieving world-class status but the challenge is the mismatch between resource availability and societal needs, which results from the lack of understanding of what it takes to build a world-class university.

Some new projects are aiming higher and establishing appropriate standards, processes and resources to achieve excellence. King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia is one such ambitious project.

Continuous quality improvement and innovation is a must for higher education and to that end we need more success stories where universities are able to aspire and achieve world-class standards.
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August 09, 2009

Guru Mantra: Abhijit Bhaduri, HR Practitioner and Author of Married But Available

Abhijit Bhaduri is a Human Resources practitioner who helps firms become employers of choice by building HR processes and skills. He draws on his extensive experience to help firms implement systems of talent acquisition, onboarding new hires, managing change, building performance management systems and articulating an employer brand. As a skilled facilitator, he has been a coach and mentor for senior leaders, HR teams and people managers. He is certified in using Hogan Personality Inventory, Hogan Development Survey for coaching and developing senior leaders. He is also trained as a Master trainer in Targeted Selection from DDI, New York that teaches executives how to be more effective interviewers.

Abhijit has led Human Resources teams for Fortune 500 companies like Microsoft, PepsiCo, Colgate and global firms like Tata Steel for twenty five years. He has led HR teams in India, SE Asia and US. His assignments have been in generalist roles as well as in specialist roles in designing and implementing Leadership Development, Performance Management and Change Management processes for different sectors like FMCG, Media, Manufacturing and IT. He received the Global Talent Sustainability Award in 2007 from PepsiCo for designing and implementing an innovative employee engagement program that resulted in improved employee retention and productivity.

Abhijit taught Human Resources at XLRI, India’s premier Business School in Jamshedpur from 1989-94. During this period he facilitated several workshops for the Leadership Development programs offered by XLRI. In 1994 he was chosen as the Best Young Manager in India by All India Management Association. He has been invited by bodies like Confederation of Indian Industries, Bengal Chamber of Commerce, The Indus Entrepreneurs and National HRD Network to share his views on Human Resources. He has been a panelist for several HR seminars in India, Malaysia and US. He runs a very popular website where he writes about management, books and music. Abhijit has authored two works of fiction which have been on several bestseller lists in India. He is currently writing a book on talent acquisition titled How to Hire Top Talent.

RC. You have published two novels--Mediocre But Arrogant and recently Married But Available. They both have interesting titles and concept. Please share couple of highlights of these books.

AB. Mediocre But Arrogant is my debut novel. Set against the backdrop of a fictitious business school in the steel city of Jamshedpur, India, this is a story of how the two years of doing an MBA transforms Abbey’s life, perspective and relationships. Anyone who has lived in a school or college hostel will be able to identify with the characters of this funny but insightful novel. The book launched in August 2005 has hit several bestsellers lists and is popular among students because of the universality of its appeal.

Married But Available follows the life of the protagonist Abbey through the first ten years of his life as a Human Resources professional. The first ten years are arguably the most action packed years of one’s life when most people get raises, get their promotions or change jobs, some get married, have kids, get divorced, fall in love and out of it and confront existential dilemmas. This novel looks at the first ten years of Abbey’s professional life after his MBA. He lives and works in the small township of Balwanpur somewhere in north India. Abbey joins Balwanpur Industries as the first MBA from a premier Business School and a lot of hopes are built around him. There are many who are watching every move of his. Abbey does not know this and probably does not care. Some ghosts from the past just don’t seem to go away and he is more worried about tying up the loose ends of his own world. Meanwhile the quiet life at Balwanpur is going to change forever. Abbey faces dilemmas that every HR person faces – to balance his personal relations with the demands of the role. According to his sister Asmita (“Ass” for short) his personal life makes him an MBA … umm… make that Married But Available.

RC. What excites you about your role as Human Resources professional in India? What are some of the new initiatives/projects you are engaged with?

AB. India is a great place for a HR professional. I have been lucky to work with companies like Microsft, PepsiCo, Colgate, Tata Steel etc and lead teams in India, SE Asia and US. Building a talent pipeline to address the shifting business scenario for the future is what sets these great companies apart. In good times and bad, for different reasons, one needs to invest in the appropriate HR strategy to address the business scenario. Chances are that HR in most companies have not changed their strategy or deliverables to mirror the impact of recession on their business and people. This needs a partnership between the HR teams and the Business leaders to build the right HR strategy. Then a partnership between the HR team and the people managers to implement the strategy. The HR team and Business Leaders then need to craft a governance model and metrics that will help measure progress. This is the work I see for myself. There is also a greater awareness among organizations to build a strong employer brand. The emergence of the social media has created its own set of opportunities and challenges. I enjoy working on these areas.

RC. What are some of your most valuable learnings as a HR professional? What advice do you have for future HR managers?

AB. Understanding the business and its nuances is a necessary condition for HR professionals to succeed. They need to understand the company’s go-to-market system, the brand(s), the levers of growth, the financials etc in the organizations they work in.

Using this information to create alternate strategies and predicting the outcomes (along with possible risks) is the second skill that HR needs to have. Creating the skills/ competency mix as it will evolve over a 3 year period will be the logical agenda for HR.

Building strong employer brands is the third large HR agenda that I see. Articulating the brand and the strategy to communicate the brand is a skill the HR people must develop.

The future HR managers should have very strong skills in mathematics and statistics. There is plenty of data available today. One needs people to make sense of the data. HR will have to become a lot more data driven in future.

RC. What are your thoughts on the state of business schools in India and their (in)capacity to produce industry-relevant talent?

AB. There are several thousand B-Schools in India. They are all at different stages of evolution. A B School produces industry relevant talent when they hire students based on the criteria that makes people succeed in business ie a combination of analytical skills, communication, team working, innovation etc. They also need to assess the values that the students bring in, their ability to give back to the society, care for the environment etc. I am not sure that all schools do an equally strong job of assessing all these for admission. The curriculum needs to then strengthen these areas through rigorous interaction with industry leaders who will not just come for interacting with students, but those who will actively mentor and coach the students throughout their time as students. Business Schools need to be by the industry, of the industry and for the industry. When you use this criteria, not enough B Schools anywhere in the world meet all the criteria that I mentioned. We will only reap as good as we sow.
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August 06, 2009

Passage to India: covered story about the regulatory environment in India and interest of foreign universities in establishing their presence in India. I was quoted in this article. - Rahul Choudaha

Passage to India
August 6, 2009
Elizabeth Redden

Kapil Sibal, minister of human resource development, is pushing to open India to foreign universities hoping to set up campuses there. Blair H. Sheppard, dean of Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, is among those pulling for him.

“We want to go there as Duke,” said Sheppard, who in September announced Fuqua's partnership with the Graduate School of Management at St. Petersburg State University, as well as plans to similarly establish “a physical presence of real scope and scale” (complete with Duke M.B.A. programs, at least two research centers, executive education, and service learning opportunities) in Dubai, London, New Delhi and Shanghai.

“The objective is to actually be in India as Duke and partner from that platform. So to contrast it to Russia, in Russia, the structure is a formal relationship with St. Petersburg State. And so all of the things we do are intended to be done in concert with them, with some minor exceptions,” Sheppard said.

The majority of foreign universities currently operating in India conduct their business via “twinning arrangements” or program-specific collaborations, as Pawan Agarwal noted in a 2006 paper, "Higher Education in India: The Need for Change," released by the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations. “There is no major foreign education provider operating in India through its offshore campus or branch campus," Agarwal wrote.

If legislation that Sibal is pushing becomes law, that could change -- and Duke is only one such interested party watching.

Sheppard shied away from using the word “campus” in describing his ambitions for the Fuqua in India. That said, “I haven’t found a better term, but we will have classes, we'll have offices, we’ll have a library, we’ll have athletic facilities, we’ll have a dorm, and I expect you’d say to me, ‘Blair, that’s a campus.' " The business school plans to expand into India regardless of proposed regulatory changes, via partnerships and such if need be, but wants a place of its own.

“Even if 90, 95 percent of what we do is partnered, we still want a place where people will say, ‘I’m at Duke in India.’ ”

'Terms and Conditions'

American higher education leaders have watched as Sibal, since stepping into his role as minister of human resource development in May, has aggressively reached out to foreign universities, forming a joint Indo-U.S. working group in June, for instance. “My proposition, which I want to place before this august assembly today, is that the time has come, like in manufacturing and the service sector, in the area of education, for institutions to reach for students rather than students reaching for institutions,” Sibal said during the recent UNESCO World Conference on Higher Education.

'If Stanford, Harvard or MIT want to come here, then what's the harm in it?” Sibal was reported as saying during an interview with the Hindi news channel, IBN7, in July. He added, however, “They will come to India on certain terms and conditions or else, we won't allow them to come.”

Ah, there's the (potential) rub. What terms and conditions, precisely? It's still unclear.

Georgia Institute of Technology has plans for a small research campus in Hyderabad. "We're trying to be cautiously optimistic, but you can't really put a stake in the ground until you know what the boundaries are," said Vijay Madisetti, a professor of electrical and computer engineering and leader of Georgia Tech's India Initiative for the past four years ("it's been," he said, "a slow process").

Georgia Tech hopes to begin with research collaborations with Indian universities and corporations in two areas -- energy and information technology. Out of the research, and pending developments in the regulatory environment and local approvals, Georgia Tech potentially would develop master's and Ph.D. programs. "It's subject to a lot of approvals and resolution of much uncertainty with respect to the campus and how it would operate," said Madisetti, who added that the big question is one of autonomy and control over curriculum. "At this point, it's unclear what the provisions of the bill [to regulate foreign university entry] will be. We're hopeful that at least in the earlier versions of the bill, there were provisions for exemption, there were provisions for some sort of observer role, as opposed to a more direct regulatory role, by the Indian government institutions."

"We're hopeful that once the research side gets established, and both the companies and the government see the value of a world-class research campus, we might be able to work with the government to find a middle ground. We're very hopeful [due to] the statements of the new government that they would like to see foreign universities work in India," Madisetti said

"There is significant interest actually coming from the foreign players, not only in the U.S. but likewise from Canada and other places. But at the same time, the environment, the regulatory environment, is not conducive enough in India... nothing much is going forward, apart from maybe some small relationships in terms of research or exchange," said Rahul Choudaha, associate director of World Education Services, in New York.

"There is intention, there is interest. The challenge would be execution, because India is central to a lot of internationalized universities. It is central to a lot of universities to be present there."

'Envisioning the Future'

One such set of terms and conditions that might prove problematic for some institutions has to do with affirmative action, which in India involves quotas and requirements that universities reserve seats for students from disadvantaged castes. Sibal recently told the Times of India that foreign universities would not be exempt. ‘‘All institutions must be inclusive. If any institution has to set up in India then it has to ensure a place for backward castes. There is no compromise on it," Sibal said.

That statement, of course, invites still unresolved questions. "So far foreign institutions have made limited inroads in India, and mostly via partnerships with Indian institutions. Often these partnerships have been with unaided (private) institutions, which have a bit more flexibility to enter into such relationships -- and to avoid affirmative action. Affirmative action in Indian higher education is in the form of admissions quotas for members of the Scheduled Castes (formerly untouchables), Scheduled Tribes, and a government category known as the Other Backward Classes (defined by caste and economic criteria). Recently the Minister of Human Resource Development said such admissions quotas (known as reservations) would apply to foreign universities operating in India, but this all remains to be seen..." Laura Dudley Jenkins, an associate professor of political science and director of undergraduate studies at the University of Cincinnati, summarized in an e-mail (Jenkins has conducted research on affirmative action in India).

The reservation system could present a barrier for some institutions interested in working in India, said Choudaha, who said in lieu of a strict quota system, he'd like to see foreign universities be able to address questions of access through financial aid and pre-college admissions coaching and such. "For global institutions, it will be completely against their philosophy to insist on the quotas. And innovation can happen here," he said. (Of course, India's elite universities have many times tried to get exemptions from the system, and have largely failed to do so.)

“Everybody’s saying that the devil’s in the details,” said Allan E. Goodman, president and CEO of the Institute of International Education. “They have a lot of issues in India that are controversial and they have to address, including the reservation systems, set-asides for castes and certain other groups…. We’re all waiting to have some clarification but more importantly some experience.”

“As educators, we might actually welcome an unambiguous guideline that says you have to reach beyond the usual suspects in fee-paying students to create a campus that is reflective of India as a whole and our world as a whole. So there are a lot of virtues to affirmative action, a lot of values that in some ways are universal -- that access should be widened, that people who are historically disadvantaged ought to have a place. It might work out. I just think it’s way too early to tell,” Goodman said.

Back at Duke, “There’s no question we’d work within the law [on affirmative action], for two reasons,” said Sheppard, dean of the business school. “One of them is as a university there you have no choice, both legally and morally you have no choice. The second one is we’re trying to actually be in India and I don’t know how you can be in India and not accept their interpretations of the significant social challenges they have.”

Duke will likely need to make grants and loans available for some students, but, noted Sheppard, “In the U.S., we wouldn’t say, 'You’re broke, don’t come,' so why would I say that in India?” Sheppard also described the challenge in terms of a pipeline problem, with inequalities emerging much earlier in the educational system than at the graduate level (where Duke would be doing its teaching). "The real problem in admitting kids is if you have anyone to admit," Sheppard said. He highlighted the work that Duke’s Talent Identification Program is doing in-country as a modest contribution to help address this.

TIP, which has long identified and offered programs for gifted children and middle-school students in the United States, piloted its three-week summer studies program in India last summer, at the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad campus, with 34 students. This summer, TIP repeated the program, but with 64 students. In describing the model for the program, Belinda Chiu, TIP’s director of international programs, explained that students completing the 8th standard -- who are about 13 or 14 years old -- choose from experiential courses, taught by professors, in Engineering Problem Solving, Java for Video Games, Entrepreneurial Leadership, and Forensic Science.

“We’re still refining our selection process as we move forward, but the last year we had students from Delhi, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Dehradun,” said Chiu. In selecting students, TIP staff look for economic, as well as geographic, diversity, Chiu said. “”It's something that we’ve always considered with all of our programs.

"They've made friends from throughout the country. Who knows what's going to happen with this group. Maybe 10, 20 years down the line, they'll meet in Parliament."

Which is where, of course, the fate of any legislation on foreign universities in India will be decided (although hopefully before the current crop of 13-year-olds gets there). Of the legislation, "I'm not too sure that it will have easy passage in the Indian Parliament," said Agarwal, author of the 2006 paper on Indian higher education and of the new book, Indian Higher Education: Envisioning the Future. Personally, he'd rather the Parliament focus its energies on fixing the country's regulatory system for higher education, and he pointed out, too, that it will be difficult to put a system into the place "where you can distinguish between the good and the bad institutions.... Quality institutions like Duke and Georgia Tech are few in number."

All that said, Agarwal hopes all this gets clarified soon, too. Public opinion is strongly in favor of bringing foreign universities in, he said, and the debate has long served as a distraction. "We have wasted far too long, and far too much time, on this issue of foreign providers in India," said Agarwal.

"Let's say I would like this issue to be settled, once and for all."

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August 02, 2009

Guru Mantra: Anjali Raina, ED, Harvard Business School India

Anjali Raina
Executive Director
Harvard Business School India Research Center (IRC)

Ms. Anjali Raina joined as the Executive Director of the Harvard Business School India Research Center (IRC), Mumbai in March 2008. In this leadership role she focuses on building and maintaining relationships with senior business leaders in the region to facilitate the expanding work of the Center in research, educational programs, and alumni endeavors.
The IRC seeks to understand and document the emerging trends that are shaping the future of India and the region. It seeks to play a proactive role in the social transformation of India. It engages HBS faculty, shares knowledge and best practices through research and case studies with leaders who are driving India’s growth and development. In short, the IRC works to bring the best of Harvard to India and take the best of India to Harvard.
To this end, to date , it has facilitated the writing of over 80 case studies on Indian Business Practice, supported half a dozen research projects , and run executive education programs for business leaders on subjects ranging from Globalizing Indian enterprises , to AgriBusiness. It has also supported the participation of 34 professors from premier Indian Business Schools in HBS’s Global Colloquium on Participant-Centered Learning which is a program that aims to help management educators improve their effectiveness through innovative teaching and course design.
Prior to joining Harvard Business School, Ms. Raina spent 15 years at Citigroup (India), most recently as Country Training Director. In that role, she was responsible for training, development, and change management for the consumer bank as well as for Citigroup's associates and affiliate companies in India. She was also on the bank's management committee and provided training resources throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Her unit ran more than 1,500 programs in 26 locations for more than 67,000 participants yearly. Among her many accomplishments was the creation of acorporate university with seven interlinked functional and business-specific training academies.
Prior to Citigroup (India), Ms. Raina worked for more than a decade at ANZ Grindlays Bank PLC. Holding positions in a variety of areas, including marketing, branch banking, and human resources, she rose to the rank of Senior Manager.
She earned an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, in 1981, and a bachelor's degree (Eng Hons) from Loreto College in the University of Calcutta in 1979.

RC - What excites you about your role as Executive Director of HBS India Research Center?
AR - India’s development context is unique; its economic agenda is deeply rooted in social issues. The long term growth and competitiveness of the country depends on how concerns such as climate change, energy and infrastructure, natural resources, education and healthcare, equity, ethics and sustainable livelihoods are addressed. The scale of the problem means that no one entity can tackle this independently.
The IRC is cognizant of these dynamics and seeks to understand and document the emerging trends that are shaping the future of India and the region. 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.

RC - What are some of the major initiatives and projects you have undertaken since your assumed leadership of the center?
AR - There are 3 main initiatives (1) Research Cases (2) Lecture Series: Bringing the Best of Harvard to India, which is a platform to facilitate dialogue between HBS professors and leaders in India. (3) Working in Partnerships with 16 Indian Business Schools to develop faculty who are comfortable using the case method.

RC - What do you believe are some of the key competencies required to be a successful educational leader?
AR - The competency for an educational leader and a leader are similar and they depend on the context, the challenge and the results desired.

RC - What advice do you have for Indian B-schools who are aspiring to build world-class institutions?
AR - Be open to learning from the world and sharing with all and always remember and recognize the value of Indian wisdom and traditions.
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