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

March 26, 2011

Interdisciplinary Management Education

Warren Bennie and James O’Toole in their Harvard Business Review article—How Business Schools Lost Their Way—critiqued the current model of B-schools and argued: “The entire MBA curriculum must be infused with multi-disciplinary, practical and ethical questions and analyses reflecting the complex challenges business leaders face.”

Interdisciplinary approach builds on the foundations of disciplinary knowledge to create new knowledge and solve complex problems. This approach aims at developing competencies like adaptability, critical thinking and innovation.

Some of the interdisciplinary research and curricular approaches include:
Professional Science Masters
Service Science supported by IBM
MD/MBA at Dartmouth
Stanford GSB and Law school for energy policy
Columbia Business School
IE Business School and Brown University

Indian B-schools have to broaden their own mindset by accepting that they are not in the business of offering MBA degrees. Instead they are in the business of developing talent, which innovates, improves and provides solutions to business and societal problems. Thus, one approach to make B-schools relevant is to consider some of the biggest challenges faced by the Indian society and collaborate to offer programmes, which go beyond disciplinary boundaries. Read more.

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March 14, 2011

Indian GMAT takers decrease by 12% while Chinese increase by 29% in 2010

Indian and Chinese MBA aspirants are showing more differences than similarities, according to the recent GMAT data for the testing year 2010 (July'09 to June'10). While the number of GMAT exam takers with Indian citizenship has declined by 12 per cent between testing year (TY) 2009 to TY 2010, it has increased by 29% for Chinese in the same period.

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March 10, 2011

Drivers of Mobility of Indian and Chinese Students

I was quoted in BBC article entitled- Record numbers of international students. Also, published article entitled- Drivers of Mobility of Chinese and Indian Students in Boston College's International Higher Education. 

India and China are becoming increasingly influential, not only in the global economy but also in the supply of globally mobile students. Regarding Chinese and Indian students, on the supply side, two key drivers are increasing prosperity, which enables the ability to afford foreign education, and rapid expansion of the system of higher education at the expense of quality. On the demand side, two key drivers are universities’ aggressive approach to recruiting students to compensate for budget cuts and access to a wider range of recruitment channels and service providers. More details on IHE article (pg. 26).

On the receiving countries side, US is already the leading destination for Indian and Chinese students and will attract a even bigger share of international students in next couple of years. This will be primarily driven by direction of visa refom in Australia and the UK, which will restrict attractiveness of these destinations.

Dr. Rahul Choudaha
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March 01, 2011

Foreign Universities in India: Collaborate and Get Future Ready

BBC quoted me on a story on interest of foreign universities in India. Also, the Chronicle of Higher Education quoted me from the two sessions I co-presented at the Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA) annual conference in San Francisco. The sessions were entitled as--1) Demystifying India’s Foreign Universities Bill: Opportunities & Challenges and 2) Higher Ed in America, China and India: the "New Normal" across the Pacific. Overall, it was an excellent conference, attended by more than 700 leaders in international higher education.

One of the key messages I conveyed was that foreign universities bill had been under discussion for more than five years and politics of Indian higher education has made it ineffective and irrelevant. The stringent requirements of foreign universities bill are similar to a life guard who instead of providing confidence and support is simply not allowing any tourists to swim. However, one way to circumvent the requirements is to get a "guest invitation" from the member. This is precisely how various forms of existing collaborations between foreign and Indian universities are evolving--by circumventing the requirements. For example, Lancaster University has partnered with GD Goenka to offer Lancaster's degree in India. While, this is a high quality offering and exemplifies Lancaster's entrepreneurial approach of not waiting for foreign universities bill, there are many more poor quality institutions are ignoring regulatory requirements.

Today, I saw two additional developments related to AICTE and foreign education institutions:
1) AICTE has issued show-cause notices to foreign institutions including Leeds Met India, Bhopal and Centum Learning, Delhi, University of London.

2) AICTE issued a notification for allowing foreign universities to register as not-for-profit organisations and affiliate with Indian universities to offer Indian degree and not foreign degree.

The ugly truth of the proposed foreign university bill is that many good universities will continue to face incoherence, risk and uncertainty, while poor quality institutions will continue to ignore regulatory requirements. The Tri Valley University situation has given more ammunition to opponents to ask for even stricter norms. Even if it gets passed, it is yet to be seen how many takers will be there.

On the one hand, Indian regulatory environment is slow and incoherent and on the other hand, the opportunity for foreign universities in India is immense. This calls for entrepreneurial but cautious engagement with India. This could be low-intensity collaborative research project to high-involvement joint-degree program, however, the key is to start the engagement so that one is future ready.

Dr. Rahul Choudaha
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