Sunday, April 13, 2014

Move over Kerala, Karnataka is the new nursing hub

God's own country is no longer the leading supplier of nurses. Lesser states such as Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra have leaped ahead, radically redefining healthcare across the nation.

While Kerala, which in popular perception has been known to produce the largest number of nursing graduates, has seen a moderate year-on-year growth, Karnataka and AP have added half-a-thousand seats in a bid to expand nursing education. The expansion of hospitals fuelled the trend and Kerala's neighbors fervently responded to that call.

From 2003-04 to 2010, nursing schools in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh multiplied at a feverish pace, churning out nurses in ever-increasing numbers, varying in ability, passion and preparation. To boost the count of graduates, state governments took a lenient view towards nursing education, allowing several private players to set up schools (for diploma courses) and colleges.

Young ladies who used to travel, albeit in small numbers, from Punjab, Rajasthan and Maharashtra, to Kerala also saw schools coming up within their neighbourhood. "Moreover, from across the country, students knew that there was easy entry into nursing colleges in Karnataka where there was no entrance exam. Also, there are colleges which run non-attendance programmes," said Latha R., registrar of the Kerala Nursing Council.

Sources explain that the glut in nursing institutes has forced some to offer external courses, which do not require candidates to attend college; they merely need to pay fees and finally take an exam for graduating as a nurse. That kind of 'liberal' education probably brought down the quality of nurses in Indian hospitals and those exported abroad. "Recently, heads from UK's Nursing and Midwifery Council visited India to find out why the quality of nurses had degraded and they realized that the education and training offered in many states was rather poor," added Latha R.

"There are so many one room nursing schools. Yet, the Indian Nursing Council (INC) gives them permission to run. The proliferation has led to a massive deterioration in nurses training from Karnataka," said a principal of a deemed medical university in Navi Mumbai.

But Karnataka too probably has woken up to that. In 2005, a government committee recommended closing down of many of the 800 colleges, many of which were not physically standing. These colleges were on paper and ran external programmes. Now a campaign for improving the quality and range of teaching has forced the nursing council to trim student intake despite permission from the INC.

BN Muninarayanappa, registrar of the Karnataka Nursing Council said the "golden era" of nursing in his state is over. "More than 50% nursing institutes have closed down after 2010. Earlier there was an exodus of students from the north east, Rajasthan, Delhi, Haryana, Gujarat and UP. Now there are not as many students coming as nursing institutes have come up in good numbers everywhere in the country," he said.

The drive to improve quality, Muninarayanappa said, has picked pace. "Now we do not permit colleges to admit students based on the INC sanctioned strength. Even the graduation rate has fallen and our results are about 15% on an average."

State nursing councils and college heads across the country criticized the apex body — INC — for diluting the quality of nursing education. "Caring for patients long after doctors have made their daily rounds, nurses see hospitals at their very best and their absolute worst moments. In short, nurses are the foot soldiers and their training has to absolutely controlled," said a principal.

Source: The Times of India (Online Edition), April 13, 2014

Saturday, April 12, 2014

IIT-Delhi shows cheap can be wonderful

Be it the urinal which saves 1,51,000 litres of water every year and draws out of the excrement phosphorus — a mineral which India imports — or the Rs. 120 cholesterol test which otherwise costs Rs. 5,800, or even the low-cost cellphone-size hemoglobin meter that must surely be a boon to a country in which an overwhelming proportion of maternal deaths result from malnutrition-triggered anemia, for every social problem, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Delhi seems to have a technical solution.

Such was the impression of TOI when it looked at the five high social impact products patented and already in use, and part of the Open House show next week. Known as one of the biggest tech shows at the institutional level, it will showcase about 200 innovative projects put together by its faculty and students this year.

The Open House will be organized on April 19, said member of faculty of electrical engineering in IIT-Delhi Turbo Majumder. "Of these, there will be five high social impact projects, all of them already working and some patented. A few of them are also in production, like the 'Waterless Urinals Technology-Zerodor' which is an IIT start-up. It's being used in the campus successfully," he said.

Scarcity, misuse, pollution of water and lack of sanitation facilities have been the driving force behind development of Zerodor, patented by IIT-Delhi. Speaking about the product, associate professor of rural development and technology, Vijayaraghavan M Chariar, said, "We were concerned about misuse of water, scarcity and absence of sanitation in cities like Delhi. This device came out of collaborative effort with UNICEF to improve sanitation."

"The general perception of people is to flush urine with water. But that is not required. When it comes in contact with water, urine releases ammonia which gives out odour. With this system, we do away with flushing and take care of the odour. Nutrients from the urine can be extracted and used for farming. Urine contains phosphorus which can be used for different applications. There is scarcity of phosphorus in the world and we import it from different countries. This can be resolved using the kit," said Uttam Banerjee, CEO of Ekam Solutions which is now marketing the device.

The hemoglobin meter measures the amount of hemoglobin in the blood of a person. Okayed by AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences), the device was developed with funding from the technology development board of department of science and technology at IIT's Centre for Biomedical Engineering.

"The big social impact of this device stems from its portability, low cost and ease of use. More than 70% of people in India, especially women, are anemic. This device will be very useful for health workers, blood banks, primary health centres, and the school health scheme of the government," said Ambar Srivastava, developer of this device and a student.

Source: The Times of India (Online Edition), April 12, 2014

Friday, April 11, 2014

HT Media’s Bridge School, Northwestern University join hands

The HT Media Ltd co-promoted Bridge School of Management has entered into a partnership with the US- based Northwestern University School of Continuing Studies to offer certificate courses to working professionals in an attempt to tap into a lucrative and growing market. For starters, the two will offer a programme on Predictive Business Analytics this summer on a blended learning platform (online and classroom), HT Media and Northwestern said in a joint statement.

The course modelled after Northwestern School of Continuing Studies’ successful online Masters in Predictive Analytics, will be a one-year programme for Indian professionals seeking to sharpen their skills in big data which is increasingly being leveraged for insights and analysis not just in the area of business, but even sports and politics.

Though the exact size of the executive education market is unknown, India’s overall education market is likely to be worth Rs. 5.9 trillion in 2014-15 as against Rs. 3.33 trillion in 2011-12 financial year, according to rating agency India Ratings.

Executive education has multiple benefits, for businesses looking to get more value from workers, professionals aiming to enhance their skills or switch career mid-way, and business schools seeking to build the relevant industry linkage, explained Narayanan Ramaswamy, partner and head education practice at consulting company KPMG.

“At a time the Indian education marketplace is in great need of high-quality professional education programmes, the Northwestern and Bridge School initiative will combine online content developed and taught by Northwestern faculty with weekly in-person sessions led by local specialist faculty at the Bridge School,” the statement said.

Big data is expected to be a business worth $1 billion in India by 2015, growing at a compounded annual growth rate of 83% from 2012, according to a report by software industry lobby Nasscom. The Bridge course on analytics is among the first of its kind in India.

Vikash Jain, principal at Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and an expert on IT services said companies are using analytics to make a sense of the data from both structured sources such as reports and unstructured sources such as social media conversations. The use of big data is helping businesses to make more informed and significant decisions, he added. “The companies which are able to use data analytics will have a competitive advantage over their peers.” 

“The need of the hour is for Indian management schools to adopt the best practices of world-class management institutions and this collaboration bears testimony to our efforts in this direction. We hope that this joint venture between Northwestern University and the Bridge School of Management will help in building strong human capital in India,” HT Media CEO Rajiv Verma said in the statement

“The Bridge School has demonstrated a deep understanding of the needs of industry and employees and is creating highly effective links between industry and academia.” added Northwestern University Provost Daniel Linzer.

The Bridge School of Management started operations last year and plans to equip working professionals in India with key business skills and practical knowledge. The school aims to open at least 50 centres across India over a period of time. The first such was opened in Gurgaon on the outskirts of Delhi in October 2013. The school functions under India Education Services Pvt. Ltd, an equal joint venture between HT Media and US-based Apollo Global Inc. Mint is published by HT Media Ltd.

Source: Mint, April 11, 2014

Thursday, April 10, 2014

No new engineering colleges this year, says UGC

There will be no new engineering college or increase in seats in the existing engineering colleges in the coming academic year. The University Grants Commission (UGC) made the decision this week, following its meeting in the last week of March.

"AICTE (All India Council for Technical Education) reports showed that several seats were going vacant in engineering colleges, and the notification for the UGC (Affiliation of Colleges offering Technical Education by Universities) Regulations 2014 has not yet come, whereas according to a Supreme Court judgment, approvals have to be finalised by the end of April. So, there won't be enough time," said UGC Vice-Chairperson H Devaraj. He said as it is a new process universities and colleges may need some time to get familiar with it.

UGC officials also said that they did not get too many inquiries for starting new colleges. "Colleges are seeing that many of their students are unemployed, so not many are expressing interest in starting new colleges. But a lot of people want to start new arts and science courses," Devaraj added.

Earlier this month, Anna University officials said they expected a maximum of 10 new colleges to apply for approval this year, of which four or five were last year's applicants who did not meet some of the requirements in 2012. For these colleges it is a blow, as they will be letting their infrastructure lie unused for the second year now.

The moratorium is good news for some relatively new colleges that did not see many students enrolling in their courses in the past few years, as existing tier 1 engineering colleges may not be able to accommodate more students this year. But some colleges that want to expand were disappointed with the move.

"We applied for two new courses - mechatronics and biomedical engineering. Officials from Anna University had conducted the inspection, but our request has been stalled for a year," said Agni College of Technology principal S R R Senthilkumar. The college now has six courses.

The Tamil Nadu government wrote to AICTE to stop issuing approvals to new colleges in the state in 2010, but the council turned down the request quoting the country's commitment to increasing the gross enrolment ratio. More than 100,000 seats went vacant in 2013 in TN, and the situation was not much different in engineering colleges in many other parts of the country. Some academics said that at least 100 colleges were up for sale in Tamil Nadu, for want of students. Academics lauded UGC's move saying this would give colleges the much required breather to work on the quality of their courses and attract students.

Source: The Times of India, April 10, 2014

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Ashoka University to raise Rs. 4 billion for expansion

Ashoka University, India’s first liberal arts university, is looking to raise around Rs. 4 billion from businessmen, non-resident Indians and other high net worth individuals. The university, whose co-founders have thus far invested  Rs. 1 billion, has asked one of them, Ashish Dhawan, the senior managing director of venture capital fund ChrysCapital Investment Advisors, to oversee the fund-raising effort.

Dhawan, also the chief executive of Central Square Foundation, a philanthropic fund that invests in non-profits in education, said Ashoka, which is aiming to establish a different model of education, needs more funds — around Rs. 4 billion — over a period of time.

For starters, Dhawan is reaching out to his own executives at private equity (PE) and venture capital funds looking for a cause to support. Two batches of such funders have already visited the university’s campus in Sonepat, Dhawan said. Ashoka has been running a fellowship programme, the Young India Fellowship, for the last three years, and will start its undergraduate programme in August.

Pramath Raj Sinha, another co-founder of the university and the founding dean of Indian School of Business (ISB), is in charge of academics; Vineet Gupta, another co-founder, the physical infrastructure; and Dhawan, funding.

Sanjeev Bikhchandani, Founder and Executive Vice-Chairman of Info Edge (India) Ltd; Puneet Dalmia, Managing Director of Dalmia Cements Ltd; Jerry Rao, Chairman of Value and Budget Housing and former promoter of Mphasis Ltd, and Atul Nishar, former promoter of Hexaware Technologies Ltd, are some of the university’s other co-founders.

Dhawan said he is also looking to raise money from individuals in countries such as the US, UK and Singapore. He added that Ashoka is recruiting two people to help with these efforts in the US and that an executive at a hedge fund in that country has already pledged $500,000. Between 25% and 30% of the money required will be raised from individuals outside India. It’s a smart way to raise money, said a consultant.

“This approach has three benefits: influential people become part of a venture, thus bringing in multiple skill-sets; it builds credibility that a single owner private institute will not have; and, of course, it helps bring in money,” said Narayanan Ramaswamy, partner and head, education practice, KPMG.

Source: Mint, April 9, 2014

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

India, China fare poorly on utilizing talent - Costs Indian companies Rs. 508 billion

India and China are among the least adaptable markets when it comes to adapting and utilizing talent with changing demand-supply needs, according to a first of its kind report released by LinkedIn and PwC, titled ‘The Adapt to Survive study’. The report shows that better alignment between talent and given opportunities in countries can help drive economic growth.

Research by the two firms revealed that poor talent alignment is costing Indian companies as much as Rs. 508 billion in lost productivity. The capacity of a market to match supply and demand efficiently depends on the ability and willingness of employers and employees to adapt to changing circumstances and align skills with available opportunities, according to the report. If this alignment is less than perfect, a mismatch occurs and optimum productivity cannot be reached.

The report analysed real-time behaviours drawn from LinkedIn’s 277 million members and employer information from PwC’s Saratoga database of people and performance metrics, which covers more than 2,600 employers across the globe.

LinkedIn measured the degree to which talent and organisations adapt to changing circumstances in 11 countries like the US, the UK, Australia, Germany, Brazil, the Netherlands, China and India and created an adaptability score matching talent with opportunity. At 85, Netherlands was the most adaptable market across the globe, and the UK, Canada, Singapore and the US finished at the second, third, fourth and fifth positions with scores of 67, 61, 57, 57, respectively. India’s adaptability score was 34, right ahead of China which had the lowest adaptability score at 23.

The lower scores of Brazil, India and China were explained in part by a lack of sector diversity – in developing markets a small number of sectors tend to dominate the workplace and so skills tend to be more concentrated. Net migration is also influential; Brazil, India and China have seen more people leave their nations than arrive in recent years, although this may slow or even reverse as their domestic economies continue to develop, according to the report. 

“The reasons for a lower adaptability score for India could also be explained by inhibitions linked to lateral moves across sectors and the lack of an inherent flexibility in moving to different job roles across sectors. This could be due to societal expectations and perceptions which favour a linear career path,” said Nishant Rao, Country Manager, LinkedIn India. Rao also attributed lesser adaptability in India to a dearth of job ready skills among graduates passing out of Indian institutions.

About 81% of Indian CEOs were worried about the availability of key skills in the India findings of the report, and about 57% intended to increase their headcount over the next year. Productivity was found to be higher in the most adaptable markets as people and jobs were better matched.

Source: The Economic Times, April 8, 2014

Why more women in India give GMAT a skip

Too few women are applying for the GMAT examination in India for pursuing courses like masters in finance, accountancy or an MBA, according to data shared exclusively with ET by Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), administrator of the GMAT test. The number of GMAT women test takers in India has risen by a mere 2% since 2009. 

In 2009, 76% male Indian citizens applied for the test compared with 24% women. In 2013, the figures stood at 74% males versus 26% women test takers. In contrast, more women apply for the GMAT exam in China than men. Around 64% Chinese women citizens applied for the GMAT exam in 2013, compared to 36% males, according to GMAC.

Rohin Kapoor, Senior Manager, Education Practice at Deloitte, feels the skewed figures could be attributed to low female literacy rates, and low gross enrolment ratio for women in higher education. “As opposed to males, gross enrolment ratios for women in higher education are very low in India, and women pursuing higher education usually prefer streams like humanities and social sciences. China’s single child policy, which can enable higher literacy and gross enrolment ratios for women, also tilts the scales in its favour,” he says.

Around 71% Chinese women sent their scores to US schools in 2013 compared with 51% in India. India was the second most popular destination for schools for Indian women at 18% compared to Hong Kong at 10% for Chinese women.

“Our biggest growth story in recent years has been young women in China, who are applying for GMAT to pursue courses in masters of accountancy, masters of finance in schools in Europe and the US. This could be attributed to reasons like China’s single child policy and the lure to do a masters course among women there, but it seems that a lot of women here are missing out onan opportunity that is demonstrated to be a good opportunity,” says Dr Lawrence M Rudner, VP, research and development, and chief psychometrician, GMAC.

Rudner feels the lure for an MBA is also partly to blame for skewed statistics in favour of Chinese women. “In India, they do not realise that it can be a test for pursuing other masters programmes, besides an MBA,” he adds. Professor Sankarshan Basu, chairperson, career development services, IIM-Bangalore, feels that China’s single child policy has been the most significant enabler for aiding financial security of women graduates there. “Thanks to the single child policy, women could end up being the sole inheritors of wealth in China and may find it easier to fund their post graduate programmes. GMAT is an exam undertaken by professionals with some years of work experience, and the societal pressures of marriage, motherhood that come for mid-level women professionals may forbid them from applying in India,” he points out.

Professor Basu also feels that lesser women opt to pursue professional courses in India, with the orientation being skewed in favour of courses like humanities and science. The average age for females was around 25 for Indian citizens against about 22 in China. A critical factor cited for younger GMAT test takers in China was their financial ability to pay for such costs. Major funding in China came from contributions from parents and grandparents. Chinese women younger than 24 expected to finance more than half of their education with help from their parents compared to Indian women who expected their parents to fund 29% of the education. Indian women, on the other hand, expected to finance a major share of their education through loans, grants, fellowships, and scholarships.

Some 61% Chinese women felt applying for GMAT would increase job opportunities compared with 49% in India. However, Indian women rated the exam and masters courses highly for a sense of personal satisfaction and achievement at 55% compared to 43% in China. 59% Indian women also considered it to be a platform for developing their leadershipand managerial skills compared to 43% and 45% respectively for women in China. VK Menon, director for admissions, financial aid and careers at ISB, says the Indian environment for entrance exams is different from China. “India has developed its own environment for exams which has numerous tests for selection across diverse streams. Earlier, MBA was straight jacketed, but with institutions being open to other streams apart from engineering, there is a growing demand from corporates for women MBAs,” he says.

Source: The Economic Times, April 8, 2014

US students keen to continue post graduate programs in India

The US graduates would be keen to opt for an exchange program to continue their post graduate programs in India," says James Stavridis, Dean, The Fletcher School, Tufts University, seemingly impressed by modern infrastructure at Mohali campus (another in Hyderabad) of Indian School of Business.

The former NATO commander and US Navy Admiral said the career opportunities, modern infrastructure, fat salaries are incentives enough for the foreign students to join ISB at Mohali. "There is much that the graduates from two largest democracies could share in terms of joint programs, student and facility exchange programs, research work, distance education and international learning," Stavridis told ET on the sidelines of the graduation day celebrations at the Indian School of Business (ISB) at Mohali on Saturday. 
"At Fletcher, half of the 700 students come from 79 different countries and the remaining are Americans." 

"The Mohali campus has best of facilities, proximity to airport, world class facilities to offer to graduates... Moreover, the graduates have much to share in terms of transparency, human rights, values, education in India," he said.

The Bharti Institute of Public Policy (BIPP) has a tie-up with the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, USA, as its partner school. "The aim is to inculcate best of public policy and business principles," said Rajesh Chakrabarti, Executive Director, Bharti Institure of Public Policy and clinical associate professor.

By the next year, six courses would be started in post graduation program in Public Policy with support from the Fletcher School, he revealed. The school already has a curriculum on Public Policy. "The program will allow six faceto-face visits of senior faculty and a week's visit to The Fletcher School.

The BIPP is developing training modules on various themes of governance and capacity building of the faculty of the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA) and the National Institute of Administrative Research (NIAR). This project will be done in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme ( UNDP) and the Government of India.

"The induction phase module will be ready this year," he said. "We expect that half of the takers for PGP on Public Policy will be from public sector," he said.

Source: The Economic Times, April 8, 2014

Monday, April 07, 2014

Indian students to present 'Nano Health' biz idea at Clinton Summit

A team of Indian students will present their business idea at a summit in New York. Five Indian students have been selected to present their idea of creating a network of local physicians and urban slum dwellers on the mobile application platform at the annual Clinton Global Initiative Summit in New York in September.

Dr. Ashish Bondia, Manish Ranjan, Ramanathan Lakshmanan, Aditi Vaish and Pranav Kumar Maranganty, all students of the Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad, will present their 'Nano Health' project along with five teams from France, Spain, US and Canada to compete for the Hult Prize.

The project makes use of technology and a disruptive business model to establish local health networks and brings cost-effective healthcare to the doorstep of urban slum dwellers. The aim is to negate the impact of chronic diseases, which get aggravated due to under-diagnosis , non-standardised treatment and poor prescription adherence.

It is the first time that an Indian team will take part in the final round of this annual prize, awarded to teams which come up with ingenious solutions to the world's healthcare needs. The prize was launched by Bill Clinton in 2010.

The audience and the jury at the summit will include Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus, heads of states and leaders in the healthcare and social entrepreneurship sector. The winners will receive a seed capital of $1 million for their social enterprise.

Elaborates Lakshmanan, a former financial service and risk management specialist, "Nano Health is a social enterprise concept that builds local physician networks for slum dwellers to tackle the rising burden of chronic disease. The initiative's aim is to ensure that a patient is monitored throughout the entire life cycle of a disease." Working extensively on urban slums, the team was exposed to various healthcare challenges that such residents face.

Maranganty, who previously worked as a technology designer, shares, "We found that the traditional ways of looking at healthcare issues — the triangle of affordability, access and quality — must be adapted to face the challenges by non-communicable diseases."

Source: The Times of India, April 7, 2014

Sunday, April 06, 2014

IIM-Calcutta may open campuses in Dubai and Malaysia

The Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta (IIM-C) may explore the possibility of opening campuses on foreign shores soon. And the destinations could be Dubai and Malaysia. The proposal, which was discussed with several of the Board of Governors (BoG) members, is waiting for nod from the highest decision-making body of the institute. If a go-ahead is given, IIM-C will join the league of IIM-Indore, IMT-Ghaziabad and SP Jain Institute of Management Research (SPJIMR) that already run campuses in Dubai. IIM-Indore has recently decided to shift from Ras Al Khaimah to the commercial hub of Middle East.

"The plan is at a very nascent state. Nothing has been decided yet. But we are looking at the prospects to make our presence felt in the Middle East and also Malaysia. The major draw will be to run the executive programmes," said a senior faculty member.

He added: "The presence of IIM-C in Dubai will access the Middle East market where a great number of expats live. Many European schools have already opened shops in Dubai. Even private B-schools and universities like SPJIMR and IMT-Ghaziabad also have centres in Dubai. XLRI, too, operates a centre from the same city. IIM-Indore has opened a study centre. There is a big executive education market and since the distance and connectivity between Europe or the USA with India is far, Middle East is a better option."

Some of the IIM-C board members also feel that Indian brands have good recognition in the Dubai market. "If the project materializes, we will take baby steps in internationalizing the B-school, which is already a famous brand in India. We have a certain degree of excellence. Opening campuses on foreign shores will be a stepping stone to try and tap a larger market. The north African markets, too, are accessible in that way. The cost of education from Indian schools is competitively better than European or US B-schools too," another source pointed out.

Additional revenue generation is a motive for such move if the decision comes through. "Corporates have a huge presence in the Middle East and that will work for placements. Part of the expansion policy of the institute may include a plan to open foreign study centres," said the source.

The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) will not have to spend money for the purpose, but only give a go-ahead. "IIM-Bangalore was previously asked by the ministry to shut shop in Singapore because of non-clarity in policy. We will be much transparent before starting on the venture," said a IIM-C board member.

The institute already runs an online executive programme in business management which is an international course. "These students sometimes come to the campus for a week or more. And sometimes even our faculty visits the country and teaches them in Dubai or Sharjah. Some students are also from Oman. It's a certificate programme and not a diploma course," informed a source.

IIM-C is not eyeing Singapore because it is already packed with global B-schools. "Earlier, representatives from the Malaysian government had come to us and invited IIM-C to open a campus at the knowledge village which they were planning to set up. We had then turned down the proposal due to lack of faculty members. Now we have more teachers and hence are ready to expand our presence globally," added the source.

Source: The Times of India, April 6, 2014

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

UK's foreign students fall for first time in 30 years: Less students from India

The number of international students attending England's universities has dropped for the first time in three decades, a study said on Wednesday, with students from India and Pakistan hit by tighter visa rules. The Higher Education Funding Council for England found foreign student numbers declined by 1.5 per cent in 2012-2013 — the first fall in 29 years. Numbers fell to 307,205, down from 311,800 the previous year.

The drop raises concerns that tougher immigration laws are driving away genuine students and risking the higher education sector's income.
Meanwhile the trebling of annual maximum tuition fees to £9,000 ($15,000, 10,850 euros) a year is deterring European Union students, the report said. 

The numbers of full-time EU undergraduate entrants to English higher education institutions dropped from 23,440 last year to 17,890 — a fall of 23.7 per cent — which the study said was "probably due to the increased tuition fees".

Heavy reductions in postgraduate entrants since 2010-11 have slashed numbers from India (51 per cent, 7,000 students) and Pakistan (49 percent, 1,400 students). However, there was strong growth coming from China (44 per cent, 8,300 students). The study found that almost as many Chinese students are studying full-time masters courses as English ones.

The University and College Union (UCU) said changes to the rules governing student visas and domestic concern about immigration were damaging Britain's image abroad, giving the impression to students from India and Pakistan that they were not welcome. At the same time, other countries were striving to attract more foreign students.

"International students make a huge contribution to academic and cultural life on campuses and in our cities. They also make a valuable contribution to our economy," said UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt. "Ministers need to recognise that attempts to sound tough on immigration at home are also reported elsewhere and it is not surprising if students consider studying in the countries that make an effort to welcome them."

Not long ago, students represented almost two-thirds of the non-European Union migrants coming to Britain. The government believes the system is wide open to abuse, with obscure courses and colleges effectively offering a back door to settling in Britain. A large proportion of international masters entrants studying full-time are from China — 23 per cent of entrants in 2012-13, compared with 26 per cent from Britain. 

"International students make a huge contribution — boosting our economy and enhancing our cultural life," said a spokesman for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, which has responsibility for universities. "That is why there is no cap on the number of legitimate students who can study here. By working with other countries we will continue to attract international students and promote the UK's expertise in education."

Source: The Times of India, April 2, 2014

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Chicago Booth School in no hurry to open India Campus: To focus on research and short courses

The Chicago Booth School of Business does not have any plans in the medium term to open a campus in India, despite the Indian governments opening the gate to foreign institutes. "Given the restrictions in India on movement of fund and curriculum independence, the best I can say is that there is no clarity and hence, we have no plans in the medium term to roll out a campus in India," the institute's Dean, Sunil Kumar said in an interaction with ET

"We have no plans for a campus in the medium term. Our approach to degree programmes outside the US is to use our own faculty for the uniformity of experience for students. We have just started an MBA programme in Hong Kong and in the medium term, will focus on that and have no plans to set up any campus here," Kumar said.

Last September, the government allowed top foreign universities to set up campuses in India, without a local partner, and award degrees, giving Indian students an opportunity to study in global institutions without leaving home. However, several top universities including Harvard Business School, Stanford Graduate School of Business, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT Sloan School of Management, Cambridge University and Duke University ruled out the possibility of opening campuses here.

Kumar, who is of Indian origin, is in India for the launch for the University of Chicago's business centre in Delhi. Chicago Booth School of Business will be one of the users of the centre, primarily to support research projects in India and to run non-degree short courses tailored to specific topics such as family business, leadership, finance and governance, among others. "We will be flying in our Chicago faculty for the same. We don't have a calendar in place as yet, but well start some time in the fall," he said.

Making a case for MBA education amid rising cost for the degree and arguably fewer number of jobs, Kumar said the value of an MBA from a top school is still very positive. "MBA education from a top school has a strong value proposition. My own school for example has very high placement rates. The differential compensation that they get because of the fact that they got an MBA and the acceleration of their career trajectory more than pays for their MBA cost," said Kumar. "An MBA should not be measured by the quality of the first job, but by the career a person gets."

The institute currently has its 5-year curriculum review under way and going forward, will emphasise further on the use of technology in their courses. On collaborating with alumni, especially in India, he said: "Our Indian alumni have been extremely active. They have made significant financial contributions not only to support the centre, but towards the way the university and Booth School can increase connections to India." 

Chicago Booth now has three new scholarships totalling $3 million, taking the total number of India-oriented scholarships for their MBA flagship programme to five. Asked about his suggestion to Indian B-schools, which are under pressure to improve rankings, he said: "I believe its best to let them do what they choose to do. The less you control them, the better they do. They will figure out what works best for them  This is the US model. It allows schools like mine and Harvard to take extremely different approaches to management education, but we still serve society well."

Source: The Economic Times, April 1, 2014

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