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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