Top B-schools in India are going the extra mile to make their courses attractive to international students, with good reason. Such students are integral for diversity, getting more recruiters and global accreditations as well as climbing the ranking order.
Full-time MBA programmes in India see barely a handful of international students, and the institutes claim their diplomas look paler than their global counterparts' MBA degrees. While the issue is currently before the government, the institutes are looking at international enrolments through exchange programmes, alumni meets, projects and short term courses.
The Indian School of Business (ISB), launched a mobile application (app) and 500 people in North America downloaded it. Called the 360 degree app, it has videos of the B-school's alumni talking about their experience and the current batch speaking about why they picked the college, besides snippets of class room teaching and faculty profiles.
"We are tracking every download to gauge how many are interested in our college globally," says Munish Sapra, senior director for admissions and financial aid, ISB.
IIM Lucknow plans to open up a branch in another country. While three countries are on the shortlist, the institute's director, Devi Singh, refused to comment further. The international campus will have students from both India and the host country for the MBA programme. Institutes such as XLRI and SP Jain already have campuses abroad.
Collaborations are another way to improve visibility. For the past three years, IIM Lucknow and colleges from Brazil, South Africa and China are part of a forum called 'Centre for Marketing and Emerging Economy', which conducts research and presentations along with exchange programmes. XLRI is in negotiation with business schools in the US to launch new programmes for mixed-nationality students from 2016.
These will include executive education programmes, dual degrees and even courses for working professionals. "More international students translate into more global exposure and recruiters," says Jittu Singh, chairperson, international relations.
"International students and faculty help in global rankings," says Ashok Banerjee, dean, new initiatives and external relations, IIM-C. For the oldest IIM in India, an entry into the coterie of 28 elite B-schools called, 'International Centre of Excellence in Management Education' in 2012 was one way of gaining global visibility.
IIM Calcutta is the only Indian member in this elite group of European, Asian and American schools of business and 70 multinational firms.
Source: IIM Calcutta