Study in India initiative to Attract Foreign Students For MBA Courses

GMAC has partnered with nine Indian B-schools to launch the Study in India initiative for aspirants from 27 countries.


Students from 27 countries in Asia, Africa and Europe, including Germany, France, Israel, Japan, South Africa, South Korea and the Philippines, may soon start arriving in India to pursue business studies, aided by the Study in India initiative launched by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) in partnership with Indian B-schools.

GMAC is a global body that conducts GMAT exams and is a gateway to foreign B-schools.

The organization is now seeking to make India an attractive destination for management education for international students. The endeavor arose from the Indian Ministry of Human Resource Development’s directive to build the country’s attractiveness as a study destination for higher education.

“India has all the elements in the making of becoming a global education hub because it has the unique advantage of providing world class, high quality education at affordable prices,” Sangeet Chowfla, the president and chief executive of GMAC, said.

Study in India is a logical extension of the goals of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Make in India” initiative, he added, pointing out that there is very little knowledge about Indian B-schools in other countries. “The perception about them needs  to undergo a change through unbiased information,” he said.

Countries that see India as an economic destination as well those in which India is making investments will be the source of students for Indian B-schools. GMAC is targeting 13 countries in South and South East Asia, five countries in the Middle East, two in Europe and seven in Africa.

The nine schools that are on board with the GMAC are: Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Indore; Indian School of Business Hyderabad; SP Jain Institute of Management and Research and Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (both Mumbai); Xavier University Bhubaneswar; Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai; and IMT Ghaziabad.

“Students across these markets will now have access to some of these top schools, which are globally accredited, have superior infrastructure, faculty and curriculum…study in India intends to connect international talent and aspiration with the right opportunity on India’s B-school campuses,” Chowfla told The Mint.

The need for the Study in India initiative arose from the low international rankings received by Indian institutions. The Indian Institute of Science Bangalore, for instance, got a score of 54 in teaching parameters and 50 in industry income but only 19.5 in international outlook, according to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2017. This impacted the institute’s overall ranking in the world.

The number of foreign students in India over the last six years indicates that the growth has been flat, the Wire reported. And the numbers are low, considering the fact that there are 757 universities, 38,056 colleges and 11,922 stand-alone institutions in the country, as per the All  India Survey on Higher Education’s report of 2014-15.

The number of Indians studying abroad – approximately 360,000 – is nearly 10 times higher than the number of international students at Indian universities. There has been a steady increase in the number of students going abroad. According to figures cited by UNESCO,  2 million students travelled abroad to study in 2000; in 2013, the number had reached 4.1 million.

While countries like the UK, Canada, US and Australia are earning good revenue from education exports, countries like India can strive for that as well, Chowfla told Mint. For example, the US earns nearly $34 billion every year from foreign students, according to the US Department of Commerce.

There aren’t just economic benefits of having an international student in your classroom. “The presence of international students in American schools provides US students with exposure to different cultures and ideas enlivening classroom discussions with their perspectives and experiences,” an earlier feature in the Atlantic had highlighted. “This exposure also has practical value, especially when only a fraction of American college students study abroad; sitting in a classroom with a Brazilian or a Saudi might be the only exchange that Americans students have with people from other countries and the only opportunity to develop skills critical to a globalized workforce.”

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