Our 10th annual Canada-India: A Synergy in Education conference will take place on September 23 from 1 – 5pm at the Ontario Investment & Trade Centre.
* Be part of an exclusive & unique celebration
* Network with Dignitaries, Provincial & Federal Ministers, education stakeholders, VIP’s/guests, College/University decision makers & thought leaders from both countries
* Enjoy a sumptuous dinner & breathtaking skylines
CIEC invites you to be a part of our highly-anticipated & ambitious ‘ScholarSHIP 2016’ Networking Dinner which takes place simultaneously in Toronto, ON & Vancouver, BC
‘ScholarSHIP 2016’ will take place onboard scenic harbor cruise ships in Toronto & Vancouver where attendees will network with dignitaries, Ministers & policy makers, academic champions and key stakeholders from the Academic, Government & corporate sectors besides enjoying on-board Bollywood entertainment and a sumptuous dinner.
‘ScholarSHIP 2016’ will serve as a great way to highlight emerging issues and areas of possible co-operation between Canada & India, as well as governments’ programs and policies in the education sector. With reasonably priced members tickets at only $150, this is one event you don’t want to miss!
‘ScholarSHIP 2016’ Sponsorship Benefits
Have a questions? Contact [email protected]
We look forward to seeing you at ‘ScholarSHIP 2016’!
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October 30, 2015 • Hilton Garden Inn (Toronto Airport West) • 1870 Matheson Blvd • Mississauga, ON • L4W 0B3
CIEC would like to thank all Synergy 2015 Presenters and Participants for helping to make this year’s event yet another success. CIEC was proud to host Synergy 2015 which explored the academia-industry partnerships and whether they are a myth or reality in the Canada-India context. This year’s exciting agenda featured distinguished speakers, key academics and Provincial/Federal representatives such as India’s Consul General Hon. Akhilesh Mishra, President of the Indo Canada Chamber of Commerce (ICCC) Sanjay Makkar, Chair of the Canada India Business Council Yezdi Pavri more.
We hope Synergy 2015 provided you with valuable networking opportunities and served as a platform for discussion of emerging issues and areas of possible co-operation as well as governments’ programs & policies in education that have been hailed as a priority. We are happy to share the very informative Powerpoint presentations accompanying this year’s sessions. Please click here to view our Youtube playlist of all presentations or view our photos on Google+.
Hon. Pierre S. Pettigrew offered the Opening Address which highlighted the role of the middle class in economic growth and offered insights into the present and future of Canada-India education relations. Hon. Akhilesh Mishra, India’s Consul General gave a moving presentation titled ‘Canada & India: How our paths intersect’ and Prof. Balbir Sahni, Professor Emeritus, Economics, Concordia University, offered the Inaugural Address ‘ACADEMIA-INDUSTRY LINKAGES: a Myth or Reality? – Canada-India Context’. Yezdi Pavri, Chair, Canada-India Business Council (CIBC) presented the keynote address ‘Academia & Industry: linkages and role India can play’ with Q&A, which highlighted CIBC’s as well as the the corporate role in establishing industry-academic linkages and promoting Canadian education in India.
— Akhilesh Mishra (@AkhileshIFS) October 31, 2015
Dr. Ragini Bilolikar, Academic Advisor – India, Canada India Education Council prepared a synopsis of the ‘The National Skills Development Council (NSDC). Veenaa Kumari, Research Scholar, shared tips on talent supply chain management and Dr. Peter Geller, Vice Provost & AVP, University of Fraser Valley shared insights on UFV’s successful & unique India initiative during his presentation ‘Ten Years of the University of the Fraser Valley’s Campus in Chandigarh: Moving Beyond Challenge to Success’. Vijendra “VJ” Gairola, CIEC’s Senior Strategic Advisor & Sheila Embleton, Professor of Linguistics, York University hosted a roundtable discussion with Synergy participants on the skills shortage in India as well as the current state and future trends of academic-industry linkages. Synergy Sponsor Hanson International Academy also made a very informative presentation on the role Hybrid Institutions can play in the Canada-India education corridor and offered keen advice on pursuing the right type of partnership for each institution.
— Hanson International (@HansonInt) November 5, 2015
CIEC thanks our sponsors for making Synergy 2015 possible:
Gold Sponsor: Hanson International Academy
Interested in becoming a Synergy 2015 Sponsor?
Source: The PIE News
Canadian educators have partnered with the National Skill Development Corporation of India to undertake part of the mammoth task of upskilling India’s youth population. With the NSDC responsible for training 150 million young people by 2022, this month it has signed 13 memoranda of understanding.
The MoUs, 12 of which with Canadian colleges as well as an umbrella MoU with Colleges and Institutes Canada, will facilitate collaborations for skill development in a variety of different sectors, including water, aviation and hydrocarbon.
The agreements were endorsed by both Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the latter’s visit to Canada last week, the first in 42 years.
In 2009, under the National Policy on Skill Development in India, a target to train 500 million people before 2022 was set and the NSDC has been charged with training 150 million.
Cynthia Murphy, director of the Canadian Immigrant Integration Programme at Colleges and Institutes Canada, told The PIE News that with the looming deadline, development under these MoUs is moving very quickly.
“We all know of MoUs that are signed that don’t have a lot of activity – that’s not happening with this group,” she said.
“The NSDC is incredibly motivated and keen to get work happening under these MoUs. Each institution set its own goals within its own sector, but the time frame is of the essence.”
According to CIC figures, last year Canadian colleges and institutes hosted more than 8,000 Indian students– more than the number at universities, language schools, primary and secondary schools combined.
Education in general was one of the key areas that both Prime Ministers agreed to prioritise for bilateral engagement.
Canada also listed India as one of the priority countries to work with in its international education strategy last year.
Modi’s visit followed trips to Germany and France where he signed a two-year residence permit for Indian graduates with French president Francois Holland.
Murphy said that while on this trip Modi connected with the diaspora, but also with business and industry.
“It’s very much about building partnerships in several key sectors, and education being one of them,” she said. “It’s on the government’s agenda, it’s one of the priorities listed, and it is incredibly important to both countries.”
Despite the initial momentum of the collaborations, Husain Neemuchwala, CEO of the Canada-India Education Council said Modi has a lot to prove in the face of India’s upskilling needs.
“The government has only been in power for the past ten months or so,” he commented. “I think there’s tremendous scope and lots to demonstrate the intent as well as the ability to get things accomplished.”
He added: “I think there’s a lot to undertake at this point to demonstrate that they are able and capable and they mean what they say.”
November 17, 2014 • Westin Ottawa
On November 17, 2014 CIEC hosted the ‘Canada-India: Synergy in Education’ Conference 2014 in Ottawa. This year’s event took place before CBIE’s annual conference and explored the convergence of sports and entertainment in the education sector.. asking the question: Is India the next frontier? View event photos
- Discussed sports management, sports marketing, sports scholarships, talent acquisition, scouting and related topics…
- Exchanged ideas & experiences, explore opportunities, pitfalls & challenges, highlight your sports / entertainment programs, network with stakeholders active in both markets and create valuable connections…
With sessions by CBIE and DFATD, augmented by multiple workshop-style sessions led by the Hon. Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport), this was a must-attend event for those active or interested in examining India as a possible frontier in this corridor. Hon. Bal Gosal outlined the $200 million set aside by the federal government for sports, including the athlete assistance program. He also discussed trade between Canada & India and projected that once the new trade agreements are in place trade between these nations will triple to $15 billion annually.
Attendees also heard ex- NHL’er Doug Smith lend his expertise and a decade of high performance playing at the elite level. He discussed sports injuries as well as athletic programming & how it can benefit academic institutiions. Doug Smith also shared stories of his fascinating life, recovery, and the impact of trauma and injury on sports performance. He also described how behavior drives culture in sports.
Dr. Brian Mcpherson, with 30 years experience in leading government relations, sport marketing and innovative initiatives, described Commonwealth Games Canada and its 3 programs
View Synergy 2014 photos.
Useful links regarding obtaining a VISA
Conferences, such as this one, are crucial to Canada-India relations, because they allow for growth and promoting knowledge between the two countries….’
– Hon. Deepak Obhrai, P.C., M.P., Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and for International Human RightsEvents such as this remind us that when many come together for a single cause, much can be accomplished. Prime Minister Harper said: “There is s tremendous amount of potential in our relationship with India. We share a history of cooperation in the Commonwealth and the United Nations, as well as a shared commitment to pluralism, democracy, human rights and the rule of law. Our goal is to build a stronger, more dynamic partnership based on shared commercial, political and regional interests.” As Minister for Multiculturalism, I would like to thank the members of the Canada India Education Council for your ongoing work in support of cooperation between Canada and India in the field of education. – Hon. Jason Kenney, PC, MP Minister of Employment and Social Development & Minister for Multiculturalism
Friday, June 6, 2014, Vancouver, BC | Fairmont Waterfront Hotel
CIEC’s Canada West Chapter’s must-attend, landmark event featured a “who’s who” of education including illustrious speakers such as Hon. Minister Amrik Virk, BC Minister of Advanced Education, Hon. Minister Peter Fassbender, BC Minister of Education, Hon. Deepak Obhrai, MP & Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, 5 University Presidents…and over 200 participants.
To view photos of the event, please visit Event Photos.
To view testimonials of Hon. Jason Kenney, PC, MP Minister of Employment and Social Development & Minister for Multiculturalism as well as Christy Clark, Premier, British Columbia, please visit Testimonials.
- Exchanged ideas via a focused networking event
- Learned about BC’s new Education Quality Assurance (EQA) standards
- Explored opportunities and build a collaborative approach. Share experiences and avoid potential pitfalls
- Highlighted your initiatives to peers and receive effective marketing tips and benefit from existing synergies
- Examined the confluence of ‘business’ with education. How do we measure our ‘ROI’ ? (Scroll down for Event Agenda)
Learn about Sponsorship Benefits
View Speaker Profiles
View Event Photos
On June 6, CIEC will host a landmark dinner event in Vancouver, BC at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel. CIEC’s Canada West Chapter’s must-attend event will feature a “who’s who” of education including illustrious speakers such as:
- Hon. Minister Amrik Virk, BC Minister of Advanced Education
- Hon. Minister Peter Fassbender, BC Minister of Education
- Hon. Alice Wong, Minister of State for Seniors
- Devinder Shory, MP Calgary Northeast
- Hon. Pierre S. Pettigrew, PC, Chair, Canada India Education Council
- Prof. Niloufer Adil, CIEC’s Academic Advisor & Past Secretary-India’s University Grants Commission (UGC)
- Dr. Alan Davis, President-Kwantlen Polytechnic University
- Dr. Robert Kuhn, President & Chancellor, Trinity Western University
- Prof. Andrew Petter, President- Simon Fraser University
- Dr. Lane Trotter, President & CEO, Langara College
Learn about BC’s new education quality assurance standards (EQA) and examine the confluence of ‘business’ with education. How do we measure ‘ROI’? BC is committed to increasing international students by 50% by 2016.
Canada India Education Council (CIEC) was pleased to host a private reception to launch our Canada West Chapter
On Nov 18 CIEC hosted a complimentary reception to launch our Canada West Chapter at the Westin Bayshore in Vancouver, which was attended by education stakeholders and key thought leaders from BC & neighbouring Provinces as well as India and featured special guest Ravi Shankar Aisola, Consul General-Vancouver (Government of India).
To view photos of the event, please click here to view them on CIEC’s Google+ page.
Source: Times of India
With foreign currency getting expensive, universities offering twinning programmes are seeing a surge in student enrolment.
In 1994, Manipal University’s International Centre For Applied Sciences (ICAS) was built to accommodate about 200 students; only six students had signed up then. For long, the centre saw a steady rise in students and about 150-odd candidates joined last year. “I feel we will have around 250 students by the end of this year’s admission season,” says ICAS director G M J Bhat.
Other universities have the same story to tell. As Bertrand Guillotin, director of the international program office at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, notes, “Education remains the best long-term investment you can make, regardless of currency fluctuations.” But while twinning courses improve accessibility to higher education, they also potentially retain a slice of the £8 billion (US$13 billion) leaving India with foreign education-seeking Indian students.With that, international universities wanting to attract Indian students are also open to signing partnership agreements with Indian colleges. Roseann O’Reilly Runte, president and vice chancellor of Carleton University, says, “Students benefit from such programs as they represent less time away from home and reduced costs in terms of tuition and residence.”
At the other end, she adds, universities benefit from the close collaboration of faculty members which can also result in productive joint research projects. A study conducted by the Association of Indian Universities (AIU) revealed an upswing in the number of foreign education providers in India, from 144 in 2000 to 631 in 2010. Of these, 49 are operating under twinning arrangements, with MBA and hotel management being the most popular courses.
For the full report, log on to www.timesofindia.com
CIEC welcomes over 70 Canadian & Indian Associate Members (open to Canadian & Indian Academic Institutions) to CIEC’s membership ranks along with several new Academic Members & 4 new Agent Members (CARE):
- Touchstone Educational
- Singh Foundation
- Western Overseas
- Sophiya Consultants
The new Associate Membership Category and simplified, inclusive & budget-friendly CARE Process will allow members to network with each other and showcase themselves and their institutions in this vibrant and burgeoning education corridor by highlighting recent developments & new programs, engaging in dialogue on emerging opportunities, stimulating thought and discussing new initiatives and ideas in our monthly newsletter and live news portal ‘Disha’ which is read by over 19,000 academics and thought leaders from both countries. CIEC’s highly penetrative and potent network reaches academic champions from both countries, high level government representatives and policy makers, besides Colleges & Universities.
CIEC’s is also expanding its reach through the use of various social media outlets. These include:
- Linkedin Group: Network of Canada-India Education Leaders and Stakeholders (over 300 Members)
- Facebook Group: CIEC’s International Student Forum (over 300 Student Members)
- Like us on Facebook (278 Likes)
- Follow us on Twitter (256 Followers)
- Join Us On LinkedIn (2361 Connections)
CIEC invites you to get involved today! www.CanadaIndiaEducation.com
Canada’s Schulich School of Business, which will soon launch a new MBA program in Hyderabad in collaboration with the GMR Group, has recently been ranked by Britain’s prestigious Economist magazine as having the world’s #1 EMBA program.
The Economist, which has produced an annual ranking of the globe’s top MBA programs for more than a decade, has ranked the Kellogg-Schulich Executive MBA program #1 in the world in its first ever survey of Executive MBA programs.
Based in Toronto, Canada, the Kellogg-Schulich EMBA program finished ahead of EMBA programs offered by a number of the world’s top business schools, including UCLA, Oxford, Chicago and IMD. Schulich offers the EMBA program in partnership with the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in Chicago, USA.
Schulich will open its doors in September to 40 MBA students in Hyderabad, India as part of a new twinning arrangement between the School and GMR School of Business, an educational initiative of GMR Varalakshmi Foundation of the GMR Group, India’s leading infrastructure major. Students will spend Year 1 at the Hyderabad campus and Year 2 at Schulich’s Toronto campus, and Schulich faculty will teach all of the courses in Hyderabad, as well as in Toronto. Schulich also plans to offer an Executive MBA program at the Hyderabad campus beginning as early as 2015.
According to The Economist, the Kellogg-Schulich EMBA was best in the world in a number of categories, including: program quality, facilities, program content and electives, networking and the extent to which the program has helped fulfill pre-EMBA goals.
The Economist is the only major business publication that rates business schools on criteria deemed most important to students and alumni – everything from diversity of career opportunities to earning potential and networking opportunities. The Economist EMBA survey measured two broad categories: the personal development and educational experience of students and alumni and career development. Within these categories, the Economist scored programs using 27 different criteria, including the quality and diversity of students, the quality of the faculty, the percentage of students who receive a promotion after they graduate and the average salary increase graduates can expect. The final scores are based on a mixture of student-reported salaries, student ratings and data provided by the schools.
“We’re proud to have been rated as the world’s best EMBA program,” said Dezsö J. Horváth, Dean of the Schulich School of Business. “We’ve worked very hard since the launch of the program in 2001 to make it a world-class degree that offers truly global career opportunities for executives aspiring to senior leadership roles.” Added Horváth: “We intend to offer that same level of excellence in the Schulich MBA in India program that will commence this September at the newly constructed GMR School of Business.”
Schulich’s ties to India go back more than 20 years. The School has had exchange partner agreements with a number of India’s leading management schools, including the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad, IIM Bangalore, and the Indian School of Business (ISB) in Hyderabad. In 2005, Schulich opened an international satellite centre in Mumbai that: recruits talented students; provides career placement services to Schulich students and alumni seeking career opportunities in India; offers Executive and Leadership Development programming for Indian executives; supports Schulich’s alumni chapter in India; and manages local media relations.
Schulich previously offered the Schulich MBA in India program in partnership with the SP Jain Institute of Management and Research (SPJIMR) in Mumbai. The Schulich MBA in India, which launched in January 2010, was the first MBA program to be delivered in India by a leading international business school. Three cohorts have so far graduated through the program.
Known as Canada’s Global Business School™, the Schulich School of Business in Toronto is ranked among the world’s leading business schools by a number of global surveys, including The Economist, Forbes, Financial Times, Bloomberg Businessweek, Expansión (a Time Warner publication based in Mexico City) and The Aspen Institute (a Washington, DC-based leadership think tank). Schulich’s MBA program is ranked #1 in Canada by The Economist, Forbes, The Aspen Institute and Expansión. The Aspen Institute survey measures which schools are doing the best job of preparing future business leaders for the environmental, social and ethical complexities of modern-day business. Schulich is ranked #2 in the world in the Aspen Institute’s most recent global survey, and #1 in the world in its previous survey. The Kellogg-Schulich EMBA program is ranked #1 in the world by The Economist, #5 in the world by The Wall Street Journal (as part of the Kellogg global network of EMBA partner schools) and #1 in Canada and 27th in the world by the Financial Times of London.
Global, innovative and diverse, Schulich offers business programs year-round at its state-of-the-art complex at York University; at its Miles S. Nadal Management Centre located in the heart of the Toronto’s financial district; and at a new campus in Hyderabad, India. Schulich also operates a number of satellite centres in Beijing and Shanghai, China; Mumbai, India; Seoul, South Korea; Mexico City, Mexico and Sao Paulo, Brazil. Schulich offers undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate business degrees that lead to rewarding careers in the private, public and nonprofit sectors, and has more than 24,000 alumni working in over 90 countries. The School pioneered Canada’s first International MBA (IMBA) and International BBA (iBBA) degrees, as well as North America’s first ever cross-border executive MBA degree, the Kellogg-Schulich Executive MBA. In addition to Schulich’s Master of Finance and Master of Accounting degrees, the School recently launched one of the world’s first Master of Science in Business Analytics degrees. Schulich’s Executive Education Centre provides executive development programs annually to more than 12,000 executives in Canada and abroad.
by Sparsh Sharma
MUMBAI: Nine elite Canadian universities are coming to India from August 19th to August 31st, 2013 to meet with top Indian students and discuss Canada as a premier destination for higher education. The delegation is led by Robert Finlayson of Carleton University in Ottawa and Michelle Beaton of Ryerson University in Toronto. The tour, organized by the Canadian Higher Education Committee (CHEC), under the aegis of the Council of International Schools (CIS), is in its ninth year and will include stops in Mumbai, New Delhi, Dehradun, Hyderabad and Bangalore.
The tour is of special interest to Standard XI and Standard XII students who exhibit strong academic standing, school guidance counselors and parents. The tour schedule will include a combination of visits to select school and information fairs.
“India is a key undergraduate student market for Canadian universities,” said Robert Finlayson of Carleton University and Tour Director. “Indian students are sought for their academic strength and their rich contribution to student life on Canadian university campuses. Each year we are seeing more Indian students choosing Canada as their first choice for study – as evidenced by the success of this tour. Indian students are drawn to our universities’ common attributes of international reputation for academic excellence, state of the art resources, and safe campuses in welcoming locations,” Finlayson said.
List of participating universities in 2013:
University of British Columbia, Carleton University, Concordia University, Guelph University, McGill University, Queens University, Ryerson University, University of Toronto, York University.
Canadian universities are engaged internationally as leaders in education through teaching, research and partnerships. Undergraduate education in Canada is a hybrid of US and UK styles offering breadth of program options, flexibility in choice and a degree that is ultimately recognized world-wide.
Indian students choose Canada because a strong education and a positive international experience is the foundation for their exciting and successful futures. The quality, affordability and renowned research opportunities are key factors in this decision. University campuses across Canada offer multicultural environments, beautiful spaces and friendly people. As a leader in business, political diplomacy, arts and culture and technology, Canada’s education system is at the core of its success and its graduates are players on the world stage.
Council of International Schools Backgrounder:
The Council of International Schools (CIS) is a non-profit, international educational organization that facilitates links between institutions of higher education and secondary schools to increase their visibility with school leavers and the school guidance community. The 40+ CIS Canadian higher education member universities’ interests are supported through the efforts of the eight person team of member volunteers that comprise the Canadian Higher Education Committee (CHEC). The Committee’s goal is to facilitate the exchange of information about Canadian higher education between international schools and the CIS Canadian higher education membership through various activities such as recruitment tours, like the 2013 India tour.
Written by Bhativa Shukla
Gujarat Technological University (GTU), established by the Government of Gujarat in India caters to the fields of engineering, pharmacy, and business studies (MBA programs), Computer Applications (MCA), and Architecture in Gujarat.
96 of the university’s students have reached Canada to study at Laurentian University for 6 weeks under the “International Experience Program.” International Experience Program (IEP) is specially designed by GTU under its “Centre for Global Business Studies” and “Centre for Technology Education, Public Policy and Universities of the 21st Century.” IEP has been designed to increase global connectivity among higher education institutions. It also gives an opportunity for the students to experience International Education.
51 students reached on 14th June 2013 and rest of 45 students reached on 16th June 2013 at LU. 21 students are from the pre-final year of Bachelor of Pharmacy and 75 students are from the pre-final year of Computer engineering /IT/ CSE/MCA.
The Pharmacy students are studying Pharmacology III and Pharmaceutical Chemistry-X (Medicinal Chemistry). The Computer Science students of are covering Web Data Management and Wireless Communication & Mobile Programming at Laurentian University. An orientation and a reception were organized to welcome students and to brief them about the facilities at the campus. Dr. Vasu Appanna, Dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering encouraged students to work hard, learn, and also to have fun by participating in various recreational and cultural activities on Thursday, 20th June, 2013. Students explored the city in a tour organized by Ms. Rachel Trudeau, Business Officer in the Dean’s office. They visited different places in Sudbury like Dynamic Earth, downtown, and New Sudbury Centre.
GTU Students at LU are impressed with the educational experience and innovative teaching techniques. They are finding the teaching environment very friendly and interactive. They will be studying for 6 weeks at Laurentian University and credits will be given by GTU.
The program was initiated in 2011, when 34 MBA students went to the University of Alberta, Canada. During the summer of 2012, 111 students had been to the Laurentian University, Canada for studies under IEP. GTU also offers such programs with Universities in the US and Germany.
GTU also has a co-supervision of doctoral research work under which 114 professors from Europe, the US, and Canada work with professors and doctoral students of GTU.
From November 2010 to July 2013, many leading academicians from Canada have visited India and have met students, professors, deans, and officers at GTU.
Written by Diwakar Sharma
Academicians and economists have different views on the education sector as a business entity. Those who are involved in the specialized area of student recruitment clearly understand that education institutions have to adopt a new model. As importance is given to internationalization of education by relaxing student visa regulation, as service providers all academic institutions must redesign academic programs as per the need of the job market. When we look at the mushrooming of private academic institutions operating under affiliation with different Indian universities, a total disconnect between education and job market is foreseen. Rising unemployment in India and an increasing number of graduates with degrees in hand but bare minimum soft skills makes it difficult for the industry to provide employment. It is the responsibility of the student recruiter to provide basic information to aspiring prospective students who want to gain admission in Canadian Universities and Community Colleges.
Education in Canada is structured and regularly monitored by the Ministry of Education and partners from the industry. The education providers constantly make changes in course curriculum as per the demand from industry experts. With updated course curriculum, Canadian Colleges and Universities provide not only the hard skills but the soft skills which make it easier for the candidate to secure a job within six months of graduation. Applicants from India should be briefed about the difference in education standards and they should be well-prepared to cope with the academic pressure in Canada.
It has been noted the majority of Asian students struggle in first semester as they are not aware of policies regarding academic misconduct and many get involved with plagiarism. A proper understanding of APA and MLA style of writing should be given to the students who intend to enroll in Universities and Colleges. Many students assume that they can take on jobs while studying without understanding that employment is not always easy to get. A proper budget should be allocated for room and board and personal expenses so that students don’t have to indulge in antisocial activities. Canada is a friendly country and hosting international students is a matter of pride but this is not sustainable with the unemployment or underemployment rates of permanent, Canadian residents. In the past, legislation prevented international students from seeking employment; with new amendments, visiting students have been given more access to the job market.
While international students contribute to the Canadian economy by paying fees and rent or buying commodities for daily use, people are concerned international students are taking jobs away from local residents. With few jobs available, this puts direct pressure on Canadian society and economy. Various employers provide work opportunities to students as they tend to save money by paying beneath minimum wages to jobseekers willing to take cash-paid jobs. Government resources take a direct hit when people apply for Employment Insurance or try to get welfare because they cannot find gainful employment.
Adaptation and integration are core Canadian values, ensuring the country continues to welcome growing numbers of international students. Student recruiters and education providers do not want to see drastic changes in the student visa process which might yield negative results. If we look at the trends in the UK, it is clear the pressure from local residents pushed the government to impose restrictions on international students and work permit seekers. At the moment, Canada is following a system comparable to the Australian system.
When we examine comparisons across students from China and India, we can see a shift in the policy and planning done by the Chinese parents. It is observed that more students are choosing Canada as a destination and many of them are attending high schools primarily in Ontario, British Columbia, and Quebec. Gaining university or college admission is easier coming from a Canadian high school because of the structure and partnerships between schools. Pathway programs help international students by providing them a direct access to admissions in prestigious universities. High school students are also exempt from IELTS and, once they complete their high school diploma in Canada, they are fully equipped with the necessary tools required for success in universities. Indian students should be briefed about the pathway programs and high schools so that they could take advantage of an early start in Canada.
Diwakar Sharma is the Senior International Recruitment Officer (South East Asia & Middle East) for TAE International Institute. He is also a member of TESL-Ontario, AMIC-Singapore, and PRSI India.
By Avinav Sharma
Canada has never been so popular with the Indian students as it stands now. It is all thanks to the great and impactful reforms done by the Government of Canada to make Canada an attractive destination for International Education of 21st century. A fact concreting is that in 2012, for the first time Canada welcomed a record number of international students. A first in history, international students in Canada crossed the number of 100,000.
Students from India are very much interested to pursue their studies in some of the best countries of the world. There is no dearth of talent in India. USA and UK have always been old preferred destinations, but now Canada is slowly making its way to the list of most preferred destinations for the Indian students. Canadian institutions are fast gaining popularity with Indian students. Some of the Canadian universities had long been coming to India since the 90s and been engaging with students and educational institutions. Student exchange, faculty exchange and research collaborations have been part of it.
With the passing time and globalization, more and more Canadian institutions have entered Indian market to search for the best and smartest talent. The engagement of Canadian polytechnics and community colleges is increasing with institution representatives doing recruitment events at various cities of India and entering into alliances with reputed and trusted educational agents. Institutions and education agents are working closely on a common goal of matching the students’ academic interest and their educational pursuits to programs available at the institutions.
The quality of technical and professional education is very high in Canada. Strengthening the interest of Indian students is the low tuition fee structure of the institutions. Lower tuition fees and the high global ranking of Canadian universities are of much interest to Indian students seeing the growing cost of getting quality education in India. Another attractive aspect is the Cooperative Education which most of Indian students are not aware of. Co-op as a term is relatively new to students and at first instance students are not able to understand it. With more and more information coming into Indian market on Canadian education, the Canadian education system and terms are being familiarized but a lot needs to be done in this field. Most of the students choose their program unaware of co-op opportunities and realize that later on. Even the students who choose the co-op are not aware of the real value and benefit of a co-op. They end up not maintaining the required GPA or percentage that will entitle them to be placed into the co-op by the institution.
With educational opportunities and systems differing from province to province in Canada, Indian students find it difficult to map their academic interest and choose an institution that can best cater to their needs. Official website like that of AUCC try to bridge this gap by providing comprehensive information on universities, programs offered and their contact details. Still the information is not reaching in that amount in which it should, primarily because of unawareness among Indian students. The university admission procedures, steps involved, international credential evaluation are highly complex and time consuming as compared to the admission systems of countries like Australia, UK and New Zealand which are fairly very simple and easy to understand. The entering admission requirements are also a bit high and some of good and genuine students are not successful in making to their university of choice because of it. With the presence of different central and state school boards and higher education institutions in India, a student’s academic score can vary and not present a true picture of his capability of successfully completing his intended program in Canada. This one aspect should be taken into consideration by the universities and institutes of Canada.
Research opportunities are tremendous in Canada and with funding opportunities available to deserving students at every step; Indian students are now getting attracted to research master and doctorate degrees in Canada. Numerous choices of specializations and research areas available help Indian students choose the field that they may not have even thought of pursuing. It just does not stop here. The flexibility of Canadian institutions also allows student to come with a completely new field in which he may want to pursue research and the institution fully support the students with their research ideas and makes them available proper resources.
I can say that a lot more is still to be traversed in promoting Canadian education among Indian students and making them understand every bit of it. It has to be a continuous and result oriented process.
Avinav Sharma is the Country Head — Canada of Kangaroo Studies Private Limited, India.
By Sparsh Sharma
Mr. Anaroop Kerketta from the Industrial Design Centre (IDC) IIT Bombay won the third Indo-Canada Student Innovation Award for 2013. The short animation Inside My Mind was selected by the jury and the public from 15 finalists. The Consul General for Canada in Mumbai, Mr. Richard Bale presented award to Mr. Anaroop Kerketta during the Best Animation Film (BAF) Awards Ceremony at the FICCI Frames Conference 2013 in Mumbai. The winning short film can be viewed online.
The Government of Canada and Seneca College of Applied Arts & Technology (Seneca) in Toronto, Canada in association with Mumbai’s Frameboxx Animation & Visual Effects are excited to have sponsored this award for the third edition of the Indo-Canada Student Innovation Award 2013 (ICSIA 2013). Seneca and Frameboxx will provide Mr. Kerketta with a one-week training session in animation and visual effects at Seneca, a return economy class ticket from Mumbai to Toronto, as well as accommodation and living expenses for the week. Each year this competition provides an opportunity to Indian students to showcase their artistic creativity, animation technique and innovation.
On presenting the award, Richard Bale said “Canada is home to leading animation firms and technology and has a lot to offer through its innovative training institutions. Anaroop Kerketta will now have the exciting opportunity to work with leading technology and an exceptional talent pool in Canada.”
The jury consisted of Mark Jones from Toronto’s Seneca College, Steve Kahwati from Toronto’s 728 Digital Pictures, Munjal Shroff from Mumbai’s Graphiti Multimedia, Kireet Khurana from Mumbai’s Climb Media, and Richard Bale Consul General for Canada in Mumbai. The winner was selected based on a combination of technical marks from the jury and votes from the general public at the online poll portal.
By Goldy Hyder
Canadian business and political leaders are at last waking up to the importance of India. But they need to be aware that Indian attitudes toward Canada are changing too.
The Harper government has committed itself to an important goal: to complete negotiations on a free trade agreement with India by the end of 2013. Given the scope and complexity of the proposed agreement, which could include provisions related to federal and subfederal procurements, it is an ambitious and aggressive undertaking — yet it is absolutely vital to Canada’s continued economic prosperity. By the government’s own estimates, a comprehensive economic partnership agreement with India has the potential to triple bilateral trade from $5 billion to $15 billion as soon as 2015. If the full potential of the agreement is achieved, some observers contend, Canada’s GDP could in-crease by $6 billion, creating as many as 40,000 new jobs. At a minimum, a trade deal would provide Canadian business-es with a massive competitive advantage: preferential access to more than 1.2 billion consumers.
Curiously, despite ample evidence and intertwined national histories, Canadians have been among the last to fully acknowledge and join the West in a renewed interest in India. Western interest in India had lapsed after centuries of cultivating trading ties with the Indian subcontinent (after all, European settlement of North America was an unexpected outcome of Christopher Columbus’ expedition to find a better route to Asia). Canada’s bilateral relationship with India has languished due to a number of factors, including what some might describe as benign neglect.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper does not appear to need convincing that this trend must be reversed. In his recent speech to the World Economic Forum in New Delhi, the Prime Minister correctly noted that India is “a place where globally important decisions are increasingly being made.” But Canadian awareness of the shifting economic opportunities must also be matched with an evolution in attitudes toward India.
Fairly or unfairly, many in India still perceive Canada’s attitude as having colonial undertones, that there is an implied sense that “we are here to help.” Although India clearly has issues with income inequality and poverty, the perception of paternalism undermines our ability to foster stronger ties with Indian business.
Canada and India both have long legacies as nations of traders. But because so much of Canada’s trade has been with Europe and the United States, we have not developed the adaptability in our business culture that will be necessary for us to excel in the new markets that are so crucial to future growth. Despite being a diverse and tolerant multi-cultural society at home, we are often rigid and inflexible when it comes to our business dealings abroad.
I have often heard international clients and business contacts praise individual Canadian business people for being far more respectful of cultural differences than their American and European counterparts. And yet there is an overall sense among Indian businesses that Canadian companies try too hard to impose their own way of doing business when abroad. It is absolutely crucial that we bridge this gap without, of course, compromising core Canadian values.
Equally damaging is the perception that all levels of Canadian government and many companies lack the essential commitment to the long haul when it comes to building business relationships in India. There is a troubling view that we are there for the weekend or, worse, that we only visit India when we are “in the neighbourhood” having real negotiations with the Chinese. (Just think how we feel when international visitors tack on a token visit to Canada after travel-ling to the United States.)
I cannot stress enough how much India’s attitudes toward Canada and the West have changed in recent years. Indians are properly taking immense pride in the explosion of new opportunities in their country, and they are understandably demanding that they be treated as the peers and equals they clearly are. A failure to recognize and respect these changes will jeopardize our ability to seize the opportunities.
I have had an inside perspective on the evolution of Canada’s relationship with India. My family and I frequently travel back to India, and for many years we were often asked by friends and family about opportunities in Canada. During recent visits, however, those inquiries have been replaced by questions about when we will be moving back to India. The old adage “go West, young man” has been replaced with a steady chorus of “go East.”
There are encouraging signs that Canadian governments and business leaders are addressing our perceived shortcomings. Since 2006, there have been 24 visits by Canadian cabinet ministers to India, and the Prime Minister visited in 2009 and 2012. Moreover, we now have a High Com-missioner to India, Stewart Beck, who comes from the international trade side of the Department of Foreign Affairs, suggesting there is more of a focus on the business side of the relationship. Over 500 Canadian companies now have sustained operations and investments in India, and several hundred more are developing plans to do so. The Canada-India CEO Forum, led by Hari Bhartia and Tom Jenkins, has been established as a vehicle to promote and establish in-creased trade and investment ties between our two countries.
These steps reflect the type of dedicated, focused and sustained effort that Canada needs to undertake if it is serious about building stronger ties with India. But there is still more we can and must do if we are to succeed. We are only one of many suitors seeking to woo (and wow) Indians. And given the relative size of our population and economy, we are one of the smaller suitors seeking to rekindle a relationship.
The 2011 Indian census reveals there are 46 cities in India that have populations greater than 1 million people, not including urban agglomerations or “greater areas.” Canada has 3 cities of this size. More than 1 million Canadians of Indian origin live in Canada — effectively 3 percent of our population. By contrast, Canada’s total population is less than 3 percent of India’s.
Canada is therefore in fierce competition for India’s attention with much larger countries, including most of the major European economies as well as the United States. Overcoming that size disadvantage requires finding ways to emphasize other strengths. Australia, a country of a size comparable to Canada, has a strategic advantage due to its geographic proximity to Asia. Canada has advantages too, but to date we have not been able to effectively leverage them. One group that could lead the way is Canadians of Indian origin, who have not linked back effectively to the community in India. It is a strategic advantage that Canada must leverage better.
It is often said that where you stand on a given issue will depend on where you sit — so it is perhaps not surprising that I, the president of a large public relations consultancy, see the problem in the context of brand management. As odd as it might sound, in India Canada’s “brand” is not one of the most recognized. Conceptually, therefore, we need to base our efforts in the Indian — and wider Asian — markets on a strategy to enhance and improve “Brand Canada.”
As with any branding exercise, the key to a successful campaign is identifying and isolating your core strengths and communicating them effectively to your target audience. It is not so much an exercise in conveying how we see ourselves and want the world to see us, as it is one of highlighting those aspects of our country that are most attractive to those we want to attract. To that end, we need to better understand our target audience.
A 2012 Ipsos Reid report on the effectiveness of efforts to increase the number of international students attending Canadian colleges and universities found that Canada was not a “top-of-mind destination” for prospective students in India or China. The report stated, in part, that Canada’s work in this area was insufficiently detailed when it came to highlighting Canada’s advantages relative to those of the United States and the United Kingdom.
The report recommended that future marketing and advertising campaigns should more clearly articulate factors such as the quality of our educational institutions, our liberal immigration policies, our strong and distinct culture, as well as Canada’s record of innovation and research. More specifically, it recommended the development of a “clear national brand” — something that both the United States and the United Kingdom already have and exploit.
Given the undisputable links between higher education and economic growth, the broader lesson here is that promoting Canada’s cultural distinctiveness is crucial to strengthening our global brand. Foreign Minister John Baird has spoken passionately and persuasively about the need to promote Canadian values of freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law as part of our efforts to promote Canada’s economic interests.
In contrast to some of the other large and emerging economies in Asia, India shares Canada’s strong commitment to all four of these core values. We also share similar banking and legal regimes, as well as other legacies of the former British Empire. We have a vested economic interest in highlighting the elements we share with India as well as what differentiates us from the other Western countries vying for its attention.
Prime Minister Harper has compared the Canada-India trade reationship to the plot of a Bollywood movie, in which the hero competes for the beautiful heroine in a crowded field of suitors. It is clear who the love interest is in the relationship. The question is whether Canada can present itself as being attractive enough to win the girl, in a world full of suitors.
October 3 & 4, 2013
Hilton Garden Inn (Toronto Airport West) • 1870 Matheson Blvd • Mississauga, ON • L4W 0B3
On October 3 & 4, Canada India Education Council (CIEC) was the proud host of ‘Canada-India: Synergy in Education’ Conference 2013 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Toronto. Participants exchanged ideas & experiences, explored opportunities, highlighted their programs and networked with stakeholders active in both markets, resulting in many valuable connections.
‘Conferences, such as this one, are crucial to Canada-India relations, because they allow for growth and promoting knowledge between the two countries… I wish the 7th Annual Canada-India Synergy in Education Conference much success and hope all participants will thoroughly enjoy and enlighten themselves at this event.‘
– Hon. Deepak Obhrai, P.C., M.P., Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and for International Human Rights
Key points & highlights
- Need for a strategy for promoting overlooked sectors of education within the Canadian education system to international students, which include career colleges / skilled trades & technical education
- Patterns and sources of student growth & prospects and challenges of increased activity in the Indian education sector
- Reenergized National strategy for promoting ‘Brand Canada’ overseas & opportunities for involvement
This year, CIEC introduced the ‘brainstorming’ session called ‘A Suggestion or Two’ that captured what key players such as academics, government & education agents want to see done to further optimize educational ties between Canada and India. Some of the ideas suggested include:
- Importance of keeping sight of international students’ needs both before and after they reach Canada
- The critical value the Synergy Conference brings to all stakeholders and need to reach a wider audience as the Synergy / CIEC brand grows
- NACC engaged in groundbreaking work and Career colleges must offer incentives to international students to overcome an unfavorable perception created by UK and Australian career colleges
- Academic institutions’ need for ethical education agents and iCARE’s (CIEC’s Agent Membership Category) growing & much-lauded role in meeting this demand through our unique agent peer-review screening system where agents are graded in key areas by Canadian college and University references
CIEC Chair Hon. Pierre S. Pettigrew’s opening address stressed the need for educational ties as a valuable bridge between nations, even in matters of national security, their usefulness in the promotion of ideas and national growth, as well as the effects of globalization and a shrinking middle class in a changing world. Prof. Balbir Sahni from Concordia University followed with his Inaugural Address: ‘Sustainability of India–Focused Academic Linkages: Prospects and Challenges’ – a look at the path ahead in terms of gauging the true value of and optimizing MoUs while increasing student pull. Hon. Akhilesh Mishra, Consul General of India-Toronto discussed the critical role education plays in bridging the gap between Canada and India while Prof. Margaret Walton-Roberts from Wilfrid Laurier University presented Synergy attendees with a much-lauded session on the intersection of immigration & education in the Canada-India corridor, after which Synergy attendees enjoyed an Indian buffet lunch / networking session.
Rachel Lindsey, Senior Policy Analyst Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada reflected on AUCC’s ‘India strategy’ and Husain Neemuchwala, CEO of CIEC provided an update on CIEC upcoming activities which include our India ‘Mission 2014’ and the tremendous success of our iCARE (agent membership & screening process) initiative. Paul Bailey, Deputy Director, Edu-Canada, Foreign Affairs & Trade Development (DFATD) provided an update from Edu-Canada on their efforts in the promotion of Canada as a study destination. Dr. Shanthi Johnson, President, Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute followed with the session ‘The road ahead: Challenges & Opportunities in the Canada-India education corridor,’ and Synergy attendees shared a laugh during the popular, interactive ‘Speed Dating’ session that offered them a change to introduce themselves & what they would like to achieve (partnerships, joint programming…).
Synergy 2013 participants enjoyed traditional Indian dessert during a short networking break and returned to hear Dr. Nemkumar (Nemy) Banthia, Univ. of British Columbia provide an overview of the new Canada-India Research Centre of Excellence announced by Hon. PM Stephen Harper in Nov 2012 called IC-IMPACTS. Devinder Shory, MP & Co-Chair, Canada-India Parliamentary Association concluded Day 1 of the Conference by raising a toast to its continued success.
On Day 2 Career Colleges Canada’s informative session discussed NACC’s role in raising the bar for career colleges and filling the skilled trade shortage. As part of their new focus on international students, they discussed the work they are doing working with the Canadian government on areas of student visas, work permits, and possible immigration as well as the new ISP program and its groundbreaking inclusion of career colleges. Kam Rathee, Vice Chair, CIEC interjected with an observation that while immigration is important to students, India’s lack of quality institutions will always be the driving force behind international students’ seeking education abroad. For this reason Canada’s primary focus must remain on providing world-class education. Patrick Brown, MP & Co-Chair, Canada-India Parliamentary Association followed with a quick update on the Government’s ‘Internationalization’ plans & the ‘Education Consortium’. Brad Butt, MP for Streetsville, Mississauga stopped by to provide greetings from Ottawa as he did last year and called the Conference to a close. He thanked the work undertaken by Husain and the entire CIEC team and offered the support of his office, either locally or in Ottawa.=
CIEC thanks our esteemed presenters and all participants for making this year’s event yet another tremendous success with a special acknowledgement to Sophiya Consultants and Study Plus Consultants and Education Services, CIEC’s newest agent members, for contributing their voices to the discussion and coming from India to collect their iCARE certificates.
We look forward to seeing you at Synergy 2014!
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By Adrien Mutton
India, the second largest source market poses immense challenges to institutions wanting to recruit the best and brightest from this market. Numbers are never an issue, however if you are an institution wanting to be a quality recruiter, it will be a long and tough battle.
Unlike most other countries where students don’t link their education to a job as an end result, Indian students are extremely value and return on investment oriented. They are also migration focused and this is across the entire spectrum of student population leaving Indian shores. So if the students perceive that the destination is not offering a quantifiable end result in the form of potential salary they can earn, they will not consider the country while assessing their study abroad options.
With International offices coming under immense pressure to recruit more students from India, quality more often than not is the first one to be sacrificed. And in the long run this results in creating damage for the brand reputation. Institutions need to have a nuanced understanding of the heterogeneity of India, of the various state and central government boards of examinations alongside the standing of central, state and private universities. For example there are state board examinations where the marking of answer sheets is extremely stringent and on the other end of the spectrum you would have state boards that are very generous in awarding marks to students. The same goes for university examinations as well. So a 55% student from these contrasting boards would have to be judged very differently. These are some of the complexities that are brought on by the heterogeneity in the market in terms of systems, preferences, attitude towards expenditure on education etc.
With a gross enrolment ratio of approximately 12%, India has added 20,000 colleges in a decade with the number of degree granting universities doubling as well in the same period. There has been an explosion in the number of private universities. The number of private universities has grown from 10 in 2006 to 145 in 2012. There is a huge issue of quality here. Substandard private universities are common. A survey conducted by PurpleLeap, a joint venture between Pearson and Educomp Solutions, says only 12 per cent of the surveyed undergraduate engineering students were employment ready. While 52 per cent of the students were trainable, 36 per cent were untrainable. The survey was conducted among 34,000 final-year students with more than 60 per cent marks across 198 engineering colleges in 13 states. I have raised the issue of private universities and engineering college here as they churn out a large number of graduates with below par qualifications. This should bring home the huge number of students who are seeking higher education in India.
As recruiters, institutions make a choice about the kind of students they want to attract. Some institutions use channels like agency networks or decide to recruit directly from the market. The agency model obviously is not as applicable to American institutions, majority of whom are recipients of Indian students, without making an effort to be active seekers of students from here, however this pattern is also slowly changing owing to the economic pressures of running institutions which are these days operated like any business unit. If an institution uses agencies, there also needs to be active engagement with agents with the institution setting the agenda for the kind of students you want to attract and being accepting of the reality of training and retraining of agents on your product offering.
By Shashidhar Nanjundaiah
Imagine a light that flashes each time there is mail in your outdoor postal mailbox, while another switch transfers the mail indoors through a pipe. Perfect for the elderly, especially in treacherous weather.
Four years ago, I had an opportunity to attend an “Invention Convention” meant for school kids up to nine years, whose products were chosen from about 10 schools in rural Warren County in New Jersey, USA. The children came up with products that were practically applicable and answers to many of modern household and social American problems. What impressed me even more than design elements was the school kids’ preparation to explain, pitch, market and sell effectively.
The mail-switch product, fully functional, was one such on display there—designed by an 8-year-old, sparkling-eyed, shy little girl. Would it be a surprise if this young woman went on to do something innovative in her career? There were about 20 such products on display. The students’ ability to come up with complete solutions for their society reflected an ability to identify a need and think seamlessly between physics, social science, economics, and pure and practical common sense; to do this in their own way, independently, with some simple but effective guidance from teachers at the implementation stage.
Education-application synergy has been well-documented, yet it seems to largely elude the liberal arts. The fracture between subjects, and between those academic subjects and industries, is particularly ubiquitous and confusing when it comes to liberal arts, humanities and the social sciences. Our current systems often do not allow students to understand and use the interdisciplinary side of their professional world. Some of us educators have pontificated on the application of subjects to the dreaded ‘real world.’ The more daring among us have even attempted to point out what ought to have been the obvious: that the subjects we teach have a bearing on our life’s experiences. But very few educators have attempted to show how. Further, few, if any, have attempted to draw linkages between subjects or areas of study.
So how can educational institutions change the methods to make their students think independently and to question themselves? Simple: teach them how to seek answers. For this, independent and proactive learning is imperative, and one way is to allow interdisciplinary research projects that will help students apply those linkages.
Linking language and culture studies to employablity
Conventionally, languages and culture studies have been taught as purely academic disciplines, with few employment opportunities outside the sporadic jobs at government departments of culture and languages. The media industries do hire off humanities colleges but feel the need to retrain students toward business awareness, audience perception, knowledge of marketing, and such “downstream” skills. No longer is it enough to be merely creative experts—the ability to understand audiences and disseminate information with optimal effectiveness is best exemplified in blogs and the social media. With the explosive growth of the media, culture and languages have a large scope to consciously be dovetailed and insinuated into the communication industries, including the media and the segments servicing them, i.e., advertising, public relations and media research. Instead of having separate “creative” schools, the institutional (as opposed to individual) endeavor should be to integrate disciplines of writing, culture, media and communication studies. Extrapolate that to sociology, anthropology, history, etc, and you get an exponential growth in employability all around.
Employability of professional graduates: what’s the problem?
Higher education typically suffers from “little knowledge creation.” This was a conclusion reached at the 2006 seminar ‘Washington Symposium’ hosted by NAFSA. They probably stopped short of another obvious truth: lack of knowledge creation in our campuses is a major reason that “unemployability” persists.
Less than 25 percent of our country’s professional graduates are employable, says a Government of India research. As Michael Spence said in the 1970s — and Infosys’s Chief Mentor N. R. Narayanamurthy echoed more recently — educational institutes have merely become a captive space from where employers pick up inherently bright students. We have heard the rhetoric time and again from management gurus and industry experts on what category of Indian professional graduates are largely unemployable:
- Employees who lack the ability to apply classroom education to professions. In particular, fresh graduates who lack the ability to analyze situations from a 360-degree approach.
- Students from institutions typically restricted by lack of quality input and innovative teachers.
- Graduates who do not know basics of their environment and their world and, in general, have neither developed a worldview nor can they analyze professional situations independently.
- Graduates who do not have learnability — that supreme capability of problem-solving, to constantly ask fundamental (and original) questions and seek answers.
Unfortunately, the above list would include a majority of professional graduates and institutions in India. Individual talent will always continue to shine through but, systemically, educational training doesn’t prepare our graduates to solve problems in a practical world where they must apply more than just their field of study.
Surely the education system in India cannot look the other way while our industries (Infy itself, for example) are starting up their own training institutes to transform professional graduates into employable professional graduates?
And content isn’t really the problem, is it? Information is at our fingertips today — quite literally. It is the structure of learning, or pedagogical methodology, that’s dubious. It is in human nature to apply eclectic learning to real life, and our education system can easily put that inherent advantage to good use. All it takes is reengineering our thoughts about what education really is.
Why were some of us made to take a specific combination of subjects at college – Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics or Biology at pre-university; then Physics, Chemistry, or Mathematics at the graduate level? Why not a mix of Physics, English Literature, and Geography? Is it because the makers of education policy wanted to make sure the degrees they were awarding were either a ‘B.Sc.’ or a ‘B.A.’ or a “B.Com”?
The easiest thing for students to understand would be linkages across disciplines in the professional world. “Interdisciplinary” indicates that our learning needs to be across disciplines, not just in one discipline, and linking disciplines along the way. The Harvard Business School, in its review seminar in November 2008, felt that its MBAs were increasingly becoming irrelevant in a globalizing world. The solution? Their MBA programs will become increasingly interdisciplinary in approach.
If each level of higher education provided the following to our budding managers, communicators, and techies alike, each of us would feel far more educated than we do today:
- Provide input in a variety of general subjects — Geography, History, Statistics, Economics, and Psychology to name a few — but applied to the student’s major field of study. A refresher course is all that is required and, this time around, the subjects are linked to our chosen professions.[In a survey I conducted in late 2008, senior industry practitioners and hiring managers in India, USA and UK unanimously agreed that this approach would provide a more global world-view and make students more employable.]
- Allow students to choose independent research projects across courses, allowing them to select only relevant classes. The successful completion of an interdisciplinary project is a sure way of making graduates think analytically and to break down academic walls.
- Take the interdisciplinary approach, whereby curriculum experts and teachers collaborate to carefully ‘map’ the content of a subject on to the desired learning outcome.For example, in a management institute, that goal could be to produce an effective manager, equipped with a well-rounded world-view and sound judgment. A question we could be asking ourselves in designing such a course is, “Which portions of, say, Psychology, would be most relevant to a manager?”)
Why are we learning what we’re learning?
Input (and output) among a majority of our educational institutions has been largely tools-oriented. If you asked professional graduates why they should or ought to know what they know chances are they would draw a blank.
UNESCO’s International Commission on Education for the 21st Century states that education must be organized around four types of learning:
- learning to know, that is acquiring the instruments of understanding;
- learning to do, so as to be able to act creatively in one’s environment;
- learning to live together, so as to participate and cooperate with other people in all human activities; and
- learning to be, a progression toward sustainable existence.
The global marketplace is more demanding of broader skill-sets than before. The requirement set is solutions-driven: a combination of technological, professional, business, social, and life skills — and many more intangible concepts. No longer is it enough to “super-specialize” – there is more demand for multi-skilled multi-specialists and generalists, who can adapt to specific environments. While some of these skills may evolve over time, many of them need a fundamental change in the way academic institutions think.
True integration of UNESCO’s four principles can only occur when learning is the acquisition of skills for employment and/or entrepreneurship. But learning cannot be as narrow or as super-focused on employment: it must make a student employable as a method to make him or her grasp the concepts in all their applications.
The integration and interaction of disciplines at once widens the boundaries and expects an employee to quickly learn to specialize. It is important to recognize that education is only a trigger to learn and often results in individuals understanding their own capabilities in a better way. Faculty training, periodic faculty meetings where faculty make presentations and help one another to understand why students must experience an interdisciplinary education, and a healthy interface with the industries will go a long way in addressing the still unrecognized problem.
By Sparsh Sharma
A group of 19 MBA students from Université Laval – located in Québec City in Canada, a city recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site – were on a study tour to India. This is the fourth time in five years that a team from the university came to India. Given their success in the previous years, the university decided to come back again this year.
The students travelled to different cities in India mainly to meet companies and promote their products and services and perfect their knowledge of India. The Canadian students represented 19 different companies in varied sectors like education, foods, manufacturing, IT, entertainment, beverages, etc.
Geneviève Marcotte, coordinator of the tour and a participant, answers some questions about the group’s visit:
How would the knowledge be useful to the group and the companies they represent?
GM: This experience is something that no classroom can teach you; after doing in-depth research before coming here and then meeting with your contacts on the field makes us realise the fruit of our labour, which is most certainly rewarding.
I believe that all students should take part in a trade mission like ours, as the experience shows you how small the world really is, and how accessible international markets are. International trade is important to both Canada and India. All the resources offered, in Canada and on the field here in India, were extremely useful for my future career of working in international business development as they were for all students involved in the study tour.
What was the methodology behind the study tour?
GM: Université Laval acts as a non-profit organisation that offers Canadian companies the opportunity to develop their international market. Our team is young, dynamic and benefits from accumulated knowledge of our 16 years of existence. Over 400 companies such as Bombardier, Maison Simons, Philips Lumec, etc. have already used our services. Our agents not only receive training from field experts but also work year-long to perfect their knowledge about the country abroad, its culture, economy, politics and language(s). Before getting into a trade mission like this, they do a market study to be sure about the best way to penetrate that particular market. It is a good opportunity for companies that desire to penetrate new markets and obtain professional, personalised service at an exceptionally competitive price. The University of Laval Commercial Missions is here to facilitate a period of transition to these new markets. From market potential evaluation to importation and exportation logistics, possible entry modes, technical representation as well as searching for distributors and clients, development agents, or the MBA students this time, worked three weeks in India to reach all goals of Canadian enterprise. Companies wanting to participate in our trade missions pay an amount which covers only cost for mission such as hotel, per diem and transport.
Would the products be marketed focusing on the Indian market?
GM: I think the business opportunity in India is immense but foreign companies must be very careful while entering this market. Though marketing is an important process in selling most products, the cultural challenges and political barriers are numerous. Obtaining permits can take long, finding the right distributor can be difficult and finding the right logistic strategy to make it all work is the key. Marketing will come once you have everything else in place, and if you have done all other things correctly, the publicity and advertisement will find results by itself with minimal effort.
Did your group’s impression about India change?
GM: It’s my second time in India and every time I discover a wonderful country with people wanting to learn more about us and teach a lot about their culture. It’s amazing. We thought India is a misinterpreted country: the advances that have been made, the technology available is impressive and the stereotype of ‘poor India’ is misleading. Businesses, especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs) all across the country, offer a wide range of high-quality products and services, and I think many people confuse lower production prices to lower quality. When you look at a giant like Tata, and all of the industries they are able to thrive in, it gives you a great example of the wide range of available knowledge, and its influence on the global scale.
Nader Daher: “India is a very sense-awakening place. Doing business here is a full human experience.”
Jonathan Bouvrette: “India brings a model of cooperation through open-mindedness”
Simon Lemay-Roux: “India is an incredible experience – business-wise as well as personally.”
Marie-Pier Michaud: “Canada and India are so different that every aspect of India becomes so impressive.”
By Sparsh Sharma
Christiane Piche, the deputy minister of education, Quebéc province, Canada, was in Mumbai recently, leading a delegation to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Shreemati Nathibai Damodar Thackersey (SNDT) Women’s University and Université du Québec a Montréal (UQAM), Canada.
The former professor and pro-vice chancellor for research and academic affairs at Université Laval talked about the MoU and future tie-ups between Quebéc and Indian universities.
Tell us more about the SNDT MoU.
CP: While UQAM has a strong department for women studies with a 100 staff, SNDT too is a very strong institution and both have many things in common. So we decided to sign a MoU for large scale programmes on women’s studies as also student and scholar exchanges. The initial process had begun in the year 2008 and finally reached the MoU stage this year. The tie-up signifies a start in cooperation between the two entities, an exchange of professors is what is foreseen at present, after which, student exchanges, joint study programmes are likely to emerge in the course of time. Women’s studies and distance education are the two largest areas of study between the UQAM and SNDT. Given Québec and Canada’s large requirement for trained nurses, the nursing school of SNDT is likely to have more specific courses on nursing for training their students to be employable in the Canadian market.
Can Indian students expect some initiatives from Quebéc?
CP: We plan to encourage more Indian students to come, study and work in Quebéc. The tuition fee in our institutions is lesser compared to rest of North America. We offer 29 annual scholarships to Indian students that are worth CAD250,000. The selected students have to pay the same tuition fee as Quebéc students. More than 100 students apply each year for these scholarships through the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute in Pondicherry. We are also in the process of announcing 9-12 new scholarships for Indian students.
“This is my first trip to India. I am proud of what leading academic institutions in India are doing. There are many common things, good infrastructure and the future looks promising for Quebéc-India university tie-ups.”
20th January 2006: Signing of the first cooperation agreement between Maharashtra and Québec, signed by Vilasrao Deshmukh (then chief minister) and Jean Charest, premier of Québec
31st January 2010: Creation of the first steering committee on cooperation between Québec and Maharashtra
30th January 2012: Creation of the second steering committee on cooperation and signing of the letter of intention on cooperation in health between Québec and Maharashtra, where companies from Québec will have access to the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) of the government of Maharashtra.
On the art front, Quebéc has created the first artists’ residence in Mumbai, where artists from Québec will be able to come over for a period of three-six months to work here. Selected Indian artists will go to Québec and work for short periods.
From 600 Indian students in Quebéc in 2010, there are approximately 800 students this year, with 53% doing their masters.
By Sparsh Sharma
Charmaine Courtis, executive director, student services and international relations, Schulich School of Business, York University, Toronto, Canada, was in India. HT Education caught up with her for an exclusive interview. Some excerpts:
Tell us about Schulich.
CC: It is the largest graduate school in Canada with 650 full-time and 450 part-time students. We offer 19 different specialisations. We are very flexible and students can opt for a bouquet of subjects. They can take classes for different subjects during the day or evening or the weekends. It is a program that suits your goal. The syllabus is same for the first year while in the second year, students can take up to two specialisations, for e.g. finance along with financial engineering or financial services or arts and media administration. The course can be completed in 16 months going straight through or in two years (latter includes a break for a three-month internship). The average age of our students is 28-29 years and their average work experience is five-six years. The acceptable range of GMAT scores is from 600 to 700+ but the average is 670. The female students’ population is 39% currently but we are working on increasing it.
We are very innovative and have a number of firsts like – specialised programs in entrepreneurial studies, MBA/JD (Juris Doctor) for lawyers, arts and media administration, nonprofit management, business sustainability, business ethics, real estate and infrastructure, health industry and public sector management. We launched a global mining management program in November 2011. We will officially open the school’s new Centre for Global Enterprise focused on the globalisation of small-to-medium-sized enterprises, soon. We have 75 partnerships with leading business management schools globally and more than 23,000 alumni living and working in over 90 countries.
What are the programs and specializations offered?
CC: Bachelor of business administration (BBA), international BBA(iBBA), master of business administration (MBA), international MBA, executive MBA, MBA/JD, master of fine arts, master of arts (MFA/MBA), MBA in India, master of public administration, master of finance (MF), and the PhD. Specialisations include the standard functional areas as well as many corporate sector areas accounting, economics, finance, marketing, operations management and information systems, organisation studies, strategic management. There is post-MBA diploma in advanced management, financial engineering diploma designed for those MBA grads who want to return for additional specializations and executive programs.
Are international tie-ups the new buzz word for universities in the West?
CC: Our school has a global orientation. Dean Dezso Horvath, a visionary, has led the school for 23 years and has always felt this was the direction to take the school. This global ethos is apparent in our programming and planning. We have several satellite centres internationally besides the main $100million facility in Toronto. We are running our India program with twinning partner SP Jain institute of management research in Mumbai and the third batch has started this January. It is good to see the program grow from an idea to reality. The students study in India for six months and in Toronto for the remaining duration. Seven years ago, we started hunting for places abroad and when it came to opening a campus in Asia, we chose India due to the growing middle-class population here, the limited availability and the high demand of top-level business schools, English being the language of instruction in most educational institutes and its use in official communication. GMR has offered to build us a campus near Hyderabad airport and will finish constructing it by 2013. We are hopeful that the government allows foreign universities to operate as standalone institutions by then. We will take our first class there for September 2013. The long term goal is to have as diverse a campus with students from several countries and tuition fees would be on the lines of that in the Toronto campus.
What are the part-time and full-time job opportunities for international students?
CC: There are several part-time jobs available on campus and in Canada. Students have to work on-campus for six months and can work off-campus after that for 20 hours per week. They can work as research or library assistant, parking attendant etc. on campus. There are internship opportunities for three-months during the program between first and second year, when they work full-time off campus. The average salary, post-MBA from Schulich, is CAD85,000 per annum in 2011. We have over 300 corporate and internship partners. Toronto, being the financial capital of Canada, salaries are higher there.
Moreover, we make students work on a mandatory strategy field study in their second year. They have to thoroughly study real companies, what areas they need to focus on to improve efficiency and net profits. Students give evidence for every conclusion they derive. Companies have been implementing those suggestions. This gives our students an edge and confidence to enter the corporate world. Canada is very open to educated people and gives work permits up to three-years, after which, students can apply for permanent residency, if they wish to continue living in the country.
Tell us more about the different rankings.
CC: We are among the top B-schools in the world. We have been ranked No. 2 in the Apen Institutes Grey Pinstripes for corporate social responsibility and business and sustainability, No. 9 globally in The Economist ranking and No. 11 globally in the Financial Times of London Executive MBA ranking. Schulich is second among Canadian schools in the 2011 global MBA ranking of Financial Times (FT). The FT MBA ranking pulls down all Canadian b-schools because of the importance they give to the salary of students at graduation.
What are the financial aids, scholarships and grants available to the students applying to study at Schulich?
CC: The tuition fee is CAD30,000 per annum. There are several entrance scholarships ranging from CAD5,000-CAD20,000. Only the top 20% of the class get them. Students have to meet the eligibility criteria and give interviews before getting the scholarships. There are many bursaries available too.
How is the student life and diversity at your campus?
CC: We are Canada’s global B-school with 55% international students coming from around the globe and with work experience in all sectors. A class comprises lawyers, doctors, business graduates, engineers and even those with an arts background. There are 52 clubs on the Schulich campus apart from several more at York University. York is the third largest university in Canada with 55,000 students. Our faculty is one of the best in the world and come from different countries. In student services and international relations, there are many professionals on teams working under me to help students with different needs – from admissions through to graduation. Likewise, we have a very large career development centre with programming that starts at the beginning of the program and carries through till placement.
By Sparsh Sharma
B-schools abroad are realising the importance of their students learning additional languages besides English, as businesses become more globalised and new markets emerge
In most parts of the world, English is the standard language of business but it is not the only one in an increasingly global business environment, as more B-schools abroad are recognising. MBA programmes abroad have realised the importance of not just traditionally popular languages like French or Spanish but also newer ones like Arabic, Hindi, and Mandarin.
Key to success
Dr Jack McGourty, director of community and global entrepreneurship at Columbia Business School and faculty member teaching graduate courses in entrepreneurship, venture creation and technology management at Columbia University, USA, says, “No matter what your chosen career path is, today, being facile in more than one language will enhance a manager’s ability to navigate complex global business and cultural environments. Graduate business programmes should offer students alternative vehicles, integrated with curricular programmes, to increase proficiency in languages of choice.”
Columbia Business School’s Chazen Institute offers several programmes to enhance students’ language proficiency including MBA exchange, global immersion programme and the Chazen language programme, offering courses in Arabic, business English, Chinese, French, German, Hindi, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish at the beginner, intermediate and advanced levels.
Charmaine Courtis, executive director, student services and international relations, Schulich School of Business, York University, Canada, says, “The international MBA (IMBA) programme at Schulich recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. This programme, right from the original format, has required students to develop a second language and an expertise in the region of the world where that language is the language of business. We recognised, two decades ago, that this was the only way to establish oneself in a global context. Having just recently attended an IMBA alumni-connect event, I was amazed to see how this has set our graduates apart. They are making a difference around the globe.”
At Cambridge Judge Business School in UK, one of the electives/ projects in the MBA requires students to learn Mandarin.
Dr. Jochen Runde, director of the MBA at the prestigious B-school, says, “This is a beginners’ course that is offered at the end of the academic year to our MBA students. For most of the attending students, successful completion of the course is a requisite for completing their studies. The course focuses on three language skills: listening, speaking and reading. Due to the complex nature of the Chinese writing system (characters rather than an alphabet), writing is not one of the main aims of this course. We are offering this course as a summer activity option because of the ever-growing importance of China in the world economy. The aim is to give our non-Mandarin speaking students an opportunity to develop some of the language skills they will need to make them more effective in this arena.”
At the leading Aarhus University (AU) of Denmark, the average student arrives already proficient in two or three languages. Lene Pederson, the MBA programme manager at AU’s School of Business and Social Sciences, says, “It’s amazing to find that some students are proficient in more than three languages too. A growing number of students from Asian countries already know English in addition to their native languages. Most of them then learn Danish language also, once they are here.”
Exchange programmes play a part
According to Laura Wood, director of international programmes and services, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, Canada, exchange programmes play an important part in learning different languages and cultures.
“With an already global student body from 32 countries speaking 37 languages, Rotman encourages all students to further internationalise their degree through international exchange programmes, study tours, a module on doing business internationally and consulting projects or internships. Participation in these programmes certainly provides students with the opportunity to practice foreign language skills, contributing to both their personal and professional development as well as the B-school’s linguistic and cultural diversity,” says Wood.
Understanding culture also important
According to Narayanan Ramaswamy, partner of management consulting, KPMG India, it’s not only an issue of learning languages. “It’s not a language issue alone. Understanding the culture and being culturally-sensitive is as important as communication skills. A good manager is required to develop additional language skills. It is a major differentiator in a competitive global market. Knowledge of more languages is always welcome.”
By Sparsh Sharma
With post-degree job opportunities on the decline in much of the developed world, several visa restrictions in the UK, comparatively higher cost of education in the USA, and racist attacks in Australia, Canada is fast emerging as an upcoming destination for many Indian students wanting to study abroad. In several United Nations’ surveys, Canada has been found to be one of the best places to live in the world with low crime rates, high life expectancy, and better access to education.
Jugnu Dutta, an international education consultant from Navi Mumbai, agrees with the trend. “A degree/diploma from a Canadian institution is globally recognised. Canadian immigration process has been relaxed for international students, giving the students an opportunity to look for jobs and eventually apply for Permanent Residency (PR). International students in Canada are permitted to work part time for 20 hours/week (first six months in campus and off campus thereafter). During vacations, international students can work up to 40 hours. Average pay for part time job is C$8 – C$11 per hour. All these factors have made the country a much-preferred destination for Indian students,” says Dutta.
Also, since Canada is one of the most multicultural and diverse countries in the world and accepts people from different backgrounds, international students acclimatise better in Canada than in other countries, according to Imran Kanga, associate director, student services and international relations, Schulich School of Business, York University, Toronto. “Traditionally, the UK, USA and Australia were prime destinations for students. At the moment, the US economy is not doing very well and so international students are having trouble finding jobs, especially because in the US, companies have to sponsor visas for students. The UK has put breaks on immigration altogether and students have to leave the country once they are done with their studies. Canada on the other hand welcomes international students from all over the world, as is evident by the work permit incentive that is automatically given to students post their graduation, which allows them to stay in Canada for up to three years after completing their studies. The Canadian economy is very stable, and our financial system is sound. This means that students are not struggling to find work after they graduate, as the market is receptive. This helps because students are able to work and pay back their student loans faster,” he says.
The students get a chance to mix and learn from a diverse peer groups consisting of students from all over the world and from varying work and educational backgrounds. Canada is a very safe place, the people are extremely warm, friendly and students, who go to Canada, have very enriching experiences.
Sharath Janakiraman, current MBA student at Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, says, “Despite the rigour, it is not ‘all work and no play’. Social events, exhilarating post-exam celebration parties and various sports activities have been able to add enough fun to my MBA experience. Although this was the first time I am living outside India for such a long time, the warmth of people in Toronto always makes me feel at home.”
The number of international students has increased over the years, in Canada. A trend confirmed by counselors and universities. “Along with the Canadian students, our complement of international students has also grown, from 22 countries represented six years ago, to more than 600 students and 75 countries on campus today,” tells Paul Marck, media relations coordinator, University of British Columbia, Okanagan. Even at universities like Thompson Rivers University, situated in Kamloops (an interior area of British Columbia province), there are international students from more than 80 countries.
Besides many part time jobs available for students, many colleges and universities offer paid or unpaid internships for a few months during the length of the program, especially in post-graduate programs like MBA.
Sheldon Dookeran, assistant director, full time MBA admissions, Rotman School of Management, says, “Students who complete a full time program of study longer than eight months and less than two years can receive a work permit lasting just as long as the program lasted. Better yet, students who complete a program of two years or more in length, such as an undergraduate degree or an MBA, can receive a three-year work permit, within which time they can then apply for PR, if they choose to stay longer. Canada is known for its quality education, cultural comfort and job opportunities. There are 31 student groups and clubs on our campus. Rotman’s strategic location in Toronto and recruiter reputation contributes to its 88% internship rate and 85% employment rate within three months of graduation.”
Many universities and community colleges accept applications on a rolling basis. This means that the admissions committee continues to make offers of admission to qualified applicants until a particular intake reaches its enrolment capacity. However, international students are advised to apply early as admission and scholarships grow more competitive around the second or third deadlines. The application deadline for many programs starting in September (fall) intake starts from the first week of February. At Thompson Rivers University, it starts from mid-May for the September intake. Schulich offers an India MBA program, too, which starts in January and the application deadline for which is November 1.
“All Canadian universities/community colleges have intakes in August/September. Some also provide January/February or May intakes. Few community colleges have three to four intakes in a year. The certificates are usually categorised into certificates, diploma, advanced diploma, bachelor’s degree, post graduate diploma, post graduate certificates, master’s degree and Ph.D. Some of the prominent courses at the graduate level are MBA, PGD in management, MS and LLB while at the undergraduate level; it is the Bachelor of Administrative Studies or Bachelor of Engineering,” adds Dutta.
Unlike India, Canada doesn’t have a central education system and hence is under the jurisdiction of each province. All major universities in Canada are publicly funded whereas the private universities are relatively new and usually offer undergraduate courses. There are approximately 92 universities and 175 community colleges in Canada.
Some popular universities among international students:
- University of Toronto
- York University
- McGill University
- University of Alberta
- University of British Columbia
- Queen’s University
Some popular community colleges among international students:
- George Brown
Cost of education – The fees ranges from CAD6,000 to CAD30,000 per year. Usually the universities are more expensive than community colleges. Getting admission in a university is comparatively more difficult than community colleges. Also, most universities accept a minimum of 16 years of education while most community colleges accept 15 years of education.
Canadian visa – The earliest a student can apply for student visa is six months before the start date of the course. The processing time for student visa ranges from 15 days to 30 days for Student Partners Program (SPP) or regular visa respectively. It is recommended to apply for student visa as soon as the student gets the unconditional offer from the university/community college.
By Sparsh Sharma
Ryerson University’s innovative Digital Media Zone is going to help them transform their business concepts
Sheldon Levy, president of Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada, recently introduced four vibrant Indian students selected for fellowships at the university’s dynamic Digital Media Zone (DMZ) – a hub for collaboration, innovation and entrepreneurship. The fellows will have a four-month term to transform their digital ideas into innovative businesses and business solutions.
“I have always believed that great things come from innovation and the sharing of ideas. These fellowships are a wonderful opportunity to bring some of the best, brightest and most entrepreneurial students from India together with Canadian entrepreneurs and innovators to learn, innovate and explore new digital business opportunities together,” said Levy.
Three of the fellows – Sharanya Aiyahna Haridas, Siddharth Kumar Thakur and Celestine Preetham – are from IIT-Madras and G Visweswaran is from the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad. Three more fellows have been shortlisted from IIT-Delhi and their names would be announced formally soon (see box 3). The university worked with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) to reach out to students at these three top institutes.
Haridas is founder-CEO of Young Folks Media and That’s So Gloss; Thakur is founder of ScanBox, Preetham is founder of TravelNet App and Visweswaran is co-founder and vice president of My IndiEye (see box 2). The fellowships are valued at approximately Rs5,95,000 each (CAD12,500).
“This international fellowship programme is about bringing together global talent to create the innovations of the future, to share and grow the success of the DMZ working model. At Ryerson, we are very excited to offer these opportunities and we cannot wait to see the results,” added Levy.
How were these students selected?
SL: We were looking for students who had a unique, innovative business idea, enabled by digital media that brings commercial or social value. The candidates who met these criteria were then assessed on how unique or innovative their idea was; how feasible it is to develop; is it marketable; and if it will fit in with the collaborative nature of the DMZ.
How are the fellows going to be mentored?
SL: The DMZ will set up space for them; connect them to our internal networks and systems and support them by giving them access to a range of industry experts, who will provide information and advice on business planning, presentations, funding, accounting, patents, intellectual property rights, marketing and more.
Tell us about the DMZ.
SL: Opened in April 2010, Ryerson University’s DMZ is a multi-disciplinary workspace for young start-up companies infused with the energy and resources of downtown Toronto. It’s a place for innovating, collaborating and marketing new products and services, and it’s where commercial enterprises can turn to, for progressive and creative digital solutions. Till date, the DMZ has helped more than 166 innovators to incubate and accelerate 36 start-ups and to launch 61 projects. Fellowships with students from China are going to be announced shortly.
Where did this unique idea of having a DMZ come from?
SL: We know that students and young people are major contributors to the innovation agenda, and their ideas and energy are incredible. At Ryerson, our goal is to keep that talent and energy in Canada, rather than training our young people to work in USA’s Silicon Valley. We created the zone with this idea in mind, to encourage and showcase our emerging talent and to connect students and young alumni with the private and public sector.
About the start-ups:
That’s So Gloss: India’s first web-zine and online community for teen girls and young women
TravelNet: Mobile app and internet-based service that uses GPS and telecom technology to connect ride-seekers, vehicles and traffic control
ScanBox: Web-based service company with a clear focus on simplicity, value creation and great user experience
My IndiEye: Mobile sightseeing platform for travelers
Alok Nikhil Jha – MyMovie: Online movie selection, ticketing, and more
Avnish Gaur – AskMePrice: Product search website based on price, location and other variables
Abhishek Gupta and Saurabh Kumar – Zumbl: Avatar-based, anonymous chat website.