Three University of Windsor researchers, with funding from the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO), have completed a survey finding that Ontario colleges need to improve their methods for recruiting and retaining students from underrepresented groups. The final report, titled The Recruitment of Underrepresented Groups at Ontario Colleges: A Survey of Current Practices, recommends that colleges address this need by implementing a collaborative provincial model, improving tracking systems, developing universal definitions, and expanding successful programs.
Source: Times of India
MUMBAI: With luxury companies setting up base in India, there is a growing demand for managers armed with specialized management degrees in luxury. Looking at the growth in career opportunities in luxury, leading business schools which offer management courses in luxury brand management – such as ESSEC in Paris and SDA Bocconi in Milan – are witnessing an increase in demand from markets like India.
The trend, said industry experts, is expected to grow further as luxury expands its scope in India. Looking at the potential, SDA Bocconi has started an Indian branch named MISB Bocconi in Mumbai to leverage its experience within Indian executives. Luxury, which covers a broad range of products and services such as fashion, food, arts, movies, cultural industry and hotels & tourism, is estimated to become a $15-billion industry in India by 2015.
“Indians with luxury business school degrees are sought after in India. This is because luxury is seen as a sector with a big opportunity over the next few years. It’s a noticeable trend that more Indian students are opting for MBA degrees in luxury because there is a growing demand for managers with such specialization,” said Tulika Tripathi, managing director, Michael Page, India, a specialist recruitment firm.
ESSEC business school was the first school to launch an MBA in international luxury brand management in partnership with LVMH and L’Oreal Luxe, specifically to recruit and train high-potential managers to develop their luxury business, particularly in Asia. The business school has assigned its top officials to frequently travel to Delhi and Mumbai to monitor the growth of the industry and interview prospective candidates.
“As the luxury industry grows in India, more career opportunities are becoming available. Since 2009, the programme has seen its graduates being hired by Genesis Luxury, Reliance Brands, Burberry, Gucci, Remy Cointreau, Richemont and L’Oreal Luxe. However, some Indian graduates have preferred to gain international exposure before returning home and have gone to work for companies like DFS in Hong Kong or Chalhoub in Dubai where there are multiple opportunities,” said Anthea Davis, director, corporate relations and career development, ESSEC.
At ESSEC, the MBA in international luxury brand management is a specialized programme that accommodates up to 40 students per year from 20 different nationalities. While there was only one Indian student in the programme in 2007, today there are seven.
Davis said the first recruitment needs initially came from Japan, China and Korea. Bbut in the last eight years, ESSEC has seen an increasing demand from Brazil, Russia, India and South-East Asia. The number of partner companies the programme works with and supplies talent to include luxury groups such as Richemont, Kering, Estee Lauder Group as well as single brands such as Burberry, Chanel and Zegna.
“With the luxury goods market being largely retail driven and now saturated in Europe, companies are looking to open stores in new locations and markets which are not yet developed. This generates job opportunities for graduates both in running retail operations and in the back office with an increasing number of subsidiaries being set up abroad. For example, Richemont recently opened a subsidiary in Delhi in October 2012 where one of the graduates has been hired as brand manager for Vacheron Constantin watches,” said Davis.
Bocconi, on the other hand, has an MBA class in partnership with Bulgari which was started in Rome last year. “Foreign students are increasing. In the last five years the Indian audience became the first in terms of enrolled students, getting to a percentage of 20% in MBA and executives classes,” said Stefano Caselli, vice-rector for international affairs, Universita’ Bocconi.
While there is a strong increase in demand for skilled Indian MBA graduates who are able to blend knowledge of the Indian market with an international background, Caselli said placements are going up as the Indian market is becoming more attractive and developed for luxury industry.
The London School of Business & Finance, however, has only recently introduced its luxury management programmes following good demand from all countries it operates in.
Source: World News Australia
Under new rules, foreign students who graduate with an Australian bachelor’s degree, masters or doctorate can work for up to four years in Australia upon completion.
International students have greater chances to find employment under the federal government’s changes to the 485 Temporary Graduate visa.
Under the changes to visa subclass 485, which took effect on March 28, foreign students who graduated with an Australian bachelor’s degree, masters or doctorate, can obtain a visa to remain and work in Australia for between two and four years, depending on their degree — a significant increase on the previous limit of 18 months.
In an already competitive job market, the incentive is to lure high quality overseas students to study in Australia.
“Technically, it’s now much easier for international students to stay in Australia,” said Danny Ong, Multicultural Employment Consultant at Monash University. “But the main concern is that there is now a bigger group of international students competing for work opportunities”.
Remaining in Australia can be a gamble.
“This is a question that international students need to ask: it’s whether I can get a job,” Mr Ong said.
For international students, tuition fees could cost up to $30,000 per year, paid up-front, and application fees can cost almost $2,000.
“A lot of students find it very difficult to deal with parental expectations,” said Mr Ong. And this is affecting the quality of the international student experience.
“They tend to make an association between money and the quality of education. And that influences their interaction with the university,” he said.
Lyndal Partington, careers consultant at the University of NSW, says it is important to learn skills away from the classroom for a holistic education.
“It’s important to help them [international students] develop communication skills, team work skills — soft skills employers look for in graduates,” she said.
“One of the challenges is that they don’t have local work-experience and it’s hard to get their foot in the door. And another challenge is the difference in workplace culture between Australia and their home country,” said Ms Partington.
Under the 485 Temporary Graduate Visa, students can obtain a two-year work visa if they studied in Australia for at least 16 months and have completed either a bachelor’s degree or a masters by course work. Students who completed a masters by research can qualify for a three-year visa, while those who completed a doctorate get four years.
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.