Integrating Global Exposure In MBA Curriculum: The Road Ahead For Indian Business Schools

Today, b-schools undertake numerous initiatives to bring their students the best global business practices and multi-cultural learnings. These include creating long-term partnerships with internationally eminent institutes, offering global management programs, and bringing academic rigour with an internationally benchmarked curriculum.

Ram Mohan Dhara, Garima Saxena

The business world is characterised by uncertainties, complexities, and dynamic environmental conditions. Today, this ambiguity surrounding business decisions is accentuated by many folds because organizations, employees, work, and lives worldwide are intricately linked.

In such a scenario, business schools (b-schools) serve as the first peek into this world full of unpredictable changes for MBA students and aspiring business professionals. When these students enter b-schools, their vision is often constrained by their familiar world and personal experiences. In b-schools, students, for the first time, get an opportunity to widen their worldview, challenge themselves, get out of their comfort zone, learn to function in an ambiguous world with multiple possibilities, and face constantly changing realities. 

In today’s global world, such a holistic development of students’ capabilities, skills, and personality is impossible without a rich global exposure that provides them with a sound knowledge of global business practices and keen cross-cultural sensitivity.

Today, b-schools undertake numerous initiatives to bring their students the best global business practices and multi-cultural learnings. These include creating long-term partnerships with internationally eminent institutes, offering global management programs, and bringing academic rigour with an internationally benchmarked curriculum. Most importantly, b-schools strive to provide students with a first-hand experience of global business practices and immerse in different cultures through international internships, short-term projects, student exchange, and immersion programs.

A. Global business education accreditations

Accreditations are rigorous peer-review of processes involved in teaching, learning, curriculum design, employability, student alumni relationship, industry interactions and all other aspects of education institutions. Some of the most renowned and coveted global business education accreditations are AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate School of Business), EQUIS (The European Quality Improvement System) and AMBA (Association of MBAs). The accreditation process involves the institute/university submitting a detailed report to the accreditation body detailing its policies, processes, the current status of its programs and charting out its long-term plans. This is followed by on-site interviews of faculty, staff, students, alumni and corporate employers by a panel of the accreditation body. These are reliable quality indicators that assure prospective students and the public that the b-school under consideration consistently delivers quality education and service.

B. Global MBA programs and institutional partnerships

Today, various business schools offer dual or multiple country MBA programs wherein students complete different parts of their program in different countries. Numerous b-schools invest in developing multiple campuses or form strategic alliances with institutes to provide students with knowledge of global business practices and multi-cultural learnings in a single course. 

C. Faculty group development at global standards

Faculty recruitment both on a permanent and visiting basis is not limited to the local faculty available. Business schools have been at the forefront of encouraging cultural and academic diversity in their faculty body. Business schools worldwide, including India, strive to attract faculty graduating from eminent foreign institutes and universities. At the same time, they invest deeply to prepare PhD students and Fellow management scholars with training and education at par with reputed management institutes of the world. Additionally, reputed management institutes support their existing faculty through development funds and infrastructure to enhance their teaching and research capabilities at par with global standards.

D. International exchange and immersion programs

Student exchange and immersion programs have been the classic route for institutes to provide students with an introductory taste of multi-cultural challenges and learnings in business and personal lives. Most business education programs today have an integral course component of international immersion, and it is also increasingly gaining popularity in undergraduate programs. 

IMT Ghaziabad (IMTG)  is one of those premier, AACSB accreditated, Indian institutes which realized the essence of integrating global exposure with the curriculum very early on and established an International Relations Centre focussed on developing partnerships with international institutes of repute. In the last 15 years, the institute has developed and nurtured relationships with more than 50 such institutes across the globe. IMTG is proud to have fruitful relationships with Syracuse University, Kedge Business School, Granoble Encole de Management, Aston University, Charles Darwin University to name a few.  

IMTG integrated international immersion as an essential component in all its full time and executive MBA programs. IMTG runs a unique program, called PGDM (Dual Country Program) wherein the students spend one year at IMT Ghaziabad and another year at IMT Dubai campus. Our students across all programs are encouraged to enrol for certificate programs and take advantage of exchange opportunities from institutes all over the world including like eCornell, Kedge, IESEG etc.

In the last 15 years, more than 1000 IMT students have studied at different international partners institutes across Europe, America and other parts of the world. We have also hosted a good number of international students from our partner institutes through various exchange programs. To further enhance in-campus learning, IMTG regularly invites international faculties who come, interact, and teach our students. At the same time, our faculties also travel, teach and actively engage in research programs with partner institutes in various faculty exchange programs. 

In the coming years, IMTG plans to take internationalization to a different level by exploring avenues further. dual certificate and degree programs, internships with companies abroad and collaborative projects. 

With the proliferation of the internet and online education, world-class content is almost freely available to the students. Therefore the benchmark of learning experience and paedagogical engagement is no longer at the national level but at the international level. In the cluttered space of business education in India where more than various IIMs and IITs and almost an equal number of good private institutes deliver high-quality business education, the differentiation comes at the integration of global exposure with the curriculum. There is no scarcity of talents in our country; they deserve the best to be global leaders of tomorrow and to this context, we conclude by emphasizing 'it is a necessity and not a choice.'

By Prof. Garima Saxena and Prof. Ram Mohan Dhara

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