Top business schools set sights on India

A small but growing number of North American universities are aggressively taking steps toward setting up sprawling, state-of-the-art campuses in India, pinning their hopes on a bill being considered by the Indian parliament that would allow foreign education institutions to enter the country, wrote Bloomberg Businessweek and May 28. Among those interested in setting up shop are business schools and large research universities, including…the Schulich School of Business at York University in Canada. In anticipation of the bill passing, administrators from these schools have been quietly eyeing or purchasing parcels of land, talking with Indian state officials and local developers, and drawing up architectural plans for new campuses.

To meet enrolment demand, India will need to add 600 more universities and 35,000 extra colleges in the next 12 years, India’s Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal has said recently.

One of the schools aggressive about creating a footprint in India is Schulich, which has already made inroads in the country. Schulich launched a two-year MBA program at the Mumbai campus of the S.P. Jain Institute of Management & Research in January with an initial intake of 25 students, but it has more ambitious plans down the road, says Dean Dezsö Horváth.

The school signed an agreement in May with the GMR Group, a leading developer in the region, to build a Schulich campus in Hyderabad, where it plans to offer a two-year MBA that Horváth says will be “fully comparable with the degree we offer in Toronto.” The school is awaiting passage of the bill before building the campus, which Horváth expects will open in 2012 or 2013, with an initial intake of 120 students that’s expected to grow to 180. The campus will have an academic building with classrooms that can accommodate 350 students, an auditorium and courtyard, an executive centre and an on-site hotel, as well as dorms for MBA students and a cafeteria.

The barriers to entry could be high, even for institutions that, like…Schulich, are working hard to gain traction in the Indian market. The Foreign Education Bill is still under review in India’s parliament, and when or if it will pass remains unclear, as do how much control Western schools will have over tuition, fees and admissions, and what the required legal structure will be for the universities. The bill also requires foreign schools that want to set up a campus to put down a fee of approximately $11 million to enter the country.

  • The Hyderabad campus of the Schulich School of Business at York University, which will be the first international business school to have a full-fledged campus in India, will be ready by 2013, says Dean Dezsö Horváth, wrote Mumbai-based, publisher of India Abroad, June 1.

As part of the agreement between Schulich and the Bangalore-based infrastructure developers GMR Group, the latter will provide land for the campus, build it and take care of the logistics. Schulich is likely to open its doors to the first batch of 110 MBA students for a two-year degree program in September 2013. The number is projected to increase to 180 in one year, Horváth said.

“Our campus in Hyderabad will be a mirror image of Schulich’s Toronto campus,” Horváth said. “It will operate as a seamless extension of the Toronto campus, ensuring the same high quality of programs, internationally focused curriculum and international faculty.”

He said one of the reasons Schulich was looking around the world was that Canada, which produces about 8,000 MBAs a year, is a saturated market. “Canada, with its economy based on raw material and services, doesn’t need so many MBAs,” Horváth added. “We have largely mid-sized companies…. In India, the total number of (MBA) graduates is not more than 5,000. And they need a minimum of 110,000 MBAs a year because the economy is developing very fast.”

Horváth said the University was planning degree programs “for mature students, with five to seven years of work experience, and will recruit students from all over the world…I want to bring a global environment to India.”

The students at their Hyderabad campus may come to Toronto for the second year because Schulich has over 80 specializations, Horváth said. Likewise, the Indian campus will have specializations in fields like information technology, which are India’s strengths. So, Schulich students in Toronto can go to India for specializations too.

Adults are key in battle against childhood bullying, say experts

Debra Pepler, psychology professor in York’s Faculty of Health and co-director of PREVNet, said healthy development of children and youth depends on relationships, wrote The Canadian Press June 1. In the end, it falls to adults to have healthy relationships with their kids or to ensure the kids are engaging in such relationships with others, she said.

Part of what’s needed to help socialize kids is for adults to be self-aware and mindful of the behaviour they’re modelling to their children, she added. "If an adult is dismissive and rolls their eyes or turns a shoulder or stonewalls, doesn’t talk, excludes, says hurtful things, does hurtful things, children will learn how to do that,’’ said Pepler.

Pepler said parents should also encourage kids to talk if things are happening at school or with friends that they’re feeling uncomfortable about, and to keep lines of communication open. "In the larger system, too, we live in a world where children are bombarded with violent media through video games and movies and television, and we need to help them deal with that and think about it critically and constructively.’’

Women Moving Forward helps young moms make positive steps

Travelling solo down the road of young motherhood can be unforgiving, wrote the North York Mirror June 1. But when you live in poverty and face educational barriers that limit your ability to better yourself and your family, things can start to look very bleak.

But thanks to the grassroots organization Women Moving Forward (WMF), which is run out of the Jane/Finch Community & Family Centre, these moms are receiving the support they need to overcome daunting obstacles. Through education and exposure to new opportunities, more women every year are reaching their true potential and are well on their way to living a life of financial sustainability.

WMF offers a tuition-free, 10-month program with a very personalized approach. Women are asked to pick potential career paths. From there, the students come up with a professional development plan and receive guidance to help narrow down that choice. Next, they are aided through the process of applying to a postsecondary program at a local college or university. The women are also given the opportunity to study at the Women’s Studies Bridging Program at York University at no cost.

Former student Heyleen Leonardo Perez, a 29-year-old mother of three kids, graduated from the program earlier this year. She said going to school has always been her dream, but she found herself burdened by many other things in life, like being able to provide for her children, so it was something that never came to fruition. But when she found out about WMF in 2008, she said she knew it was right for her, calling it a “true blessing”.

“It has opened so many opportunities for me and I have become so excited about education,” said Perez, who will begin her studies at York this fall. “The program has given me the ambition to provide a better future for myself and my children, and the drive and the support I needed to succeed at university.”

  • Basking in the glow of friends, family and co-workers, five individuals and three groups were named North York urban heroes during a ceremony Monday, May 31.

The program, for young mothers aged 20 to 29 who are living on welfare, takes a holistic approach to supporting women interested in moving from a place of poverty to one of self-sufficiency, wrote the North York Mirror June 1 in a story about the Urban Hero Awards. The program helps women decide on a career path, then helps map out the steps needed to obtain employment in that career. Run out of the Jane/Finch Community & Family Centre, Women Moving Forward was created in 2005 after recognizing a need in the community to offer assistance to young mothers who must leave teen programs once they turn 20.

“I have seen a lot of women in the community do great things because of the program,” said program participant Teisha James, who plans to take women’s studies at York University in the fall.

In soccer, as in life, there are winners and losers

I think there is a fundamental belief in some that better rules make better situations, wrote Chris Irwin, instructor in the Schulich School of Business at York University, in a letter to the National Post June 2. As much as I understand the “blowout” result that some soccer parents are trying to avoid, we can’t regulate sportsmanship. Leadership should come from the coaching staff, who would, for example, put the star goal scorer in net for a while.

The world of sport can do a lot to prepare young people for life. But some things have to develop (or not) on their own. They can’t be prescribed even with the best of rules.

Grad heads for Osgoode in the fall

Alyssa Caverson, 21, was graduating Tuesday with a bachelor of arts honours degree in economics and political science, wrote The Sudbury Star June 2. She said her last four years at Laurentian University have been a good experience. Caverson will continue her education in the fall. She is moving to Toronto to go to York’s Osgoode Hall Law School.

On air

  • Saeed Rahnema, political science professor in York’s Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, spoke about the killing of nine pro-Palestinian activists on a flotilla carrying aid to Gaza, on CTV News and CFRB Radio June 1.