India Higher Education Administrators Seminar, March 24, 2009

Our first stop today was the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore. This is a stand alone business school like the London School of Business. IIMB offers only graduate degrees: MBA, PhD in Management, weekend program for IT employees in Bangalore, a public policy program, and a one year MBA for people with 7 to 10 years work experience. (Note that Bangalore is the tech center in India much like Silicon Valley is in the US.) The school is small (e.g. 350 entering students in the traditional MBA program and 83 faculty) but growing. We continue to learn about the shortage of seats for students. For example, 350 students were admitted to the program but IIM (Bangalore plus other sites) received over 300,000 applications. The one-year MBA program is the new revenue generator for IIMB and the first class will begin in April 2009. IIMB is hoping to form more research collaborations between IIMB faculty and faculty at universities across the globe.

Poster at IIMB.

Poster at IIMB.

The next stop was at Wipro which is a multinational company that sells many different products. It was started in 1946 as West India Products and produced vegetable oil. It now is the third largest toiletry producer in the world but also has diversified in energy drinks, honey, sweetners, furniture, lighting, and infrastructure equipment. “Mission 10X,” launched in September 2007, is a program to introduce systemic changes for undergraduate engineering education. The program recognizes that faculty are key to change. Wipro is collaborating with academia and has the goal to introduce innovative teaching methodology via a five day workshop to 10,000 faculty by September 2010. The thrust of the program is to get teachers to use active learning techniques based on Bloom’s taxonomy. This seems like a program that could link with Project Kaleidoscope (www.pkal.org).

Our last stop of the day was at one of the campuses of the National Institute of Design. The main campus of NID, located near Mumbai, although the campus we visited is also quite large. NID uses active learning, hands on learning, and project based design. The most distinctive aspect of NID is industry interaction. The campus in Bangalore is a research and development campus that uses the integration of original research in design education. NID has many different undergraduate and graduate programs. Possible interactions include student exchanges and faculty exchanges. NID also believes that it is important to include the management aspect of design and, as such, has programs that reflect this. They have a glass and ceramic design. I wonder if the IWU School of Art would be interested in some sort of collaboration.

Hanuman temple in Bangaluru.

Hanuman temple in Bangaluru.

The day ended with dinner at the hotel and then Prof. Rao all shared her saris with us. We all felt very elegant wearing Prof. Rao’s saris!

Prof. Rao and the women from the delegation in saris.

Prof. Rao and the women from the delegation in saris.

Random thoughts of the day. Bangalore is amazingly colorful! So many beautiful flowers (hence, the nickname the garden city) and so many colorfully painted buildings. All of the institutes of higher education that we visited in and around Bangalore were gorgeous! It is hard to leave the city.

Another random thought. It is amazing that with so many stray dogs that none are hit by cars. They must be street wise dogs!

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About bethacunningham

Professor of Physics
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