Indian students benefitting from the Harvard, MIT experience in Cyprus

December 26th, 2007 - 1:12 pm ICT by admin  

By Ashok Dixit
New Delhi, Dec.26 (ANI): Pursuing higher education, whether in India or abroad, can worry the best of students and their parents, given the high cost involved for lodging and tuition.
For instance, a leading business school in the United Kingdom charges 67,000 dollars (Euro 55,000) for tuition fees and living costs, while a similar school in the United States charges 110,000 dollars (Euro 90,000).
This expenditure could turn away potentially brilliant students, especially those hailing from a developing country such as India, were it not for independent and non-profit institutions like the Cyprus International Institute of Management (CIIM) in Nicosia.
According to Gaurav Dubey, a Special Projects Officer at CIIM, Indian students are making a mark.
In an interview conducted over phone, Mr. Dubey told ANI that at present, CIIM had 256 students, of whom 22 were Indians, and in the next year, he said 30 Indian students would be selected or invited to join the institution.
“These students are from Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Orissa, and cities like Delhi, Mumbai Bangalore, and one Indian-origin student from the UK,” said Mr. Dubey.
Elaborating further on the advantages in joining a business school like CIIM, Mr. Dubey said the key objective of the institute is to provide the “same standard of education as available in institutions like Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge, the London Business School, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Wharton, Kellogg and Warwick at costs that were far less than what is demanded by business schools in the United States and the United Kingdom.”
Endorsing Mr.Dubey’s views, Atul Singh, a student hailing from Biharm, said:”If you want to learn, gain new experiences, I recommend it to students from India. It was a personal preference to come here (Nicosia) because I was getting a good education by spending less money and improving by networking.”
Atul Singh is now interning with the International Merchandise Corporation in Nicosia, and has plans of using this stint to acquire a more lucrative assignment elsewhere, as work rules in Cyprus don’t permit permanent employment to foreigners. He said that he has four offers from Finaland, Dubai, Qatar and Kuwait.
Sohail Khan from Mumbai said that his eleven-and-a-half months in Nicosia have been personally very fullfilling.
“I see my dreams and ambitions being fullfilled,” he said, adding that he was interning with the pharmaceutical concern Merck, Sharpe and Dome in their finance department.
Aravind Muralidhar, another Indian graduate, said the overall experience was satisfactory, but wished that the law not allowing foreigners to work was waived.
He said being taught by visiting experts and academicians like Professor G.P. Shukla, Gordon Manfrey and Peter Clarke, who hailed from institutions like Harvard, Stanford, MIT and Oxford was a very rewarding experience. Mr. Dubey said: “Our philosophy is that if, today’s business is global, business education must also be global - in faculty, in curriculum and in students. Our faculty includes top professors from leading institutions in North America and Europe.
Professors teaching at CIIM have to teach in the same way as they do in their home institutions to which they are affiliated to in the United States and Europe,” said Mr. Dubey.
CIIM, he said, therefore, draws its faculty from 24 leading business schools from ten different countries, who, are tasked with the responsibility of providing a stimulating environment conducive for high performance learning, and promoting new ideas, offering unique insights, diverse experiences and creative teaching methods.
Mr. Dubey said that CIIM offers MBA and MPSM courses with seven concentrations - Finance, Marketing, Human Resource Management and Organisational Behaviour, Strategy and International Business, Technology and Operations Management, Shipping Management and Logistics and Entrepreneurship and Management of SMEs — both of which were internationally accredited by the London-based Association of MBAs and the EFMD with the EPAS Accreditation Quality Label.
CIIM is one of the top five percent higher education schools worldwide with two or more accreditations, he said, but added this statistic changes from month to month.
Commenting on the selection process for both Indian students and students of other countries, he said: “We are a non-profit centre of excellence, making available to exceptional individuals, regardless of origin or financial means, a modular educational model involving interaction with management gurus and world-renowned academics.”
“We rarely advertise. We are 100 percent non-profit and our (job) placements are to the tune of 95 percent. We have opportunities for paid internships, for which students have to compete. We are keen to avoid the red tape associated with some academic institutions. Our stress is on aptitude, attitude, personality and good background. As far as proficiency in English is concerned, if an applicant has had his or her medium of instruction in school or college in English, it does not make sense for us to ask either of them to take a test in English. The interview stage is very grilling, as we really want to know what the applicant is all about, apart from his academic proficiency,” added Dubey.
The stress was on the quality of education and cost (Rs.8, 25,000 as tuition fees), besides opportunity cost. The aim is to finish a two-year MBA course in one year, and this was possible through the highest teaching contact hours (600), said Dubey.
Students were from 18 different nationalities and included doctors, engineers and finance guys. Fiver percent of them were from a family business background, said Dubey, adding that the faculty included one Indian - Professor Gangadhar Prasad Shukla — a former member of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and ex-faculty member of Harvard (sixteen years), who is presently attached with Duke University.
Dubey concluded by saying that in India, there were only six to seven business schools with credible MBA courses and accessibility to these institutions was poor, and therefore, institutions like CIIM provided some hope to both Indian students and students of other nationalities desirous of excelling further academically.
For the less privileged, he said that CIIM had limited seats for students with GMAT qualification, and also offered GMAT score scholarships. For instance, he said that a GMAT score of 760 and above would help a student to get 100 percent scholarship. (ANI)

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