Canada's top management school to woo Indian students

Currently Indian origin students account for about 10 percent of the enrolment at the Ted Rogers School of Management, which is Canada's largest undergraduate management school and sits right in the heart of the country's financial hub here.

According to Ken Jones, dean of the school, the university has set up an India strategy group, which also includes prominent Indo-Canadians, to chalk out its plans for India.

"We have an India strategy group and I expect that we will be going to India in the new year with our India strategy in place," Jones told IANS.

"India is on our radar for a whole series of reasons: not only that we have a large Indo-Canadian community which is a good fit. But we have made a commitment to linking the Ted Rogers School to that country. We have a large number of Indian students (born here) and India is a fast growing economy," the dean said.

He said, "Though Indian origin students - numbering more than 500 - account for about 10 percent of the undergraduate courses, there are not many from India. But there are quite a few from India in the masters courses. These numbers will grow as the government has taken initiatives to have more international students."

Jones said his school plans to offer its world class courses in retail management and hospitality and tourism to India students.

"One of our strengths is retail management and there is a huge burgeoning retail economy in India. Hospitality and tourism is another area which will benefit Indian students. I was told this sector will create 40 million new jobs in India," he said.

Ruling out campuses by his school in India, he said, "Unlike Toronto-based York University's Schulich School of Business which has set up a campus in India, our strategy is to partner with select Indian universities, with faculty going back and forth and researchers working on joint projects in the two countries.

To begin with, he said, his school will concentrate on tie-ups with universities in highly accessible big cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata.

Referring to the recent signing of nuclear and other deals and visits by many Indian leaders, he said, "Suddenly, there seems to be a huge interest by the government of India to do something with Canada.

"Canada is on their radar now. And here not only the federal Canadian government but also provinces are starting to take India seriously - we sort of sat back whereas countries like Australia were being really aggressive in India."

Unlike other countries, he said, Canada offered "a welcoming environment" to international students. "But there has to be addressing of some fundamental issues of visas and residence for international students. These are for the government, not for the school. But if Canada is serious about global competitiveness, they have to do it.

Jones said prominent Indo-Canadians with connection to Indian universities will assist his school forge ties with them.

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