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MBA At Home Or Abroad: What Does India’s Education Reform Mean For B-School Candidates?

If Oxford or the Ivy League universities open campuses in India, will more students stay in-country for MBA?

Wed Feb 8 2023

Almost 650,000 Indian students traveled abroad for higher education in 2022, and were the largest inbound cohorts in both the US and UK. Though not quite back at pre-Covid levels of foreign study, these were the latest in a long stream of Indian students moving abroad to study.

The current Indian education reform plans aim to reduce the flow of students abroad for higher education, however by bridging the demand-supply gap and allowing foreign universities to open campuses in India. The hope is to bring more global quality higher education within the reach of the Indian families.

But what does this mean for you if you’re making plans for business school in the next few years? Will staying home for business school will become more attractive for Indian aspirants? BusinessBecause explores. 

What is changing?

In early January 2023, the University Grants Commission (UGC) issued draft guidelines allowing foreign universities to open campuses in India. UGC will now accept applications from universities in its top-500 global ranking list–more institutions than from the first-mooted top-100 universities. This will undoubtedly broaden the access to overseas courses taught in India. The quality should be high too: UGC has stressed that education delivery on such campuses must be on par with that of their home institutions. 

Which universities are coming to India?

“A lot of universities” are showing interest in opening campuses in India, according to the chairman of the UGC, Professor M Jagadesh Kumar. Penn State University is reportedly already in talks; the Ivy League and Oxford are also likely coming to India. Though details are still scant, it’s expected that some providers may begin intake as early as by the 2024 academic year. 

Five things a foreign university MBA course in India could mean:

Increased affordability: Compared with the cost of an Indian MBA, overseas degrees are many times more expensive. The costliest Indian MBA (Indian School of Business at INR4 million or $49,000), is five times cheaper than the costliest global MBA (MIT Sloan, $242,000)–and that’s just a fee comparison. Add to it the housing, food, transport, study materials, and other costs, and a foreign MBA degree becomes unaffordable for most Indian aspirants even after factoring in scholarships and financial aid. The anticipated scaling down of the cost of global MBA that this reform could affect–while maintaining the international education quality–may create a more inclusive foreign MBA ecosystem in India. 

A wide range of electives: The range of business courses are expected to boom as international campuses start operations. As an example, Duke University’s Master in Environmental Management could will empower India-based graduates to address climate change’s business contexts. Or Stanford’s Tech MBA could arm graduates with capabilities to steer global tech.

Superior networking opportunities: The new campuses should offer enhanced global networking and collaboration opportunities at academic, peer, alum, professional, and academia-industry interface levels. This will boost students’ connectivity, confidence, competence, and of course, career prospects. 

Opportunity to build a global career in India: Choose to study in India and you could build a homegrown global career without leaving the country. 

Reduced ‘culture shock’: International students–sometimes called the ‘overlooked minority’–can experience significant challenges abroad. Language barriers, culture shock, social isolation–and occasionally racism or even bullying–have been reported. Studying at a foreign campus in India will help students circumvent such issues while maintaining a healthy global-glocal balance. In case of future disease outbreaks such as Covid-19, students will not be stranded abroad.

What should I do if I am making plans for business school in India? 

If you are planning to start an MBA in 2023, it’s probably a good idea to continue with plans but for students in the 2024 intake, subscribe to BusinessBecause for the latest news on changes to business school opportunities in India and beyond.

Next Read: 

What Are The Best MBA Colleges In India In 2023?