Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Bachelor of Business Administration – Organizational Management (Tiffin University)

Regional accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
Programmatic accreditation: ACBSP

Tiffin University is one of the few American schools to receive business school accreditation from a recognized U.S. accreditor, ACBSP, and a highly regarded European accreditor, ECBE (European Council for Business Education). As such, you can expect a quality education from their business programs. Their Bachelor of Business Administration in Organization Management is designed to be completed by working professionals without missing a single day of work. If you have two or more years of prior college credit, you can complete the degree in less than two years.

In your last term, you will work on a major research project worth six credits. This course is designed to enhance your knowledge in a field related to your work or community. You will gain practical experience and develop research skills that managers need to make good decisions.

Although you will be earning the degree completely online, upon graduation you will be awarded the same degree as on-campus students. Your degree will not indicate that you attended the classes online.

To qualify for admission, you generally need at least two years of college and 5 years of professional work experience.

MBA (Arizona State University)

Regional accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
Programmatic accreditation: AACSB

Want an online MBA from a well-regarded school? Arizona State University (ASU) offers an MBA degree program designed for working professionals who want to continue working full-time while attending online classes. ASU is a tier one school according to U.S. News & World Report and Forbes considers ASU among America’s best colleges.

The program is designed to be completed in two years and has a 95% on-time graduation rate. At the beginning of the program, you are required to attend a four-day orientation on campus. Though the rest of the program is completely online, ASU believes that earning the degree should also be a collaborative experience. In the orientation, you will build relationships with other students in preparation for the team projects in the curriculum. Also, you will meet the business faculty and support staff. The faculty will present course overviews and review policies such as deadlines, grading and contact methods unique to the virtual education environment. The support staff will help you become familiar with the technology used in the online classroom.

If you want to know the perspective of a current student, ASU has a group of students called Online MBA Ambassadors that can answer your questions. The Ambassadors represent a wide cross-section of individuals in terms of career function, industry, year in the program and geographic representation. You can contact any of them through ASU.

Program requirements include an undergraduate degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0, at least 2 years of work experience, and a GMAT score.

What's Your College Degree Worth?

Top Schools by State
To make an informed decision about college, it helps to know what the future holds in store. Few prospective students and their parents have that kind of crystal ball, but if they're reading this, they have the next best thing: a detailed look at the return on investment that graduates of more than 500 U.S. colleges and universities realized over the past 30 years. It won't predict how much grads will earn 30 years from now, but it does provide a rough benchmark to begin assessing the relative payback of different undergraduate degrees.

ROI is a function of two things: how much one spends getting a degree, and how much graduates earn. PayScale, which collects pay information from individuals who use its online pay comparison tools, examined a huge database of 1.4 million pay reports and information on college costs. It then determined how much graduates of each school earned (after deducting the cost of their degrees) above the typical pay for a high school graduate over the same period. In a very real sense, this is what a college degree from each institution is "worth" in dollars and cents. Some schools are bargains, other schools less so—and not always the ones you would think.

Unlike most other rankings, this one takes into account each school's six-year graduation rate, providing a more accurate way of assessing a school's ROI. For example, graduates of the Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Notre Dame, after repaying the investment in their respective degrees, both earn almost exactly the same amount over 30 years: about $1.4 million more than a typical high school graduate. But only if you graduate. Notre Dame graduates 96 percent of its students, while Georgia Tech graduates just 77 percent. The result: Georgia Tech's 30-year ROI is far less than Notre Dame's, a still-decent $1.1 million.

What follows is a state-by-state breakdown of the schools with the best ROI, regardless of cost. The competition for the top spot in some states was particularly tough. Stanford was a runner-up in California, Columbia was a third-place finisher in New York, and in Massachusetts, Harvard played second fiddle to MIT. For students in those states, there is a true embarrassment of riches.

Note: Each slide features the top-ranked school from each state. The ranking is based on self-reported pay data obtained through online pay comparison tools; on average, pay reports from about 1,000 individuals were used in the net return calculations. Total cost is the cost of obtaining an undergraduate degree from the featured school in 2009; it does not factor in financial aid and may include up to six years of tuition, fees, room and board, books, and other expenses, depending on how long it takes most students to graduate. The graduation rate shown is a six-year rate for the cohort entering in the fall of 2002. The 30-Year Net Return on Investment is in 2010 dollars and represents the average earnings of a graduate (over and above those of a high school graduate) after deducting the cost of the degree and adjusting for the school's graduation rate. The 30-Year Net Return for Graduates is the same figure, assuming a 100 percent graduation rate. Annualized Net ROI is based on the ratio of the earnings gain from a college degree to the cost of the degree; it takes into account the school's graduation rate and includes wage inflation of 4.3 percent per year. ROI data and total cost supplied by PayScale. Annual tuition and fees, average financial aid package, applicants admitted, and most popular majors supplied by the College Board. For the complete ranking and a more detailed description of the methodology, check out our interactive table.

College: Big Investment, Paltry Return

If there's one truism that goes virtually unchallenged these days, it's that a college degree has great value. Beyond the great books, beyond the critical reasoning skills, and beyond the experience itself, there's another way that a college degree has value: Over the course of a working life, college graduates earn more than high school graduates. Over the past decade, research estimates have pegged that figure at $900,00, $1.2 million, and $1.6 million.

But new research suggests that the monetary value of a college degree may be vastly overblown. According to a study conducted by PayScale for Bloomberg Businessweek, the value of a college degree may be a lot closer to $400,000 over 30 years and varies wildly from school to school. According to the PayScale study, the number of schools that actually make good on the estimates of the earlier research is vanishingly small. There are only 17 schools in the study whose graduates can expect to recoup the cost of their education and out-earn a high school graduate by $1.2 million, including four where they can do so to the tune of $1.6 million. At more than 500 other schools, the return on investment, or ROI, is less—sometimes far less. College, says Al Lee, director of quantitative analysis at PayScale, "is not the million-dollar slam dunk people talk about."

The top of the list was dominated by elite private universities, with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology taking the top spot. Its net 30-year ROI of nearly $1.7 million makes it the most valuable undergraduate degree in the nation. The large number of MIT students who enter such high-paying fields as engineering and computer science certainly helped, but the school's advantages go well beyond that, says Melanie Parker, executive director for global education and career development at MIT. "All the students at MIT, regardless of their major, take a strong core curriculum, which exposes them to more in-depth science and math than students at most other programs," Parker says. "Employers look for any major from MIT, because our students are prepared for almost anything."

A Taste of the Ranking
The next best education bargain was California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif., where students out-earned high school grads by about $1.6 million, followed by Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass.; Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, Calif.; and Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H. For the complete ranking, and an in-depth explanation of the methodology, check out our interactive table

The new research is based on self-reported compensation data collected through PayScale's online pay comparison tools. PayScale examined pay reports from 1.4 million graduates of U.S. colleges and universities with no advanced degrees to calculate the ROI of each school. One reason the PayScale study resulted in a far lower estimate of the ROI on a college education is the way it calculated college costs. Instead of assuming everyone graduates in four years, as some do, PayScale used the actual number of years it takes students to graduate from each institution—4, 5, or 6 years. Another reason for PayScale's far lower ROI estimate is that it accounts for the fact that many students never graduate—and go on to earn little more than a high school graduate. For them, the ROI on their college education is effectively zero.

Of the two, graduation rates had a far bigger impact on ROI. Of the 554 schools in the study, the net ROI—for graduates only—was $627,239. But once adjusted for the average six-year graduation rate of 58 percent, the average overall net ROI shrank by 37 percent, to $393,574. Schools with the worst graduation rates—at some schools, fewer than 20 percent of students graduated in six years— fared even worse in the PayScale analysis.
"Some universities are getting paid to have people show up, take a class, and flunk out," says Lee. "If you bought cars, and half the cars didn't work within the first six months, and you couldn't get your money back, people would be pretty outraged."

Complaints About Data Analysis
Schools that performed poorly in the PayScale analysis took issue with the methodology. Among the complaints: PayScale based the study on a small, self-selecting sample of alumni from each school—on average, about 1,000—and failed to consider financial aid, which would have reduced total college costs and improved ROI for all schools. One school that argued in favor of incorporating financial aid in the calculations was Philadelphia University, which had a 30-year net return on investment of $218,000. Using the school's average financial aid award and more recent graduation rate, the 30-year net ROI would be $276,000.

Other schools said the methodology also failed to account for the intangible benefits of a college education, including the benefits to society. "If monetary Return on Investment (ROI) were the main purpose of education, most of us would make different career decisions," wrote Pat Pike, interim provost and vice-provost for education at Biola University in LaMirada, Calif., in an e-mail. "Biola's education is not primarily about money. If you calculated the ROI [to] society of a Biola education, compared with the average, it would be huge. "

While private schools dominated the top of the list, public schools proved to be far better value overall, at least for in-state students. Because of the lower costs paid by in-state students—$82,301 compared with $126,933 for out-of-state students at public institutions and $170,219 for students at private schools—they enjoyed the best net annualized ROI: 9.7 percent. The worst deal: paying out-of-state tuition at a public university. Doing so results in an average annualized net ROI of 8.4 percent. Private schools yielded a net annualized return of 9.1 percent.

Credential Inflation
Individual schools fared well, or poorly, for many reasons. At Skidmore, the elite private liberal arts college in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., that was an all-women's school until 1971, lower salaries for women, who make up a disproportionate share of its alumni base, contributed to lower overall earnings for graduates. The result was a 30-year net ROI of $325,700, placing it at the 58th percentile for all private schools in the study. "If Skidmore's net ROI were based on alumni earnings since 1990 rather than 1980, it would be $150,000 higher," said Dan Forbush, a Skidmore spokesperson, in an e-mail. Other schools paid a price for a focus on the liberal arts, teaching, or other academic specialties that produce many graduates who pursue careers in low-paying occupations. Such schools as Harvey Mudd, most of whose graduates go into careers in engineering and science, have something of an unfair advantage over schools such as Lesley University , where more than 70 percent of students major in the liberal arts, visual and performing arts, public administration, and social services.

One big conclusion that can be drawn from the PayScale data is that college—and college alone—may not be the great investment it was once thought to be. Richard Vedder, director of the Center for College Affordability & Productivity in Washington, D.C., notes that with the college-educated accounting for a larger percentage of Americans, the bachelor's degree has been devalued, and its ROI has taken a hit. "We have credential inflation in America. A college degree has become mundane and ordinary," Vedder said. "We used to send kids to college to become lawyers and doctors. Now we send them to college to work at Walmart."

A. Jordan, who graduated with a degree in political science from the University of North Carolina in Wilmington in 2008, knows about the devaluing of the college degree all too well.
As a stewardess in the private yachting industry with nothing but a high school diploma, she says she earned triple what she's making now in her administrative support job in Winston-Salem. She's making so little money with a college degree, she's considering returning to school for her master's. "Philosophy, political science, and other degrees of that nature are not giving you concrete skills," Jordan wrote in an e-mail. She declined to use her full name, citing possible career repercussions.

The Professional Advantage
Advanced and professional degrees, however, may be a bigger differentiator in the labor market, with bigger payoffs. According to a June 15 study by the Georgetown University Center on Education & the Workforce, the gross lifetime earnings for someone with a professional degree is nearly $4.7 million, about $3.5 million more than a high school dropout earns. "The increased earning power conferred by postsecondary education and training is both tangible and lucrative over a worker's lifetime," says Nicole Smith, senior economist with the center.

Another conclusion suggested by the PayScale data is that brands matter, and cutting corners on a college education doesn't pay. The top of the list is dominated by such well-known schools as Princeton, Yale, Duke, and Amherst, and five of the top 10 are Ivy League institutions, where 30-year net returns on investment averaged nearly $1.4 million. One possible reason that such schools fare well in an ROI analysis is that they educate the wealthiest part of the population, says Jack Maguire, an educational consultant and former dean of admissions at Boston College. Wealthier families produce children with higher SAT scores who are more successful in gaining admission to highly selective schools. After graduation, family wealth confers a great career edge, as well, with many graduates taking advantage of family connections to land top jobs. Says Maguire: "It's kind of a self-fulfilling prophesy."

Students who made an investment in higher education at the schools at the top of the list say they got their money's worth. Ryan Pope, who studied economics at Harvard, says the experience prepared him to compete in the job market and the Harvard name resonated with employers. "I don't believe my degree helped me directly, but it gave me a better set of tools to complete my job," said Pope, a 2008 graduate who is now marketing director at 2X Software in Dallas, in an email exchange. "While I don't think I received a premium just for my degree, I think my employers hopefully saw [it] as a sign that I was serious about my work and would strive to succeed against tough requirements and deadlines."

Lagging the Stock Market
For many, the very notion of a financial return on investment misses the point of higher education entirely. Scott Jaschik, editor of Inside Higher Ed, a website that covers news of colleges and universities, says the return on a liberal arts education goes well beyond dollars and cents, and students who major in liberal arts aren't in it for the money. "People who major in history tend to think, 'I'd like to get a well-rounded education that will help me in many fields,'" says Jaschik, a history major himself. "I don't think philosophy and poetry majors are there because it's going to make them rich."

Maybe not, but most students expect, if not riches, then at least a comfortable life. And according to PayScale's Lee, if they're enrolled at many of the schools on the list, they will be bitterly disappointed. Over the past 30 years, the S&P 500 Index averaged about 11 percent a year. Only 88 schools out of the 554 in the study had a better return than the S&P. Everywhere else, students would have been better off—financially, at least—if they invested the money they spent on their college educations and never set foot in a classroom.

"For almost every school on the list," writes Lee in an e-mail, "prospective students paying full price would probably have been better off investing in the stock market 30 years ago rather than spending their money on a college education."

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Continuing Education Loans - Are You Willing to Put in the Extra Effort?

Continuing education is a type of education option that encompasses many possibilities. In general, continuing education is offered to those who already have a degree or who are not seeking a degree. Most continuing education programs offer certificate and diploma programs, sometimes in conjunction with professional associations and sometimes independently. Some continuing education programs also offer workshops, short courses, and seminars. These types of educational ventures are intended for personal and professional development. Students take these courses in order to improve their career options or in order to gain new skills which they require in their current jobs.

Since continuing education is often not considered a traditional degree-seeking type of coursework, getting continuing education loans may be slightly more challenging. If you're looking for a continuing education loan, you may have to put in extra effort in order to fund the financial aid you require.
Private Sources of Continuing Education Funding
Private lenders are often the best option for continuing education loans. Companies such as Sally Mae even have a special loans designed just for continuing education students. In order to qualify for most of these loans, your continuing education program or school usually must be approved of by the lender. In general, you must be a US citizen or at least a US resident in order to qualify. Since you're borrowing money from a private lender, you must also have a good credit history.

Different lenders have different application processes for education loans. If you're a continuing education student who is borrowing money, however, you can expect that you will need to fill out a few forms, and you will need to submit to a credit check. The lender will then tell you how much money you qualify for. In general, companies such as Sally Mae offer loans for continuing education students that are at least $1000 to the total amount necessary for books, tuition, and other educational costs. In general, you cannot borrow more than your total education costs, and the amount of any financial aid or scholarships you receive is also deducted.

You must start to pay back these loans fairly quickly -- usually within a month of getting your money -- but you may choose to pay off only the interest at first. This gives you until after you graduate from your certificate program and have improved your money earning power before repaying the loan in full.
School Sources of Continuing Education Funding
Some schools offer their own educational loans and aid for continuing education students. This is especially the case where continuing education program is part of a larger school that also offers degree programs. If you are a continuing education student, speak to the center for continuing education at your school, and to the financial aid office of your college or university. You may find that you can pay for your courses gradually, that you qualify for some bursaries, grants, or scholarships as well as for school funded loans.

Continue to : Banks and Other Sources of Continuing Education Funding

Private Education Loans - Best Loans at Affordable Cost

Private education loans, also known as alternative education loans, are systems of lending which are designed specifically for students. If you have been considering your government student loan options, your distance education loans options, and your financial aid package, student loans from private sources can make a lot of sense. The loans can help make your education more affordable. They can also be of great assistance to you if you're looking for alternative forms of education and do not qualify for traditional education loans.
Understanding What Private Education Loans are
Alternative education loans work just like regular student loans. That is, they are loans designed to help students deal with the costs of education. The loans help students pay for tuition, school fees, living expenses, books, and other costs associated with attending schools in New York. Unlike student loans funded by the government, however, alternative education loans are very flexible. They can be used at almost Brooklyn school, including boarding and private charter schools. They are perfect for students who are younger than college-age but still require money to complete their education. Private education loans can be more expensive than government-subsidized student loans. However, they often also allow students to wait until after graduation before repayment. This can make them very convenient, as it does not require student to work full time during buffalo school in order to pay off the debt.
Who Offers Alternative Education Loans
There are many places were students can turn to in order to get alternative education loans:
Banks and Financial Institutions
Your bank, credit union, or other financial institution can be a good place to get an alternative student loan. These institutions offer a number of loan and debt solutions for clients, and increasingly this has included the student population. If you wish to seek private loans from banks, however, you will need to compare several offers in order to get the best interest rate possible.
Employers sometimes help families pay for children's education by offering financing options of their own. For example, some employers help employees with education expenses such as education through private loans, through automatic deductions from paychecks, and other financing options.
Private Lenders
Companies such as Sallie Mae offer loans specifically to students. These tend to be competitively priced, flexible, and offer number of loan types for every student need. Better yet, many private companies now offer complete loan information and student loan applications online, giving students more control over their finances and greater convenience than ever before.

Continue to : What Types of Private Education Loans are Available

International Educational Loans - Making the Best Out of Fewer Options

International students have more expenses than the nationalized or US-born student. International students are often charged extra fees. They also often have to pay extra for transportation and do not often have the option of living at home while attending school. If international students also come from a country with an unfavorable exchange rate, they may well need a loan in order to attend school in the United States. Despite this, many types of loans are earmarked specifically for international nationals and citizens.

This does not mean that international students cannot attend United States schools. However, it does mean that students need to seek harder to find international student loans. Even though when it comes to student loans, international students have fewer options, there are still many choices and many types of available funding that they can draw on.
Taking Tests to Attend US Colleges
International students often have to take tests in order to attend school the United States. Commonly, international students need to pass the TOEFL to demonstrate that they are fluent enough in English in order to attend school in the United States. Often, in order to attend college or university in the United States, a high TOEFL score is required.

Additionally, students wishing to study in the United States must pass the SAT or ACT to demonstrate a basic knowledge of math, English, and reasoning skills. While both United States citizens and international students must take this test, they can be more challenging for international students, who do not always have the cultural references and language skills. In order to do well on these tests, international students may need to study longer or may need to seek help from qualified tutors. Doing well on entrance tests can help international students secure funding such as some scholarships, bursaries, and even loans.

Some colleges and universities may also require international students to take additional, school administered tests. Contact your intended schools well advance to ask for the exact qualifications, required tests, and procedures for international students.
Applying for Visa as an International Student
International students must also apply for a visa before they can arrive in the United States and study at a university there. In order to apply for and secure a student visa, you will generally have to show evidence that you have already been accepted to a college or university. Your school's international student office may be able to help you with the application process.

If you have good grades, you may find it slightly easier to secure a visa. Your visa will tell you exactly how long you are able to stay in the country to study, and will outline whether or not you are allowed to work while you attend school the United States. If you are allowed to work while attending school, you may find that you are limited to specific jobs; many federal work-study programs may not be available to you. Unfortunately, this may make it even more important for you to secure college funding and college student loans, simply because you may need to rely mostly on savings and loans to pay for your education, rather than creating a diversified financial aid package.

Continue to : How to Approach Universities as an International Student

Monday, June 28, 2010

President quits at IMD

John Wells has stepped down as president of IMD in Switzerland, little more than two years after taking the job.

The scenario brings back strong memories of the debacle at London Business School when, in December 2008, dean Robin Buchanan was effectively ousted from the school by faculty after just 16 months in the job. Like Prof Wells, Mr Buchanan was deemed a “non-academic dean”. Insead, the other top-ranked European school with a businessman rather than an academic as dean, is following a similar pattern. Frank Brown will step down as dean there in 2011 at the latest, at the end of his five year term.

Prof Wells ruffled faculty feathers at IMD from the start, principally by introducing an anglo-American management team - of the five senior positions, two went to Irish professors, one to a British professor and a fourth to an American. In particular, no French or Belgian professors were represented in the line-up, although they are numerous on the faculty. Then, like Mr Brown at Insead, he has faced tough management decisions as a result of the economic crisis - both Insead and IMD earn a high proportion of their revenues through executive short programmes, which have been severely hit over the past two years.

A further complication for IMD has been the decision by Peter Lorange, the former president of IMD, who held the job for 15 years and virtually built the school from scratch, to set up his own business school close by. The Lorange Institute, in Zurich was set up in July 2009 and, like IMD, will focus on executive students.

According to IMD, Prof Wells decided that stepping aside was in the best interests of the school. IMD is expected to announce the name of an interim dean next week.

.Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2010. You may share using our article tools. Please don't cut articles from and redistribute by email or post to the web.

GMAT revamp focuses on reasoning

The GMAT test, the entry test for business school, is to get a face-lift with a whole new section added to test integrative reasoning. The 30-minute section will test the problem-solving abilities of prospective MBA students, by assessing them on their skills in interpreting graphs, charts and tables from different sources, says Dave Wilson, president of GMAC, which administers the GMAT test.

“It’s not just their number-crunching abilities,” points out Stacey Kole, deputy dean of the full-time MBA programme at Chicago Booth. “That (problem-solving) is much messier. It addresses the need to think across boundaries. For Chicago this is really important because we are not a lock-step programme.”

Developing the enhanced test has taken time, says Mr Wilson. Research began in 2007 with faculty from top business schools. In total. 750 faculty from around the world were involved in the process. The new test will be introduced on June 4 2012, so the first prospective students to sit the test will start their MBA programmes in 2013 (Class of 2015).

The GMAT exam will still be three and a half hours in length, with one one of the essay questions dropped to accommodate the new section. The verbal and quantitative sections of the test will not change. As a result, tests will be scored on the same 200–800 scale used today. Test takers will continue to receive a separate score for the essay question and will receive a third score for the integrated reasoning section.

“The new integrated reasoning section of the GMAT will be a microcosm of today’s b-school classroom,” says Mr Wilson. “These questions will provide critical intelligence to schools about the ability of prospective students to make sound decisions by evaluating, assimilating or extrapolating data.”

Prof Kole goes even further, arguing that the integrative reasoning test will also have applications beyond the world of business education, in evaluating medical students, for example. “I’m delighted we have it in the GMAT but I think it’s value goes way beyond just our community.”

The revamped test comes at a critical time for GMAC which is facing growing competition from the GRE (Graduate Record Exam), a general test for graduate students from all disciplines. “One of the things I really like about GMAT is that is really written for business school,” says Prof Kole.
.Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2010. You may share using our article tools. Please don't cut articles from and redistribute by email or post to the web.

Purg named international dean of the year

Pioneering Slovenian Danica Purg, president of IEDC-Bled School of Management, has been nominated the 2010 Dean of the Year by the Academy of International Business, which meets in Brazil this week. Prof Purg is one of only three Europeans to receive the award in its 16 year history - the other two were Claude Rameau of Insead and Lauge Stetting of the Copenhagen Business School.

Prof Purg, who has arguably been the most influential business professor in Eastern Europe over the past decade, was cited by AIB on five counts: founding management development in Slovenia; setting up the Ceeman industry and accreditation body in Eastern Europe; supporting for other schools; her innovation in management development; and her contribution to the relationship between business and society.

Prof Purg, who received the “Honorary Order of Freedom” from the President of the Republic of Slovenia in 2001, said: “I’m grateful to all of my colleagues and employees who inspired, motivated and helped me during the last almost 25 years. I am seeing this award as recognition to IEDC-Bled School of Management, to Slovenia and whole Central and Eastern Europe.”

.Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2010. You may share using our article tools. Please don't cut articles from and redistribute by email or post to the web.

Chat Transcript: Cornell Admissions

Cornell University's Johnson School (Johnson Full-Time MBA Profile) is unique for its close-knit community, where teamwork reigns and graduates leave with a large network, writes Randall Sawyer (screen name: RandallAtCornell), assistant dean of admissions, financial aid, and inclusion at the Johnson School, during a recent chat event. He fielded questions from the audience and Bloomberg Businessweek reporter Francesca Di Meglio (screen name: FrancescaBW) about everything from the recruiting outlook to the chances for international applicants now cooling their heels on the waiting list. Here are edited excerpts of their conversation:

Ansho: What are the key points for applicants to consider when applying to the Johnson School?

RandallAtCornell: We are looking for students who are academically inquisitive, well-rounded, and understand why they want to earn their MBA. We are a very collaborative community and understand the value of teamwork.

Ansho: I have a 650 [GMAT score] and a degree in engineering from India plus five years of work experience in business development. What are my chances of getting an interview invite?

RandallAtCornell: We like your five years work experience, but your GMAT is a bit lower than what we would like to see. Our median this year will be 700, and our average is in the 690 space. However, there are more than 20 different things we look at in your file, and while the numbers are good benchmarks, we really look at you as a person and professional.

lakshya: What is the average GMAT score required for the Johnson School?

RandallAtCornell: There is no minimum GMAT score required for Cornell. Most of our students score in the 640 to 750 range, and last year more than half the class scored 710 or better.

MFaulkner: Please explain the emphasis that is placed on an applicant's GMAT score when the admissions committee is evaluating an individual's application. Furthermore, how close to the school's published GMAT score mean would you recommend an applicant approach to feel confident with that aspect of his application? (For example, 10, 20, or 30 points below or above the mean?)

RandallAtCornell: The GMAT score is important, with the quant end of it being most important because we have seen a correlation between quant scores and success in our core courses. I would urge students to score in the 680 and up range.

MFaulkner: What is the most critical aspect of an applicant's application?

RandallAtCornell: The most critical aspect of the application is the essay. We have [applicants write] three, and we read them closely. They tell us a lot about you. However, should you get an interview, then the interview becomes even more important than the essays because of personal interaction.

ss1: I'm applying this year. I would like to know how much weight is given to work experience because I will be completing two years on the job when I apply.

RandallAtCornell: Work experience is important, and students in our class in 2010 averaged five years. However, we accept applicants with no work experience—usually from Cornell—and some students with nine-plus years' work experience, so we are very diverse in this area.

johnsondreamz: I am an international waitlisted candidate still waiting for a decision. At this stage, do I still have a chance to get off the waitlist? How many seats are still left and how many students are still on the waitlist?

RandallAtCornell: We are in the process of thinning the waitlist. While I cannot tell you what your chances are, I can tell you that we have thinned the list by nearly 70 percent in the last couple of weeks, so congratulations on making it this far. We'll do more on Monday of next week, but no one knows what will happen at this time. We are nearly full for the class, so there are still seats available and it changes on a daily basis. Good luck to you!
RandallAtCornell: Consortium applicants can simply tell us that we are their first choice. We had a very good year [in 2010] with underrepresented minorities—nearly 16 percent of the incoming class represents an underrepresented minority. Be sure you mean it when you tell us that we are your top choice because we'll expect you to attend should we make you an offer.

TheDarkLord: I am a prospective student from India. I [earned] 75 percent in my undergraduate program, which is considered first class with distinction. What would this score be equivalent to on the American 4.0 scale?

RandallAtCornell: Congratulations on your first class with distinction. We would want to know what school you attended and would value your score accordingly. We have a group of people on my team, who will translate your score for the selection committee. I am not sure if your 75 percent would be a 4.0.

JE3: What are some characteristics of Johnson School students?

RandallAtCornell: Intellectually curious, driven, motivated, team players, and leaders. Our students know when to be a participant, type A, outgoing, or competitive.

Chaituy: I am on the waitlist from round three, and I am an international employee living in the United States. Given the time it takes to get a U.S. visa these days, do you give any priority on clearing the waitlist of international students?

RandallAtCornell: We understand your situation and raise it at every waitlist review meeting. We do usually clear international students first from the waitlist because of the visa issues.

johnsondreamz: How do you decide on taking students off the waitlist? Do international students still on the waitlist stand a chance of getting admitted?

RandallAtCornell: We review nearly all the fields still on the waitlist at each meeting and choose accordingly. Yes, international students still do stand a chance of getting admitted.

ALB_713: How important is "global experience" to the application process, and how important is the global business perspective in the Johnson MBA program?

RandallAtCornell: Global experience is noted and adds a unique dimension to your application, but as I noted before it is one of more than 20 variables we assess in the process. Our program is getting more and more global by choice as the world gets smaller.

JE3: What are you looking for in the essays—personality, confidence, education, etc.?

RandallAtCornell: Our three questions are simple. What is your greatest business accomplishment? Why an MBA and the Johnson School? And if your life were a book, what would the chapter headings be? (I love this one.) So, we are looking to know what you think is your greatest accomplishment, why you are applying to our school, and where you want to go with your MBA. The third question allows you to be creative.

TheDarkLord: I have a GMAT score of 700 (49/35). Will the average verbal score affect my candidacy? Would you consider other things that might offset my verbal score to some extent, such as the TOEFL score?

RandallAtCornell: Verbal might affect your candidacy. But if you are a strong candidate, we'll assess your verbal [abilities] during the interview. Yes, a strong TOEFL would offset GMAT verbal.

Ignicion 2010: IIM Lucknow's Mentorship initiative for call getters for GD/PI preparation

The students of IIM Lucknow have launched the third edition of IIM Lucknow's Mentorship Programme for call-getters christened Ignicion 2010. In its third edition, Ignicion promises to be bigger and better than ever before, buoyed by the enthusiastic response received over the last two years.

Ignicion is a unique mentorship programme where the entire student community of IIM Lucknow comes together to assist the institute's GD/PI call getters by proactively answering the various queries that they might have about the selection process, about MBA and about life @ IIML. An entirely student driven initiative, Ignicion's primary objective is to ensure that prospective students get every possible help and information from a reliable source quickly. Team Ignicion maps the profiles of the aspiring candidates to those of student volunteers at IIML, in order to come up with the best set of mentor-mentee pairs. This ensures that the mentees are able to connect better with their mentors and can get appropriate advice based on their mentor's past experiences.

To avail the benefits of this programme, aspirants who have a GD/PI call from IIM Lucknow are required to register themselves on the Ignicion website at Soon after registration, they are allotted mentors who will guide them through the GD/PI process and will try and resolve all their queries. The registered candidates can also post their queries on the Ignicion forum at, which shall be promptly replied to by the Ignicion team. As an alternative, candidates can also mail in their queries to

Akshai Varma, a student from the batch of 2010 at IIM Lucknow and one of the members of the Ignicion core team in 2009, believes that after last year's terrific response, where nearly 80% of the call getters registered themselves on the forums, Ignicion is all set to go to the next level. "The current Ignicion core team has some fantastic initiatives lined up, including mock telephonic interviews and interviews over Skype; networking through various social media portals such as Facebook, Twitter and Buzz; and regular disbursement of information regarding frequently sought topics such as Careers after MBA, Life @ B-Schools etc."

The Ignicion team has also launched Ignicion pages and communities on popular social networking sites such as FaceBook, Orkut, Twitter and Google Buzz, which focus on life at IIM Lucknow in order to help aspirants get a sneak peek into the happenings at IIM L. Given the already huge number of hits and registrations on the Ignicion website within 2 days of its launch, this year's programme is all set to scale new heights.

For more information about the initiative, visit the Ignicion website at, or visit the Ignicion page on Orkut and FaceBook. You may also follow the user ignicion2010 on Twitter and Buzz to receive continuous updates from Team Ignicion.

IIMA Placements-Cluster 3: ICICI Bank gave double-digit number of offers to IIMA Students

The third Cluster of the cohort-based final recruitment process began on saturday evening with group discussions. The interviews continued through the entire day.

The Cluster had companies in several cohorts such as Indian banking services, financial advisory services and credit rating agencies. Regular recruiters such as ICRA, KPMG, Essar Group and Philips offered roles in finance, consulting, sales and marketing. ICICI Bank was the largest recruiter on campus today giving a double-digit number of offers.

Mansi Chitalia, the Media Coordinator, Placement Committee, commented, �The new process once again ensured a smooth experience for both students and recruiters. Seamlessness prevailed despite a large number of recruiters visiting the campus this weekend. Recruiters are highly upbeat about their decision to hire at IIMA. We hope that the positive spell continues in subsequent clusters.�

IIFT Creates New Benchmarks in Placements with a Plethora of Overseas Assignments

Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT), one of the premier management institutes of the nation, has announced the completion of its placement season for the year 2010, maintaining its 100% placement record. Placements at IIFT started on a positive note with about 30% of the batch of 164 students, having Pre-Placement offers and Interviews across its Delhi and Kolkata Campus.

Companies making these offers included Cognizant Business Consulting, Mahindra & Mahindra, Johnson & Johnson Medical Systems, Tata Steel, Reckitt Benckiser, Colgate Palmolive, Essar, Tata Motors, Louis Dreyfus, ICICI Securities and Wipro amongst others. 30 students accepted these offers while others chose to test their mettle during the placement weeks.

"This year new benchmarks have been created on many fronts, be it highest salary, foreign placements or the average salary offered to students. Nothing is more satisfying than to see students getting their desired profile with good salary package which we consider a real success." said Munish Bhargava, Corporate & Placement Advisor, IIFT.

International placements were flagged off by Olam International, which has been a regular recruiter at IIFT for the last 15 years. About 10% of Olam's Global Talent Pool is comprised of IIFT alumni handling global roles. It offered the highest salary of US$ 150,000 p.a. to three students. "IIFT and Olam have been associated for one and a half decades now and the relationship keeps growing stronger every year" said Michael Joseph, Head Resourcing at Olam International.

Other international recruiters included Triton Group, Sudima International, Punj Lloyd and Wilson International with more companies confirming their interest from Middle East and Hongkong. In all, over 10% of the batch was made offers to start their career outside of India. International Business and Trading profiles were dominant and with this IIFT once again proved to the nation its superiority in these sectors.

IIFT saw 62 companies making offers with a variety of profiles including Investment Banking, Equity Research, Corporate Finance, Consulting, Sales & Marketing, Trading, Supply Chain Management, Risk Management, Derivative Trading etc. The participating companies were from different sectors namely Banking & Financial Services, Trading, IT, Pharma, FMCG, Consultancy, Logistics, Media, Telecom and Manufacturing.
Upbeat about the placements result, K.T Chacko, Director IIFT said, "With the economy on a recovery path, IIFT students are reaping its benefits impressively. With this year's placements, IIFT has yet again reinforced its presence in International Business & Commerce and has proven to be a preferred destination for leading organizations across the world."

The traditional recruiters like Louis Dreyfus, Nomura Holdings, Tata Motors, Cognizant Business Consulting, KPIT Cummins, Tata Steel, TCS, Wipro, Colgate Palmolive, Reckitt Benckiser, Mahindra & Mahindra, Essar, Bertling Logistics, Bharti Airtel, ITC, HT Media, Axis Bank, ICICI Bank, Titan, Yes Bank, Eli Lilly, Maersk, Britannia, Infosys, Cargill India, etc. were back on campus. It was also very heartening to see that a number of companies like Amazan Agro, Daimler India, ONGC, Johnson & Johnson Medical Systems, Religare, Tata International, Jaypee Capital, ICICI Securities, Cairn Energy, SBI Capital, Gati, GE Corporation, MARG Group, Interglobe, Vistasoft etc. came for the first time to recruit from IIFT.

Some of the major recruiters this year included the Triton Group, Cognizant Business Consulting, KPIT Cummins, Infosys, Tata Motors, ICICI Bank and Bertling Logistics. The highest domestic salary was recorded at INR 13.08 lacs while the Average Salary increased by 53% over the last year at Rs.11.54 lakhs p.a.

The sectoral split of Placements is as per the chart given below:

Placement chart of IIFT, New Delhi

Indian Institute of Foreign Trade set up by Government of India in 1963 is one of the premier institutes in the area of International Business, Besides long- term educational programmes such as Ph.D. Programme, MBA (International Business), Post Graduate Diploma in International Business, Certificate Course on Export Management and Foreign Business Languages. The institute also conducts a two year MBA Programme in International Business at Dar- Es- Salaam in collaboration with Institute of Finance Management (IFM), at Tanzania.

Final Placement at IIM, Indore Witnesses Participation From Over 110 Companies From Varied Sectors

Placements for the 11th batch of PGDM participants at IIM Indore this year witnessed participation from over 110 companies across varied sectors like Investment Banking, FMCG, Management Consulting, Banking and Financial Services, Logistics and Supply Chain, Pharmaceuticals and Real Estate.

Regular campus recruiters like Procter & Gamble, Edelweiss, HSBC, Deutsche Bank, Deloitte, Standard Chartered, JP Morgan Chase, HUL and PepsiCo reaffirmed their faith in the pedagogic excellence and superior student talent pool by recruiting aggressively from campus. A healthy set of 33% first time recruiters made offers on campus, indicating the growing faith that the industry places on graduates of IIM Indore. Prominent names among these include Arshiya International, Idea Cellular, Orchid Pharma, Sony India, Singapore based conglomerate Tolaram Group, IFCI, Suzlon Energy, I-Maritime Consulting, Syntel and Thomas Cook.

Finance continued to be the most preferred career choice, with more than 30% of the batch taking up profiles in the financial services domain. Participants were offered an array of roles across exciting profiles such as Corporate and Investment Banking, Venture Capital and Private Equity Funds, Hedge Fund Sales, Retail Banking and Equity Research by JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America-Merril Lynch, Deutsche Bank, Nomura, HSBC, Standard Chartered, Edelweiss, SBI and IDBI Capital. Apart from companies in the BFSI sector, companies like Larsen & Toubro, Jindal South West, Genpact and Suzlon Energy offered roles in Corporate and Project Finance. Continuing with last years' trend, players like Shipping Corporation of India, Bank of India and Union Bank of India also participated in the placements, offering challenging roles in their Management Training programme.

Close to 25 % of the graduating batch opted for Sales & Marketing profiles. Leading FMCG companies like Procter & Gamble, Hindustan Unilever, ITC, PepsiCo, Hindustan Coca Cola Beverages, Perfetti Van Melle and AT Foods returned to campus and made multiple offers through the PPO route as well as in final placements. Companies from diverse sectors like Automobiles, Telecom, Pharmaceuticals, and Manufacturing also offered sales and marketing roles. Notable partners this year included Tata Motors, Airtel, Idea Cellular, Bajaj Auto and Pfizer.

A noticeable trend on campus this year was the rise of General Management Roles as preferred career options for graduates of the PGDM. Prominent industrial houses and conglomerates like Mahindra and Mahindra, Jindal Steeland Power, Essar Group, Bharti Group, Larsen and Toubro, and K Raheja Universal offered GM roles.

A significant percentage of companies also offered the prized EA to MD/CEO profiles on campus; wherein the student would be reporting directly to the CXOs of major corporates getting a holistic understanding of business as opposed to concentrating on a specific business domain. Multiple corporates have offered such profiles exclusively on the IIM Indore campus showcasing the implicit faith placed in the talent from IIM Indore by corporate India. A total of 17 % of participants opted for GM profiles across sectors.

Continuing the rise of IIM Indore as a favored recruiting destination, around 13% of the batch accepted offers from consulting firms across sectors like Manufacturing, Retail and IT. Prominent consulting companies that participated in the process include McKinsey & Co., Deloitte, Hewitt Associates, Bristlecone and i-Maritime Consulting.

Niche profiles were also offered in SCM Consulting, Consulting to mid-sized corporates, Healthcare Consulting, Retail Consulting and Real Estate Consulting. International companies such as Olam International, Tolaram Group, Dubai Metal Fabricators LLC, and iCRM were present on campus this year. Geographies in which opportunities were available included, Africa, the Middle East, USA, Singapore and Thailand.

The placement season this year also witnessed the return of IT recruiters, who recruited in large numbers. Companies like Cognizant Business Consulting, Syntel, Infosys, HCL Technologies, Wipro, TCS, IBM and L&T InfoTech offered roles in IT Consulting, Project Management, Sales, Business Development and Corporate Strategy. The graduating batch of IIM Indore this year numbered 235 a jump of over 33% over the last two years. In terms of compensation, most companies have revised their compensation by upwards of 17-20% as compared to last year. The highest domestic offer this year showed a substantial jump, rising by 25% over that of 2009. The highest domestic offer was made by a Multinational Investment Bank at 28LPA which includes variable pay. Further, more than half the batch secured offers in the range of 10-15 LPA across sectors and roles. The top 12% of the class of 2010, regarded as being amongst the best management talent in the nation, have secured offers on campus in excess of 22 LPA.

Read the Complete Placement Report of IIM Indore at the following Link..

IIM, Kozhikode Starts GD/PI Call Getters Mentorship Programme

The much appreciated Mentorship Program for GD/PI call getters at IIM Kozhikode has started again this year. The IIMK Mentorship Program is the pioneer among its kind and purely driven by the students.

Applicants to the PGDM programme who have cleared the first round based on CAT can register themselves at by providing their CAT TR number and email ids previously filled in the application.

Verified candidates will be assigned mentors from the currently studying batch at IIM Kozhikode who will then guide them regarding the GD/PI process. The registered candidates can also post their queries and discuss with the current students on the forums on IIMK Live. Call getters will also be mailed personally informing them of the start of the program. Given the response it got last time, it is hoped that this year the Program will be a bigger success.

IIMA Placements-Cluster 4: Yes Bank Emerges as Largest Recruiter, Offers highest Number of jobs to IIMA Students

cohort-based final recruitment process went off smoothly. Students continued to interview with firms of their choice. Yes Bank was the largest recruiter, giving 13 offers, including laterals and finals. Leading steel maker, Ispat Industries also made 8 offers. �The new process was great. We found the students to be very intelligent and enthusiastic and that they were able to think out of the box� said Dr. Kailash Chapatwala, President HR, Ispat Industries.

Other companies such as Cognizant and Tata Strategic Management Group (TSMG) made offers for various roles.

As envisaged, the process will continue for the next couple of weeks. Several students with existing offers interviewed with their dream firms in this cluster. This trend is expected to continue over the next few clusters.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

IIT, Kanpur Organizes Finatics to Discuss 'Finance � The Science of Managing Funds'

Finatics is the annual financial conclave of the Industrial & Management Engineering Department at Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. Into its third year, this conclave aims at bringing about industry experts, eminent professors and students together to discuss Finance � the science of managing funds.

The event was held over a period of 2 days, and comprised of guest lectures, simulation workshops, and a host of competitions.

Finatics 2010 was organized on the 10th and 11th of April�10. Based on the theme, �Dealing with change � in the aftermath of the global financial turmoil�

We tried to look at organizations which survived the financial crisis, and the processes that were followed to retain profitability and competence.

Dr. B. V. Phani, Faculty coordinator of the event welcoming the guests

The event kicked off on 10th morning with an opening speech by Dr. B. V. Phani. The faculty coordinator for the event, Dr. Phani welcomed the speakers, and exhorted the students to make intelligent use of the wisdom that was going to be shared over the weekend.

The first session was conducted by Mr. Aditya Kaul Dullo, who is an alumnus of the IIT Kanpur MBA programme (2004 batch). Aditya handles sales & marketing for a leading multinational bank's credit cards division. He talked at length about the credit card industry, its workings, and how it obtains its profits.

The session then focussed on the effect of the recession on the credit cards industry, which is based on wafer thin margins. With dwindling profits, it was time for the industry to pull up its socks, and take some drastic measures to regain profitability.

The lecture invited a barrage of questions, from students and faculty alike, due to the very lucid and engaging discourse by the speaker. It was heartening to see a former alumnus inviting queries from students & faculty members alike, some of whom had tutored him half a decade before.

Mr. N. R. Narayana Murthy Presides at Great Lakes Institute of Management Convocation and welcomes the new batch of 2011

Great Lakes Institute of Management held its sixth convocation ceremony of its Post Graduate Program in Management (PGPM) class of �10 (referred to as Patriots) & Global Executive MBA (GEMBA) batch 4 (�07 ��09) and welcomed the new batch of PGPM Class 2011 (referred to as Gladiators) at the convocation ceremony at the Chennai Trade Centre.

The class comprising of 260 students graduated with honours amidst jubilation and cheer. Present at the occasion were the Chief Guest, Mr. N. R. Narayana Murthy, Chief Mentor, Infosys Technologies Limited; Dr. Bala V. Balachandran, Founder & Honorary Dean, Great Lakes Institute of Management; Mr. Andrew T. Simkin, US Consul General in Chennai, India and�Mr. Mahendiran, Managing Director, Godrej Sara Lee Limited.

Mr. Narayana Murthy, Chief Mentor, Infosys Technologies Limited addressed the enthusiastic gathering. Quoting William Bryan who said "Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is matter of Choice! It is not a thing to be waited for, It is to be achieved" � Mr. Narayanamurthy advised the graduating students to "Act upon your destiny! As future CEOs and leaders, you should aspire to achieve miracles - both for your companies and the country" and handed over the certificates to the outgoing students. During the convocation ceremony several awards were given to deserving students for their excellent curricular and co-curricular achievements!

Final Placements at VGSOM, IIT Kharagpur Conclude with a Resounding Note of Success

The Final Placement Process at Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur culminated yet again on a high note with the recruiters making a beeline to the school to claim their share of the pie.

If last year's exemplary placement scenario at VGSoM reaffirmed our status as one of the best, this time around, things have only got better! Multiple offers were the order of the season as companies kept pouring in, even as the official placement season ended.

The recruiting companies spanned across domains like Banking, Finance, Consulting, FMCG, Telecommunication, Information Technology, Manufacturing and Analytics with roles as diverse as Investment Banking, Banking Operations, Project Advisory & Structured Finance, Corporate Finance, Strategy Consulting, e- Governance, Business Consulting, Supply Chain Consulting, Supply Chain Management, Marketing, Business development and many more.

There was a considerable improvement in the profile mix, as well as the compensation offered. The average domestic salary leapfrogged to Rs. 11.37 LPA, which is a jump of 29% from the last year's figures. The mode of the domestic salary is Rs. 9.0 LPA.

VGSoM witnessed the participation of 45 companies for a batch of 80 students, with many first-time recruiters like ANZ, Citrix, JP Morgan, NCDEX, Nomura, SCI, UB Group, Welspun and many others. Many of the companies recruited in big numbers, with IBM being the biggest recruiter having made a whopping 15 offers for its Consulting arm.

The students of VGSoM yet again proved their prowess during summer internships in the corporate world with 18% of the students being offered Pre-placement Offers by the companies they had interned with.

The season saw a huge participation by the companies from Banking and the Finance sectors, with the creme de la creme of the financial sphere like ANZ, Bank of Baroda, Citibank, JP Morgan, Nomura, NCDEX, Power Finance Corporation, SBI Caps, and others making exciting offers to the candidates. The profiles offered ranged from i-Banking, Banking Operations, Corporate Finance, Advisory and Structured Finance to Business Development in Commodities.

Consulting has always been the forte of VGSoM. This year as well, the placement season was besieged with numerous consulting firms like AMI Partners, Avalon Consulting, Deloitte, Deloitte- USA, IBM, i-Maritime Infosys, KPMG, Wipro Consulting, etc. Diverse profiles like Strategy Consulting, Business Consulting, IT Consulting, SCM Consulting and Finance Consulting were offered. Overall, Consulting profile accounted for a sizeable 38% of the batch.

The Global Decision Management arm of Citigroup Global visited the campus for the first time offering Statistical & Analytical roles. Analytics sector was yet another high this year with companies like ANZ, Dell, HP, and HSBC offering challenging roles. Pricing was one of the exciting profiles offered in the Analytics domain.

The takers for the Operations profile more than doubled this year with 22% of the batch opting for companies like ABB, Balmer Lawrie, BHEL, Heinz, ITC, Mahindra and Mahindra, Tata Motors, Vedanta Resources, UB Group, Welspun, etc. which offered a plethora of profiles like Supply Chain Management, Manufacturing Operations, Procurement and others. Companies like BHEL and SCI offered General Management roles, providing immense opportunities for growth.

There was a surge in the number of recruiters offering varied Marketing roles with FMCG, Telecommunication, Information Technology and Industry giants vying with each other for the early slots in the placement season. Few of these companies were ABB, Berger Paints, Citrix, DataMonitor, ITC, Tata Metaliks, Tata Motors, Tata Telcon, Tech Mahindra offering distinctive roles like Sales & Distribution, Market Research, and Product Marketing apart from the usual Marketing profiles.

All in all, the placement season was a huge success and was a fulfilling experience for the students with a majority of them bagging the profiles and companies of their choice. The recruiters have yet again reaffirmed their trust on the quality of the students of VGSoM.

VGSoM, IIT Kharagpur Publishes "MADazine - The Annual Marketing Magazine"

The Marketing and Advertising Club of Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur published the 2010 edition of its annual magazine titled MADazine. The magazine is an attempt to look at the recent trends, challenges and opportunities in the world of Marketing.

MADazine covers a gamut of topics - as diverse as marketing art to marketing in the virtual world. Opinions from the who's who of the Marketing world are presented in interviews from the top notch management executives of companies like IBM, McDonald's, Uninor and Idhasoft. MADazine also features an Expert section where the opinions from established professionals and academicians in the area of Marketing and Communications are brought out. The student community of Vinod Gupta School of Management has also contributed a bunch of articles presenting the freshness in the minds of the young and upcoming business generation.

The assortment of articles is a testament to the diversity that IIT B-Schools are always proud of. From scholarly articles with research findings supporting them to write-ups on hot trends and tools in marketing by the students, MADazine is a good mix of experience and innovativeness.

MADazine also gives a sneak peek into the various activities of the Marketing and Advertising Club round the year and the life at Vinod Gupta School of Management in general.

IRAN: Student activist sentenced

Majid Tavakoli, an Iranian pro-reform student activist, has been sentenced to eight years in prison for giving a speech at Tehran's Amir Kabir University where he branded President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a 'fascist' and the country's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khameini, a 'dictator'.

Tavakoli was also banned from political activity and foreign travel for five years, YNet News reported. Tavakoli had previously been arrested and allegedly tortured for taking part in a protest against a visit by Ahmadinejad to the University in 2007.

Meanwhile, BBC News reports that students at Amir Kabir University are boycotting examination in protest at the detention of 12 classmates arrested for attending pro-reform demonstrations. The university's management threatened to fail students who did not turn up for examinations but lecturers sympathetic to the students' cause offered to intervene on their behalf.

UK: Debate over controversial speakers on campus

The Jerusalem Post reports that an academic from Tel Aviv University is to give a speech next month at the University of London, during which she will call for an academic boycott of Israel.

Dr Anat Matar's speech, Supporting the Boycott on Israel: A view from within, will be given at the School of Oriental and African Studies as part of a series of events being held to mark a year since Israeli forces bombed Gaza. Matar's stance has attracted criticism from University of London lecturer Dr David Hirsh who believes a boycott would be 'dangerous' and 'delusional'.

Meanwhile, The Jewish Chronicle reports that concerns have been expressed by the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group against Anti-Semitism after a man who had allegedly spoken in support of suicide bombing was invited to speak at Birmingham University.

MALAYSIA: Court overturns book censure

A Malaysian court has overturned a government ban on a book about Islam in a decision hailed as a landmark for freedom of speech, AFP News reports. The book, Muslim Women and the Challenges of Islamic Extremism, published by pressure group Sisters in Islam, was banned in 2008 after complaints it could confuse the Muslim community and cause public disorder.

The decision was applauded by the book's editor, Noraini Othman. He said it was a serious academic book that dealt with Islamic family law and the implementation of certain provisions in the Sharia criminal law, and how it affected women.

TAIWAN: Higher salaries to lure top academics

Taiwan is considering offering increased salaries to attract foreign professors to its universities, CNA News reported. Education Minister Wu Ching-ji announced his ministry was taking the initiative to obtain the services of recognised lecturers from abroad.

Taiwan has suffered a brain drain from its higher education sector as many academics left for Singapore, Hong Kong, China and Western countries, attracted by higher salaries. Wu said the Ministry of Education would also remove regulations that limited university presidents to two terms and stipulated the retirement age of 65.

NORWAY: Academic backs boycott debate of Israel universities

Rector of Bergen University, Professor Sigmund Gronmo, said his institution would support and sponsor a positive debate on boycotting Israel, according to the newspaper Haaretz.

Although Gronmo does not personally support imposing an academic boycott on Israel, he recognises the importance of open, free and critical debates to academic freedom. If the debate at Bergen takes place, it will be the second time in less than a year that a Norwegian university has sponsored a debate on boycotting Israel.

Last November, the board of the University of Trondheim in Norway held an official vote on boycotting Israel. The board's members voted against the move.

IRELAND: Universities urged to sack incompetent academics

Former EU Commissioner Peter Sutherland said Irish universities should have the power to sack incompetent professors and lecturers, according to the Irish Independent.

Sutherland said Ireland had been out of line with most developed countries on this issue for years and could not understand how Ireland could justify a system in which tenure was granted effectively on appointment.

He also criticised the lack of flexibility in determining pay for academics, and questioned the financial implications of rejecting top-up fees.

UK: Bogus institutions still a problem

A report seen by the Times Higher Education revealed that, despite recent introduction of tougher regulations, the UK is still home to more than half of Europe's counterfeit education institutions.

Figures compiled by Verifile, a CV verification service, showed the UK had 271 bogus institutions, a number exceeded only by the US with 892. In total, Verifile's database contains details of 3,307 fake universities worldwide.

Laws regarding accreditation of higher education institutions were strengthened in the UK following revelations last year that four men arrested by police on suspicion of terrorism had been enrolled at the bogus Manchester College of Professional Studies.

* Daniel Sawney and Jonathan Travis work for the Network for Education and Academic Rights (NEAR)

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CHINA: Academic banned from travelling

A prominent Chinese academic who was to speak at an academic conference in the United States has been barred from leaving China. Professor Cui Weiping, a poet and professor at the Beijing Film Academy, had planned to lecture at Harvard University and attend a conference sponsored by the Association for Asian Studies. But the director of her school said she had been forbidden to travel.

The New York Times reported that Cui believed she was being punished by the Chinese authorities for her commentary on human rights and free speech.

Most recently, her activities have included posting social criticism on her blog, sponsoring a seminar on the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests and sending out Twitter messages about the jailing of Liu Xiaobo, a writer who was convicted of subversion last year for demanding increased liberties.

The professor has faced problems with the authorities on numerous occasions in the past. During the 20th anniversary of the crackdown in Tiananmen Square, police officers spent several days stationed outside her Beijing apartment.

The New York Times

IRAN: Nuclear scientist defects to US

An Iranian nuclear scientist who has been missing since June 2009 has defected to the US. According to ABC News Shahram Amiri, a researcher at Tehran's Malek Ashtar University, disappeared in Saudi Arabia while on a Muslim pilgrimage. Amiri was found in the US almost 10 months later, reportedly helping the CIA in its efforts to block Iran's nuclear programme.

Iran has accused the US of abducting Amiri but Washington denied any knowledge of the scientist and the CIA declined to comment on the reports. ABC News said the scientist had been extensively debriefed and had helped to confirm US intelligence assessments about the Iranian nuclear programme. His defection was apparently the result of a wider operation, under which the US has been approaching Iranian scientists to try to persuade them to defect.

BBC News

INDIA: Professors grilled over links to rebels

A Delhi university professor was detained by police on 4 April and questioned for more than three hours for suspected links to Maoists. Sunil Mandiwal, an assistant professor of Hindi at Dayal Singh College, was picked up around 4pm by police from his residence where Maoist literature was found, The Telegraph reports. He was released after three hours of questioning.

Mandiwal denied being involved with Naxalites, a group of far-left radical communists supportive of Maoist ideology. He stressed he was a member of several rights organisations like the Democratic Front of India. Delhi police have reportedly been drawing up a list of Maoist sympathisers among academics and writers in the city.

The Telegraph

AZERBAIJAN: University criticised for poor security

The Prosecutor-General's office in Azerbaijan has warned about a lack of security measures at a university where a massacre took place nearly a year ago, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reports.

Baku's State Oil Academy reportedly remains unguarded, making it easy for unauthorised people to enter the campus.

In April 2009, 12 students and administrators were shot dead and 13 other students were injured. Rustam Usubov, Azerbaijan's Deputy Chief Prosecutor, said the Education Minister should develop a security plan for all universities in the country and ensure the security problems at the State Oil Academy were resolved. An Education Ministry spokesman told RFE/RL the ministry would study the request made by the prosecutor's office.

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/FL)

INDONESIA: Students linked to terror group

Police are investigating the reported disappearance of 10 students, believed to have been recruited by alleged terrorists fighting for the establishment of an Islamic state in Indonesia, The Jakarta Post reports. The students were active participants in radical Islamic forums and studied in Medan but were last heard from last year.

All 10 were enrolled at North Sumatra University's Polytechnic and Medan State University. Several parents noted dramatic changes in their children's behaviour prior to their disappearance. In early March, police arrested 14 members of a terrorist group in Lamkabeu, Aceh Besar and plan to further increase efforts.

The Jakarta Post

US: Scholar calls for an end to exclusion

South African scholar and political commentator Adam Habib has expressed gratitude to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her recent reversal of the Bush administration's decision to block him from entering the US.

In an interview with The Chronicle of Higher Education Habib, who is in the US visiting several college campuses, argued that the Obama administration should go further and put an end to the policy of ideological exclusion adopted by the previous administration.

Habib, a vocal critic of the Iraq war and some US anti-terrorism policies, was told by the Bush administration his exclusion was based on his role in terrorist activities. He never found out the charges against him.

The American Association of University Professors, the American Sociological Association, and the American Civil Liberties Union worked together with other groups in 2007 to file a lawsuit challenging Habib's exclusion.

The Chronicle for Higher Education

PAKISTAN: Student dies after pro-Taliban attack

A student who was beaten by pro-Taliban radicals at a Pakistani university on 13 March has died of his injuries, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) has reported.

Anan Khan, who attended the University of Engineering and Technology in Peshawar, was severely beaten along with several other students by members of the Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT), a student wing of the hard-line Jamiat-e Islami party. Witnesses have said the IJT attacked him for playing music. Police are said to be investigating the attack.

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL)

UK: Inquiry urged on higher education future

Lecturers are expected to urge ministers to launch an inquiry into the future of universities, BBC News reports. The call will be debated by members of the University and College Union at their annual conference in Aberdeen.

There are general fears the funding increase promised for the next academic year is not enough. Concerns will also be raised over redundancies and cuts in education, rising workloads and a 'creeping privatisation and targets culture' in universities. Other motions will debate the undermining of academic freedom and the use of social networking sites by staff and students.

BBC News

* Jonathan Travis works for the Network for Education and Academic Rights (NEAR)

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ISRAEL: Academic denied entry to West Bank

Israeli immigration officials prevented US scholar Noam Chomsky from entering the West Bank last week. Professor Chomsky, renowned for his work on linguistics and philosophy, was planning to deliver a lecture at Birzeit University, BBC News reports. Chomsky said he was denied entry because the Israeli government has long objected to his controversial writings and speeches.

His Palestinian host for the visit, Mustafa al-Barghouti, lambasted officials, claiming their decision was a blatant restriction of freedom of expression.

The interior ministry was reportedly trying to contact the military to clear things up and allow his safe passage. Chomsky has frequently spoken out against Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.

BBC News

IRAN: French academic leaves Iran after 10 months

A French academic who battled spying charges in Iran for more than 10 months returned to France on 16 May. Clotilde Reiss was accused of collecting information and provoking rioters during the widely disputed June presidential elections in Iran.

She was released on bail after a month and a half in Iran's dreaded Evin prison but only on condition that she stayed at the French Embassy in Tehran until her trial was over.

The case of Clotilde Reiss aroused widespread controversy in France and put extra strain on the already tense relations between the two countries. According to the Associated Press, officials have denied speculation that Reiss' return home was part of an exchange deal involving two Iranians held in France, one of whom was allowed home a little over a week ago.

President Sarkozy thanked Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade and Syrian President Bashar Assad for their help in the case.

Associated Press

UK: Archbishop delivers speech on intellectual freedom

On 12 May, Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, delivered a lecture Enriching the Arguments: the refugee contribution to British life to a large invited audience at the Bloomsbury Theatre, London. The event was jointly sponsored by the Council for Assisting Refugee Academics and University College London.

The archbishop focused his lecture on the refugee intellectual, the practical contribution they had made to British life, and the importance of intellectual freedom and critical reasoning in modern-day society.

UCL UK University Network representative Professor Michael Worton stressed the need for universities to be places of welcome for refugee scholars, quoting Timothy Redcliffe that "universities should be places where we learn to talk to strangers".

Council for Assisting Refugee Academics

KENYA: University of Nairobi shuts after riots

The University of Nairobi has been shut indefinitely after four days of unrest over disputed union elections, Capital FM Kenya has said. Students of the university began rioting after making complaints about interference in the University Students Association elections.

On 17 May, three students at the university were charged in court for using violence during the riots. All three denied the charge before Nairobi's principal magistrate.

Higher Education Minister William Ruto opposed a decision to disband the students union and asked the institution's administration to resolve the issue.

Capital FM Kenya

PAKISTAN: Students injured during ethnic clash

More than 40 students were injured in clashes between two ethnic groups in four different educational institutions of Balochistan, the Daily Times reported. The University of Balochistan suspended academic activities for three days and the Agriculture College Quetta, University of Engineering and Technology, was closed for an indefinite period.

Clashes first erupted at the college between activists of the Baloch Students Organisation and the Pashtun Students Organisation.

Police and law enforcement agencies rushed to the college and evacuated it. According to the Daily Times, further confrontations between the same rival groups erupted at the University of Balochistan, as news of the clash at the Agriculture College spread. Police and security personnel have been deployed in all major educational institutions to maintain peace.

The Daily Times

INDIA: Students seek answers after being barred from exams

A group of architecture students who were barred from taking formal examinations after failing to attend enough seminars reportedly turned to Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal for help.

The Times of India said the students, who attend the School of Planning and Architecture in New Delhi, began protests on Monday claiming the system was unfair.

The institute said it was executing a 2001 Union Grants Commission regulation which makes 75% attendance mandatory for students to sit for the exams.

The Times of India

* Jonathan Travis works for the Network for Education and Academic Rights (NEAR)

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US: Keeping stem cell research alive

In an era of reduced federal funding in America for medical research, scientists at the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle were thrilled to receive a $10 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) – the nation’s premier medical research agency.

The grant will fund stem cell research over the next five years. In fact, the university has the most federal funding for biomedical research of any public institution in the United States. The money, however, only allows research on the 21 lines of human stem cells that existed prior to 9 August, 2001, the date the administration of President George W Bush, fuelled by a conservative constituency, imposed that restriction on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.

In other countries, governments provide significant federal funding for research on newer embryonic stem cell lines, which are generally viewed as necessary.

Dr Randall Moon, director of Washington’s Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine, said treatment of diseases in humans was unlikely to occur using the currently 21 approved lines in America because they were old and could be contaminated.

Britain funds human embryonic stem cell research, said Moon, while research in European countries varied. France allows using newer lines with some restrictions while Germany, probably because of its history, prohibits any human embryonic stem cell research.

Researchers from Australia, supported by government, have made significant contributions to the field. In Asia, the Korean and Chinese governments allot millions to fund human embryonic stem cell research. Not only do the Chinese pour government money into the research, many research institutes are collaborations with western pharmaceutical companies.

Researchers in all countries adhere to western principles, including only using in vitro fertilisation cells or cells donated by informed consent from fertility clinics which would otherwise be discarded as medical waste.

Despite the restrictive research policy in America, initial funding from the NIH in 2003 established a platform that launched the core laboratory at the University of Washington (UW), said Anthony Blau, professor of medicine and hematology and co-director of the UW Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine.

The laboratory is where Dr Carol Ware, a Washington associate professor of comparative medicine, cultured 14 of the 21 lines now used in all federally-funded research.

Blau was quick to point out it was Ware’s expertise culturing the finicky stem cells that enticed other researchers to get involved with the UW program. Her success with stem cells, disseminated throughout the research community, “was a selling point recently for involvement of 18 other area labs”, he said.

The four projects involve self-renewal of human embryonic stem cells and directed differentiation, particularly on heart muscle and retinal cells. For example, one of the new lab’s researchers, Dr Tom Reh, is doing work that may in the future help blind people regain sight.

His project with mice seems to indicate that the stem cells will migrate to the correct place in the retina to provide sight. Although more research is needed, Reh’s colleagues are hopeful clinical trials in people will become a reality in the next decade.

Still another project, headed by Dr Chuck Murry, converts human embryonic stem cells into heart muscle cells with the hope of some day transplanting these cells into patients who would otherwise need a heart transplant.

The biggest obstacle to transplants is rejection by the body, and scientists hope using human embryonic stem cells will eliminate or greatly reduce that possibility.

While Blau was clearly excited, he said there were huge challenges for scientists working in the field:

“To be competitive, just getting federal funds is not good enough. In order to push the boundaries in their investigations, scientists need to work with newer stem cell lines.

“Limiting the use of federal funds to research only the 21 lines that existed prior to the 2001 memo is like writing software for computers built in 2001 because it limits the scope of the research on the efficacy of stem cells to treat disease.”

Research on more recent stem cell lines was important but, because of the Bush administration policy, that research could only be undertaken with private money, Blau said. While work with new stem cell lines was going on in other parts of the world, and in states such as California willing to provide their own funds, the state of Washington refused to fund stem cell work.

Blau seemed upbeat despite the limitations. He believes that if a public initiative were launched in Washington state there would be a “pretty good chance of its passing if leaders of an initiative make it a mission from the patient advocacy perspective”.

Until that happens, in order to retain top scientists at UW and to continue research on newer stem cell lines, the university does have a programme in place to raise $50 million from private donors for human embryonic stem cell research.

Although immediate changes may not be on the horizon – regardless of the outcome of the 2008 presidential election – overall, Blau feels “very hopeful, very optimistic”. Human embryonic stem cell research is promising and scientists will be exploring it for a very long time.

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OECD 1: US share of foreign students drops

The United States continues to be the top destination for international students seeking a university education, according to the latest report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). But America's market share fell significantly - by 4% - between 2000 and 2005.

Countries with the biggest gains included Australia, France, Japan and New Zealand, whose growth was singled out as the most impressive by the OECD. The UK saw its share drop, although by less than 1%.

"In relative terms there really are some very amazing examples," said Andreas Schleicher, head of indicators and analysis at the OECD.

"Take Australia which has actually made a profit out of higher education, while most countries are struggling to generate resources for tertiary education. And who would have thought Japan would attract so many foreign students because they only offer programmes in Japanese - yet they now have 5% of the market."

Overall, the market in international students continues to grow in OECD countries - but at a significantly higher rate outside the European Union. America continues to attract nearly twice as many international students as its nearest rival, Britain, which has a 12% share.

Third most popular is Germany with 10%, followed closely by France (9%), Australia (6%) and Japan (5%).

The fall in the US share is offset by a 5% overall increase in the number of students studying outside their own countries. This rose to more than 2.7 million in 2005, according to figures provided to the OECD by Unesco's Institute for Statistics.

This represents a four-fold increase worldwide in the past three decades, with a notable acceleration in the past 10 years. This mirrors the growing globalisation of economies and societies, the OECD report states.

Within the OECD, international students made up widely differing proportions of the national intake. Together, France, Germany, Britain and the United States take in more than half of all foreign students globally.

But Australia has the most internationalised campuses, with foreign students comprising more than 17% of all tertiary enrolments, edging out New Zealand (17%) and a step up from Britain, the third highest on 13.9%. All three countries have more than double the OECD average of 6.7%.

"Australia and New Zealand have really been smart; they have really invested in good provision and good quality programmes. They charge high fees but it is a commercially viable service," Schleicher said.

How long the big four countries can keep their stranglehold on the market will depend on a range of factors -- from student fees and living costs to the quality of education on offer and competition from rival or emerging systems.

The more active marketing policies of countries from the Asia-Pacific region, compared with the traditionally dominant US, may also be a key element. Other factors are the language of instruction and the rules on entry and being able to remain and work after securing a degree.

In some countries fees from international students have become a major source of income for universities, providing valuable funds but also making the institutions vulnerable if absolute numbers of international students fall.

British universities, for instance, rely on international students for 10% of their income. But more than one in four international students believe they offer poor or very poor value for money, according to a study by the UK's Higher Education Policy Institute.

This could contribute to a decline in numbers that could "seriously impact the finances of a great many universities," said the study's authors, Bahraim Bekhradnia, director, and Tom Sastry, former senior researcher at the institute.

But the findings were contradicted by another study released in the UK by the International Student Barometer. This indicated that British institutions scored higher in academic factors such as assessment and having good teachers than their rivals in other countries.

Schleicher said the OECD had no predictions on whether the expansion of university systems in Asia, particularly China and Malaysia, would detrimentally affect the market for international students in the current main destinations of France, Germany, the US and the UK.

"My personal guess is that improved access to tertiary education in China or India, combined with improved labour market prospects of tertiary graduates in these countries, will over time lead to a decline for demand in OECD countries," he said.

On the flip side of the coin in terms of absolute numbers, France, Germany, Japan and Korea provide the largest numbers of international students from OECD countries, while China and India supply the largest numbers from other economies.

Full Education at a Glance 2007 report on the OECD site

The OECD produces quantitative, internationally comparative indicators that are published in Education at a Glance, as well as briefing notes contrasting key findings from member countries with global trends among OECD countries in the areas of quantity and quality, equity, and resources and efficiency.
Education at a Glance briefing notes on the OECD site


It is not surprising that US share of foreign students has fallen due to several reasons which could be listed as follows.

1. Foreign students need safe environment where they would be assured of completing their studies without fear of wars and terrorism, which became a potential threat to human life around that time with Bush as president.

2. The tuition fees for most US universities are prohibitive to foreign students especially from Africa. These potential US students resort to other countries where tuition is cheaper.

3. Some universities put stringent entry requirements for international students which sometimes include obtaining a certificate of conduct from a previous school, sitting for an english test even when the student passed ordinary level school certificate english, and no finacial or loan support for international students especially from Africa.

It should always be born in mind that the world will never be safe to live in if backwardness is encouraged to take root by disadvantaging people who merely need an education.

Esau Mfune

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FRANCE: Smallest university created

France has established its 85th university – and its smallest - in the southern town of NĂ®mes.

Known as Unimes, the institution has been upgraded from its previous status as a university centre of training and research. It is the country’s first new university since 1995 and, with only 3700 students is dwarfed by the more than 50,000 who attend the three universities in Montpellier, 50 kilometres away.

Creation of Unimes goes against a trend in France of universities merging into bigger establishments to increase international visibility and develop research. The little institution will be a member of a future centre of research and higher education bringing together other institutions in the Languedoc-Roussillon region.

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