The Covid-19 lockdown has taken an unprecedented toll on the education sector. It led to a complete washout of academic session 2020-21. Now, the session 2021-22 is also getting derailed due to the 2nd wave Covid-19 that’s raging across the country.
The loss that it has caused to private institutions is significant. At the same time, its impact on students and their academic pursuits is difficult to quantify. For example, ITM PGDM admission has been held up for the consecutive second year.
This is an irreparable loss for both the institutions and the students. Given this background, should ITM Business School have a campus in safer locations such as Dubai and Singapore?
This is an interesting question and it sounds quite logical. India has been unable to contain the pandemic with the same effectiveness as some other cities and countries such as Dubai and Singapore. Many rich people from across the globe are reaching Dubai to avoid lockdown restrictions in their countries. Although Singapore is once again under lockdown, it’s expected that it will soon be able to bring the situation under control.
If It Helps, Why Not!
As a leading private management college, ITM Business School should always have a Plan B so that the smooth operations of the academic activities are always guaranteed. The pandemic has resulted in uncertainties about the future of 10,000 students who are studying at different ITM colleges. Its most famous business management courses are also on hold. If having a foreign campus can provide an alternative to this helpless situation, the ITM Group of Institutions should try and set up one. The pandemic is as much about the present as it is about the future.
Makes Business Sense
Both Dubai and Singapore have a huge expatriate population and both have strong economies. The quality of infrastructure and other enabling factors are also better in these places than in India. Given this, opening ITM campuses in Dubai and Singapore can be a good decision. In these new geographies, ITM courses for post graduation can have more takers. The new campuses would mean more profits and prestige for the institution.
If ITM has foreign campuses, it can help forge new alliances with universities and institutions in those overseas locations. This can further improve the syllabus of PGDM courses under the ITM brand. Indian students who are taken there can benefit from international faculties and students. These countries also have a stronger economy, meaning better employment opportunities. Overall, having a foreign campus can ensure international exposure to ITM students. This can help even the shyest student come out of his cocoon and try to show the better part of him.
Some already Have Them
Many of the leading Indian private universities have already set up their campuses in these locations. These universities can market their courses at a premium because of the enhanced brand recognition due to having foreign campuses. ITM Group of Institutions with two universities, 15 campuses, 10,000+ students, and 1500 faculty members is a fairly big entity in the Indian private education sector. ITM can surely do it and there does not seem any reason why it should not.
Can Attract More Foreign Students
ITM Business School has well-respected programs in Post Graduation in Management. It also has Executive Education Center that runs post graduate programs for working professionals. As of now, the number of foreign students studying at ITM Group of Institutions is way below the potential. With some effort, ITM can attract a sizeable number of foreign students. Opening foreign campuses can be one of the steps in that direction.
The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the weaknesses of our system and infrastructure. It has exposed everything that we thought is strong and reliable. Now, it is going to set us on a path to build our future. Regional and National considerations are likely to get weaker. We have to find new ideas and new ways to ensure we have indeed a new future. Having foreign campuses is a natural extension of what ITM has already built so far. I think it’s a matter of when than why.