Gerald Lum, director, Brand, Marketing and Communications, SIM, who was in India for the rebranding of the institute highlighted the new approach to management education. “The model of education is now based on the contribution we make towards the society. The social impact of individuals and corporations has increased as we expand in the enterprise space,” says Lum.
Indians constitute 11% of the international students at SIM and are in the top four categories. Students from China constitute the largest international student community here.
“The number of students dipped during the pandemic due to the travel restrictions. We are aiming to increase enrolment of Indian students by 16-25% in the coming academic sessions,” says Lum, highlighting that affordability is the key driving factor for students to study abroad.
“But more than that it is the mindset that matters. Students must be ready to learn something new and return with a new way of working. With India having 20% of the future workforce, that is going to be super important,” he adds.
It is important for learners studying overseas to understand what the future of work and the future of training will be based on. “Our focus is on offering enterprise solutions which include an integrated training programme. In many companies, the workforce is trained at different levels, which leads to difficulty in execution. So, everyone needs to acquire training based on strategies, outcomes and delivery of the company,” says Lum.
The pandemic has changed the business models in most places, which is also compelling business and management education. “Long before the pandemic, the industry was saying that perhaps front-loading education was not the right way to go. The students were not industry ready in most countries. During the pandemic, we realised the learners and the industries need to be brought much closer for outcome-based learning,” says Lum, highlighting the institute’s partnership with as many as 1500 corporates to train the students to be skill-focused. “The biggest shift is that we are looking beyond the academic skills and making students industry-oriented,” adds Lum.
WEF has highlighted the need for 50% of the workforce to be upskilled and acquire new skills due to changing technology and growing automation. “The fear of losing jobs is part of the process, although jobs will always be there. The role of the manager will remain relevant only if they equip themselves with new skills and knowledge,” adds Lum who is a big advocate of cross-industry and cross-cultural learning. “When we travel overseas, we get new ideas. This helps in better handling of the local business problems. Managers need to localise their thought process to offer a better solution,” he says.
SIM is in the process of collaborating with several Indian institutes for student exchange programmes and other joint projects. “When we look for partnering with institutes, we identify the cultural similarities. We would want to collaborate with institutes where the learners’ focused end goal is for a better outcome.”