Borderless education is the motto at MDIS
Borderless education of international standing is promised by the Management Development Institute of Singapore. Excerpts from an interview with MDIS secretary-general R. Theyvendran:
SPREADING THEIR WINGS: Students at the Management Development Institute of Singapore, a premier institution, which offers programmes that are recognised worldwide.
With MDIS being probably well established in the private sector in the city-state, how do you compete with the publicly funded SMU (Singapore Management University)?
We expect them [SMU] to take the cream of the potential graduates-to-be. We should be able to go into areas where there is [scope for] niche [courses].
What is your speciality?
We go for basic as well as mid-level management [courses]. We hope that mid-level management will go on to a higher level. It is a progression.
Do you consider SMU as a competitor?
SMU is a competitor. We will place ourselves as a competent institution, not necessarily to be in competition with them but also [to] complement them and the entire education industry in Singapore.
We have a full series of courses, which the Singapore Government has been propagating business management, mass communication, life sciences. We are the first PEO (private education organisation in Singapore) to have gone into life sciences; we were the first in mass communication.
What is SMU's strength, in your opinion?
They are still new. Where MDIS is concerned, time has proven that we are still, in our own way, progressing (since 1956).
Last year, we had [a total of] 8,000 students in our system. Now, halfway mark, we have already got 8,040 students.
From the perspective of prospective Indian students in MDIS, which are the subjects you think will be appealing?
Our PG programmes will give them a very good grounding not only on the academic side but also on the practical side, particularly when we move into our [new] campus [soon]. We built up all our reserves without any external support. So, this itself is a business model.
How much of name-recognition does MDIS enjoy in India today?
It is a growing brand name. We went into the international scene in an aggressive way in the last three years. Among the PEOs [in Singapore], we are the No. 1 recruiter [of students]. At the moment, 36 universities round the world recognise our programmes. We want to have an international flavour here. So, [as for the intake of students from] every country, we will limit to a maximum of 500 [every year]. The future is borderless.
With the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, having set up office in Singapore, how do you intend to compete?
We never fear competition. The market is still very big enough to carve a niche for oneself. There will eventually, probably, be a shake-up [shake-out] phase, which is happening among the PEOs in Singapore's education industry.
Do you have any plans to have linkages with the Indian Institutes of Management just as you have with Bradford... ?
At the moment, the foreigners who want to study with us would like to have linkages with the Western world. Perhaps, in the future, yes. We may want to have one of them (IIMs) recognising many of our courses, like we have Australian, American, European, British universities.
Singapore Education Destination