WMU News

New partnership with India launched by WMU business college

October 22, 1998

KALAMAZOO -- A new international partnership launched by the Haworth College of Business means that graduate students from India will soon be coming to Western Michigan University to earn MBA degrees.

Students from the Rajagiri International School for Education and Research in Cochi, Kerala, India, will be admitted to WMU's Master's of Business Administration program after completing a year-long preparatory business curriculum in India that meets all requirements for graduate study in the Haworth College of Business.

Work on the partnership began in 1995. The first group of students will arrive in 2000.

"We look forward to welcoming many highly qualified students to Western through this partnership, which demonstrates once again that we are truly a global institution," said Dr. James W. Schmotter, dean of the Haworth College of Business.

Faculty from the Haworth College of Business will provide ongoing advice and counsel for the program in India. RISER is handling all marketing and recruitment and is billing the program as offering "the best of east and west."

RISER is operated by the fathers of the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate, an Indian Catholic religious order that runs several other institutions of higher education in southern India, including Christ College in Bangalore.

The Haworth College of Business has an existing "twinning" agreement with Christ College to send undergraduate students to WMU after two years of study in India. The first class of about 30 business and computer science undergraduates from Christ College will arrive in Kalamazoo in the fall of 1999.

Undergraduate twinning partnerships are also in place with Sunway College in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, and with Hong Kong Baptist University.

India is facing an unexpected surge in the demand for trained management professionals, especially those with international experience. Officials at RISER say that the new MBA program with WMU "is an appropriate response towards developing superior quality management professionals in India by designing course curricula and training methods that meet international standards and quality requirements."

Dr. Kuriakose K. Athappilly, WMU professor of business information systems, initiated the MBA project. Cochi is his home city, and he has many friends who teach at RISER.

In addition to Schmotter and Athappilly, others at WMU who played key roles in development of the program are: Dr. Timothy Light, provost and vice president for academic affairs; Dr. Howard J. Dooley, executive director of the Office of International Affairs; W. Wilson Woods, director of operations in the Office of International Affairs; and Dr. F. William McCarty, professor of finance and commercial law.

Media contact: Marie Lee, 616 387-8400, marie.lee@wmich.edu

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