22 Jul 2017 16:00 IST

Indians continue to make a beeline for higher studies in China

IIM Shillong reports a full house of 30 students in the ongoing 2016-17 batch

The border stand-off notwithstanding, there has been a steady rise in the number of Indian students wanting to pursue higher education in China or get enrolled for courses that gives them an understanding of the Chinese economy.

IIM Shillong, which runs a 14-month executive management programme on Managing Business in India and China (PGPEx-MBIC) reports a full house of 30 students in the ongoing 2016-17 batch. The number of application for 2017-18 sessions has touched a record high.

Rising demand

Launched in 2012, in collaboration with The Ocean University of China, the programme didn’t see much response in the initial years. Only seven seats were filled in 2013-14, followed by 16 in 2014-15.

“There was a lack of understanding about the course among both students and recruiters alike in the initial days. However, interest renewed during the past two academic sessions,” Rohit Dwivedi, chairman of PGPEx course, told BusinessLine.

For the upcoming 2017-18 session, IIM-Shillong shortlisted 350 applications, the highest in the last five years. Candidates include those having offshore experience, including a stint in China.

Under the programme, students are required to spend four months at Ocean University attending lectures as well as interning with firms. They are trained to speak in Mandarin; and made aware of Chinese culture and traditions essential for doing business there.

Job offer

Varoon Narang, who was in the first batch of PGPex students, now heads corporate relations and marketing at Wanfeng Aluminium Wheel India Ltd, a subsidiary of the China-based automotive aluminium alloy wheel manufacturer.

“I enrolled for this course to get a better understanding of international business management. I managed to get this offer during my stay in China, which was a part of the curriculum,” he said.

According to Shalini S Sharma, Senior Consultant and Head Education, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the increasing interest among Chinese companies to set up shop in India necessitated such specialised courses.

Chinese degrees

Indian students are also visiting China in increasing numbers to pursue professional courses including degrees in medicine and engineering.

According to Joyeeta Mazumdar, Director General, Indo-China Promotion Council, Chinese medical education sector has been the most popular one, with around 500 Indian students taking up courses every year.

“There is a huge scope for developing educational partnership between both the countries. It just needs to be marketed well,” she said.