New Delhi: The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), the global body that conducts GMAT exams and is the gateway to foreign B-schools, will bring students from 27 countries to Indian B-Schools.

GMAC has agreed to make management education in India an attractive destination for international students. The 27 countries in Asia, Africa and Europe include Germany, France, Israel, Japan, South Africa, South Korea and the Philippines.

“India has all the elements in the making of becoming a global education hub because it has the unique advantage of providing world class, high quality education at affordable prices," Sangeet Chowfla, president and chief executive of GMAC said.

“We have agreed to work as a facilitator. Initially we are looking at 9 Indian B-Schools and the numbers will grow gradually," he added.

He said ‘study in India’ is a logical extension of ‘Make in India’ goals.

Countries which look at India as an aspirational economic destination, as well as those where Indian companies are investing or from where India is getting good investments will be the main sources of students for Indian B-Schools, Chowfla explained.

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He said some of the India B-Schools are among the best in the world but that people in other countries either do not know about them or do not consider them as among the best. This “perception needs to change" though unbiased information.

The nine schools who have got on board with GMAC are: Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) Ahmedbad, Bangalore and Indore; Indian School of Business Hyderabad, SP Jain Institute of Management and Research, Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (both Mumbai), Xavier University Bhubaneswar, Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai and IMT Ghaziabad.

According to GMAC, they are targeting 13 countries in south and south east Asia, five countries in middle-east, two in Europe and seven in Africa for this India initiative.

“Students across these markets will now have access to some of these top schools, which are globally accredited, have superior infrastructure, faculty and in India intends to connect international talent and aspiration with the right opportunity on India’s B-school campuses," he said in a separate email.

Chowfla said he is positive the initiative will assist B-Schools in creating a larger and much “diverse international talent pool, while offering students a high- impact learning experience."

The lack of internationalisation and diversity is a constant concern for top Indian institutions, pulling them down in international rankings.

In the recently published Times Higher Education World University Rankings, top Indian schools have scored lowly on this front. Indian Institute of Science Bangalore for example scored 54 in teaching parameters and 50 in industry income but only 19.5 in international outlook, impacting its overall rankings in the world.

“We are excited to be a part of this initiative and are confident that it will...strengthen India’s position on the global management education space," said Munish Sapra, Assistant Dean at ISB.

“The initiative is in line with our vision. A large part of learning is peer learning - and having a student body from multiple countries and cultures will enrich learning for both faculty and students," said Ranjan Banerjee, dean SP Jain Institute of Management.

Chowfla said while countries like the UK, Canada, US and Australia are earning good revenue from education exports, countries like India can strive for that as well. For example, the US earns nearly $34 billion every year from foreign students, according to US department of commerce.

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