The rigorous qualities required in global business are being met by the British based graduate courses.
--BY KRISHANA PRASAIN
The increasing exposure of the Nepali economy to global business has created a wide range of opportunities for Nepali companies in the area of international business and management. However, the country is not ready in terms of human capital to meet the market demand. It has become vital for Nepali colleges to start academic courses that can produce the much needed human capital with skills to manage international business efficiently and prosperously.
The British College (TBC) which has been at the forefront in terms of offering courses from reputed universities of the United Kingdom over the last several years has introduced the MSc in International Business Management (MIBM) to fill this gap. The University of the West of England, UK awards the MIBM degree to the graduates and TBC is the only college in Nepal to offer the programme. “MIBM is different from other master’s degrees in Nepal as it enables students to have opportunities to succeed in multiple business sectors,” says John Bateman, Principal of TBC. According to him, the course modules taught at TBC are exactly those delivered in the UK giving students an in-depth understanding of the international business and market scenario.
The college started MIBM in 2014 and the second batch of the programme graduated this year. “The quality of education has been assured by the university in the UK as delegates visit Nepal to make sure that all necessary criteria are fulfilled,” informs Bateman. He further adds, “We continuously monitor staff and faculty to maintain top-class performance and to meet the standards. We have a qualified team of lecturers for the purpose. The college also runs other student development programmes to student employability.”
According to Subhajit Sanyal, Master’s Programme Leader at TBC, the MIBM course is regularly updated and accepted all over the world. He says that British university graduates are very confident. “They become independent learners,” he shares, adding, “We also encourage and prepare our students to start their own business.”
The college conducts guest lectures where renowned professionals from different business sectors share their ideas and knowledge to the students. “We believe that management is not only about learning from books. It is also important for one to understand the perspective of management from different angles as well.” says Sanyal. According to him, guest lecturers help students to develop insights about the business world. In addition to these, the college organises industrial tours and overseas trips for different management exposure to further enhance student development.
About MIBM Course
The programme is different from regular MBA courses. “We consider the course as more theoretically focused because students from any academic discipline can join the programme. It is equally useful also for those who do not have an academic background in management,” Sanyal mentions.
MIBM is a one-and-a-half-year programme. Students joining the programme need to go through the pre-master’s programme which runs for five to six months. The pre-master’s programme is composed of four modules- Academic English/Study Skills, Business Research Skills, Business Accounting and Business Organisation and their Environment.
Meanwhile, the core module of MIBM includes Strategic Analysis, Managing Finance, Management Research, International Management, People and Organisations in an International Context, Delivering Customer Requirements and Globalisation. Similarly, students can choose Project Management and Leadership from the option modules. Students are additionally required to submit their dissertation.
“We have only a handful of modules compared to the courses of other universities. However, the modules are more intensive and interrelated,” says Sanyal. The curriculum is designed in such a way so that students are able to look into the holistic picture which has more practical applicability. According to him, the whole course has been designed so that students will feel they have studied a diverse range of modules in business and management after completing the programme.
Sanyal says that the cost of the course is slightly less than our competitor college in Nepal.
The pre-master’s programme helps to overcome compliance issues because students from diverse academic backgrounds are eligible to join the MIBM. For instance, students coming from a science or humanities background will get first-hand experience in dealing with business subjects that they have not studied. Likewise, the pre-master’s programme helps Nepali students to get an orientation to the British system of education. Moreover, it helps students to apply for a PhD at any university in Nepal or Britain after their graduation.
The major objective of the MIBM is to make students understand the concepts and current issues in international business. The course also aims to develop analytical and research skills so that students are able to make reasoned and creative contributions to business and management practices.
“The theories taught in the MIBM programme cover understanding in terms of how the graduates can apply the knowledge in the real world scenario,” says TBC Principal Bateman. He says that the first objective is to explain the ideas and theories concerning the course modules. Similarly, the second objective is related to real life examples on how the students can apply them when they finish the course.
Bateman says that the MIBM course gives graduates a very competitive edge in terms of getting employment. “MIBM graduates have higher chances of getting hired than other MBA degrees because the students get experiences of what global employers require in employees,” he claims.
MIBM graduates can work in managerial posts in different business sectors. Global and regional firms can take them as managers in areas such as international projects, international sales, service, communications, production, retail, programme and business development. “Our students can go to different sectors such as banking, manufacturing, human resource and marketing,” informs Sanyal. To sum up, MIBM programme opens the multidisciplinary doors of opportunity for the graduates.
Sanyal expects the demand for MIBM graduates to increase in the coming years. “Nepal has received huge FDI commitments during the Nepal Investment Summit 2017 that was organised earlier this year. Foreign investors who are willing to invest here will look for our graduates as MIBM takes a holistic academic approach in the area of international business and management which is based on global perspectives,” he mentions.
According to Sanyal, the college actually focuses on the skill development of students putting emphasis on employability skill enhancement. “Also, our pre-master’s programme is respectable enough for the students to get academic jobs,” he says. “The best thing about the international degree is that it is valid globally so that you can go anywhere in the world for job purposes,” he adds.
While elaborating on the job market, Sanyal says that there is a problem of unemployment in Nepal and even in India and the reason behind this is that most of graduates arriving in the market are unemployable and they do not acquire practical skills. “So here they acquire skills as per the market demand due to which the factor of employability goes up. The beauty of the British curriculum is that it is updated regularly helping the graduates to update with the trends in global business,” he says.
Students graduating from any faculty can enroll in the MIBM programme. Those having Bachelor’s degrees with a 2.2 GPA or above 50 percent can apply for the programme. TBC takes admission of around 25 students each in two intakes in September and January.
The British College, located at Trade Tower, Thapathali runs MIBM classes 7am to 9am from Sunday to Friday
Upcoming Master’s Programmes at TBC
TBC is planning to introduce master’s level programmes related to hotel and tourism management and healthcare management in the near future. According to Sanyal, the new MBA courses are in the pipeline and the college expects to get approval in January which was earlier postponed.