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I love the way William Hague speaks, using the gravitas of his voice trying to make up for the empire Britain does not have. It is also intriguing what he says: Recently in Kiev, he was talking about 'costs and consequences' if Russia does not listen to the West's suggestion of withdrawing Russian troops from Crimea, but refused to talk about what these could be. The other notable voice in ...
Sunday Posts...
Tag :International Affairs
  March 4, 2014, 1:21 pm
After my generally pessimistic note about vocational education in developing countries (the earlier story here), I received several emails, mostly from India but also a few from Africa and elsewhere, confirming my observations that while the current practice possibly falls short, one shouldn't yet call 'Game Over' for vocational education. There is enormous potential (read 'unemployed and ...
Sunday Posts...
Tag :China
  March 3, 2014, 2:18 pm
It is fashionable to think that vocational education is something every developing country needs. The economic logic is simple: Since the only model of economic growth we are comfortable with is the Anglo-Saxon model based on consolidation of land holdings, mechanisation of agriculture leading to a significant displacement of rural labour into urban and industrial activities, vocational ...
Sunday Posts...
Tag :Development Policy
  March 2, 2014, 1:50 pm
I just finished reading Arthur Levine and Diane R Deane's excellent Generation on a Tightrope: A Portrait of Today's College Student (Jossey-Bass: 2012), a follow-up of Arthur Levine's earlier works looking at the college students in the 70s (When Dreams and Heroes Died, Jossey-Bass, 1980) and in the 1990s (When Hope and Fear Collide, co-authored with Jeanette S Cureton, Jossey-Bass, 1998). ...
Sunday Posts...
Tag :Book
  March 2, 2014, 3:13 am
There is a saying - whatever can be said about India, the opposite would also be true. However, this epithet of being the land of the opposites is a benign one, almost affectionate. It is more a proclamation of India's diversity than an excuse for any hypocrisy. However, on the issue of whether Indians hate or love democracy, the opposites rule explain very little: The Indian attitude can ...
Sunday Posts...
Tag :India
  February 27, 2014, 2:57 am
Facebook's purchase of WhatsApp for $19 Billion has set off an unlikely debate: With 55 employees of WhatsApp getting very rich, the jobs versus growth debate has been rekindled again. Just like the Instagram deal, where the company was sold for $1 billion but had just 13 employees (in comparison with industrial era Kodak, which employed upwards of 250,000 at its peak), this is another reminder...
Sunday Posts...
Tag :Education
  February 25, 2014, 2:47 pm
Education produces social good, goes the argument, and therefore, the society should pay for it, argues the advocates of public education. On the other side are the policy wonks who sees education as a tool to build private capabilities, leading to private wealth. Between these two positions, there are lots of people, who apparently hold contradictory positions. For example, the For-Profit ...
Sunday Posts...
Tag :Education Business
  February 24, 2014, 1:13 pm
America finds India an unreliable ally, to its surprise.  George W Bush will be remembered for his many misadventures in Foreign Policy, but he claimed a legacy in this one important aspect - attempting to usher in a new American engagement in Asia through a deepening friendship with India. This hope was perhaps reciprocated at the time: India's outgoing Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, ...
Sunday Posts...
Tag :Asia
  February 23, 2014, 5:50 pm
Global Citizenship has a problem. Despite being a suitably high sounding thing often appearing in management literature, it has no apparent meaning: In an age citizenship has come to mean where one pays one's taxes, Global Citizenship is an empty term to be used as a feel-good, like Rotary membership in some countries. However, global citizenship is more than just that: There are people who ...
Sunday Posts...
Tag :global business
  February 19, 2014, 10:42 pm
Should Laureate International University's recent engagement with Pearl Academy of Fashion in India be considered a pointer for things to come? Laureate International Universities is one of the biggest For-Profit education companies worldwide, and it is one of the first among its peers to get into India. Given that India has not yet finalised its Foreign Education Providers' Bill, and does ...
Sunday Posts...
Tag :Education Business Model
  February 18, 2014, 2:29 pm
Higher Education in Asia and Africa has a good problem: It has excess demand. There are just too many people wanting to go to college, oversubscribing any place that there may be. But the number of institutions offering high quality Higher Education are hardly growing: in China, even with 9 new universities joining global top charts between the years 2006 and 2012, this meant high quality ...
Sunday Posts...
Tag :African Higher Education
  February 17, 2014, 1:46 pm
I have just finished reading Simon Winchester's magnificent The Man Who Loved China, a biography of Joseph Needham and the story of his magnum opus, The Science and Civilisation in China. I came across this book originally through the recommendation of Fareed Zakaria on his Fareed Zakaria GPS, several years ago, and it was only now I managed to read the book from cover to cover. This is a ...
Sunday Posts...
Tag :Book Collection
  February 16, 2014, 8:04 pm
A culture of contribution, which most of our organisations need to thrive, is antithetical to the culture of performance that we usually have. The culture of performance is deeply flawed for two reasons. First, because it operates with the assumption that individuals make all the difference. But as computers take over our process jobs, we only employ people to do things that require social ...
Sunday Posts...
Tag :Business 2.0
  February 16, 2014, 2:42 pm
All signs are 2014 will be a defining year in India's history. It is only a freak accident that this year's calendar is identical to 1947's, the year India became independent of the British Rule. But more significantly, India's General Elections this year may mark a departure from its course so far, in more ways than one.   It is now all set for the elections in May. Battle lines are sharply ...
Sunday Posts...
Tag :Democracy
  February 15, 2014, 11:12 pm
As Steve Jobs said, you will know it when you will find it. True for love, true for a calling, and it is therefore the object of my search.  I am one of those, despite the apparently well settled middle class life, who have to face 'what's wrong with you' question from well-wishers. They mean well, and slightly perplexed by my own refusal to do what's good for me. Really, how do I explain ...
Sunday Posts...
Tag :Banter
  February 15, 2014, 2:33 am
Does anyone care about education in India? Shiksha Bachao Andolon ('Save Education Movement') has just managed to get a book pulped - a cultural history of the Hindus written by American academic Wendy Doniger - because it 'contained factual inaccuracies'. It does not indeed matter that this was on sale since 2009, and sold well. The education of India has just been saved. Somehow, I have ...
Sunday Posts...
Tag :Books
  February 12, 2014, 1:25 pm
It was a bit disconcerting watching the BBC Panorama programme yesterday (see here), showing, in great detail, the elaborate network of fraud behind student visas. Using undercover reporters, BBC was able to film an English Language examination, for TOEIC no less, where the answers are being read out to the candidates. A separate part of the examination, where the candidates' speaking and ...
Sunday Posts...
Tag :Life in Britain
  February 11, 2014, 2:06 pm
Datuk Dr Paul Chan, President of Help University in KL, is a remarkable man. As someone who has built a successful university from ground up in what some of my English academic colleagues call as the Silicon Valley of Higher Education, he has a close first hand view of what innovation in Higher Education looks like. Yet, when the real Silicon Valley is waking up to Higher Education, President ...
Sunday Posts...
Tag :Education Innovation
  February 10, 2014, 2:55 pm
Those who can't, teach - says The Economist (See the story). The business schools indeed don't like the disruptive innovation business. Despite the impressive sway they hold particularly in the emerging countries, they are eager to hold on to the fragile foundational logic that MBA is necessary to lead a business, despite mounting evidence on the contrary. So, anything, like the company-run ...
Sunday Posts...
Tag :Business Education
  February 9, 2014, 2:35 pm
There are two ways of looking at globalisation.  One is an imperial way, which is more common: This is about some country or the other ruling the world, one culture or the other being in ascendency, one way of doing things being better than another way of doing things. This is indeed the predominant way of thinking about globalisation, which we can call globalisation-as-dominance. This is ...
Sunday Posts...
Tag :International Affairs
  February 8, 2014, 3:03 am
Times Higher Education reports that two private colleges in London has received more money in public funding than the London School of Economics and School of Oriental and African Studies. (See story here) While we may argue on the merits of giving public money to private providers, as is the case in myriad public services, even the staunchest free market advocate may accept that this is ...
Sunday Posts...
Tag :Education Business Model
  February 7, 2014, 1:37 am
Vocational Education is designed to be a poor man's thing. It is for those kids who faltered through the school and didn't do okay in the things that matter. Those who couldn't get the right GPA or work out the system of examinations to get a good college. Those whose parents never went to university and didn't know what counts in the game to get to good college. Those who perhaps couldn't pay ...
Sunday Posts...
Tag :Business Model
  February 6, 2014, 1:39 am
I recently spoke in an event discussing world economies 'beyond China': My topic was Africa and I reported what I spoke about in an earlier post on this blog (Read Beyond China: Why Africa Matters). I was, however, not speaking about India's prospects in this changed world. It is only fitting for me to supplement my earlier post with what I think of India's prospects. ----------------------...
Sunday Posts...
Tag :Asian Union
  February 5, 2014, 12:06 am
I wish to return to India and I am trying to chronicle my preparations for return here. This is not an immediate plan, indeed this journey is as consequential as the one of leaving India and hence need preparation, but this is one thing I would like to do. I have always stated this to be my intention, but let the life take its course, not forcing the agenda in any way. But, now, a break point ...
Sunday Posts...
Tag :Diary
  February 4, 2014, 4:55 pm
For-Profit Education stands, more often than not, for poor education. At a time when big claims are being made for the potential of For-Profit Education to change entire economies and alleviate poverty (See Parag Khanna and Karan Khemka in HBR), one must seek to understand why For-Profit education under-delivers.  Because, it is impossible to turn a decent profit in education, claim some. ...
Sunday Posts...
Tag :Education Business Model
  February 3, 2014, 2:06 pm
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