Washington DC-based Nexford University, an online global university, has launched programs such as Master of Business Administration (MBA) and a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA). Both courses can be completed via online modes.
The University says that these degrees should lend credence to students seeking a US affiliated degree. Additionally, the course has been structured in a manner to offer students the freedom to pursue courses of their choice at their convenience.
In a release mentioning the development, the University said that India was on path to a $5 trillion-dollar economy by 2024. However, a major pillar to achieve this goal was the factor of education. The Modi government's Education Quality and Inclusion Program aims to double Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) from 26% to 52% within a matter of five years.
The University also cited from a recent World Economic Forum (WEF) report that suggested traditional models of education were not equipped to prepare young people for the fast-changing world. Technology and the skills required are moving at a faster pace than experts or companies predicted. A UNESCO Institute of Statistics (UIS) report is also cited to suggest that India stood on the second list among 48 countries where challenges in Demand and Supply of educational system hurt economies. The University added that an online education could help offer skilled teachers and impart technology driven education at an affordable price.
Fadl Al Tarzi, CEO at Nexford in a note explained, "We believe that one's physical location should no longer prevent them from accessing economic opportunity no matter where it exists across the world. With the virtual economy booming worldwide and skills shortages only increasing in the US & Western Europe, youth in countries like India play a critical role in those shortages. Nexford is here to help equip learners all across the globe with the skills they need to become globally competitive."
When asked about the USP of the program, a spokesperson for the University responded by stating, "The programs are entirely designed based on extensive analysis of employer needs, over 30 million job vacancies were analyzed for us to determine what are the skills employers value the most. In addition we surveyed Fortune 500s and analyzed reports by global thought leaders ranging from WEF to the Gates Foundation. This research provided us with deep and valuable fact-based insight based on which we designed our curriculum."
"The other USPs include: Affordability, Pedagogy and Flexibility"
Sify.com explored on the commercial costs of the course. The University replied that a BBA could cost $80 per month and if one completed the course in three years, the total cost could be $2880. For an MBA course if one completed the course in 16 months, the final cost could be $2560 (estimated at $160 per month).
"A comparable quality MBA program in the US would cost at least $50k," added the spokesperson.
Dr. Robin Johnston, Nexford's VP for Academic innovation explained that the University's curriculum aimed at providing skill-focused education. This, based on analyzing over 30 million jobs and surveying corporate leaders employing over 2.5 million people globally. "These firms include the likes of Microsoft, Uber, Ernst & Young (EY), Deloitte, and PepsiCo, among others. Moreover, with employers in the technology sector looking to increase their hiring in 2019 and with the increase of employment by approximately 600 million in the next 3 years, there has never been a better time to upskill,"
When asked about the challenges from Artificial Intelligence and why one should constantly look to up-skilling, Dr. Johnston said, "Although there is thought that AI and robots will eliminate jobs, it could potentially be the exact opposite. AI could create new types of jobs."
He also added, "Industry 4.0 has led to a decrease in 'low-skill' employment that may be replaced by AI, robotics, IoT of other technology. However, it has transformed the need in employability to more high-level skills such as creativity, adaptability, planning, problem-solving, systems thinking, cross-functional and diverse teams, and new ways of organizing business and networks. This also projects growing importance on re-skilling and continuous learning, training and education for the workforce to adapt to current and future job needs and skills; hence a rise in employability for the jobs of the future."