Northwestern enters joint venture with India’s Bridge School of Management

Jordan Harrison, Assistant Campus Editor

Northwestern recently entered into a joint partnership with the Bridge School of Management to offer professional certificate programs in India, co-taught by NU and Bridge School professors.

Provost Dan Linzer signed an agreement for the partnership with Bridge School director Rajiv Verma on March 20. Linzer said he thought the partnership offered a new strategy in NU’s efforts to offer education internationally.

“The larger global context gives us new approaches to educating students in partnerships with other institutions,” Linzer said. “We’ve been exploring a whole range of strategies in how we globalize, from having our own school in Doha, Qatar to having joint degree programs with various institutions around the world including Tel Aviv University in Israel.”

The first program launched through the partnership will be a certificate offered in New Delhi in predictive business analytics, a discipline that uses data analysis and modeling to influence business decisions.

“The program is meant to be robust to lots and lots of business contexts,” said Joel Shapiro, associate dean of academic programs for the School of Continuing Studies. “There’s a lot of analytics in marketing … and in financial risk, but we are really teaching it to include those but also lots of other industries that can benefit from data-driven decision-making.”

Shapiro said the program’s curriculum would blend online video and other content with in-person lectures.

“It’s a partnership model where Northwestern faculty will be teaching it online from the local Evanston and Chicago area,” he said. “We’re going to be providing some asynchronous material like recorded video and interactive media.”

In addition to the online materials, NU and local faculty will hold live lectures remotely and in person.

“We also will hold occasional live sessions that will be done in an appropriate time to account for the time zone difference,” he said. “The local faculty will be present in the classrooms each week to do additional lectures if needed.”

Adam Kashuba, director of professional development and post-baccalaureate programs for the School of Continuing Studies, said the school is considering offering programs such as project management and accounting, but future offerings will ultimately depend on market needs and demand.

The Bridge School started in October 2013, which itself was a joint venture between Indian media company HT Media Ltd  and the U.S.-based Apollo Global Inc. Shapiro said The Bridge School originally proposed the partnership to NU, and School of Continuing Studies dean Thomas Gibbons and India Education Services CEO Rajesh Puri have headed the project.

Linzer said the partnership would help bring needed professional training to India and that the two schools are a good match.

“The Bridge School in India is an attempt to bring educational opportunities to a much broader spectrum of Indian society than currently has access to this kind of higher education experience,” he said. “Our School of Continuing Studies has really pioneered online education that delivers high quality programs to students who then have access to this independent of geography.”

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