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Should you do your MBA online?
October 04, 2005
Care for an online MBA? Is such a concept even viable to begin with?
Ask Mukesh Aghi, who runs the Singapore-based online education service Universitas 21 Global, which boasts of 800 students from 45 countries and is targeting 40,000 students by 2015.
Excerpts from the interview:
Can online education ever do a job as good as live face-to-face interactive education?
For centuries, classroom settings have been considered the only means of learning -- elevated dais, desks, chalk, blackboards and swirling dust. But perspectives have been changing rapidly, and online education is set to make a big difference.
Beyond the flexibility provided, which is ideal for working professionals, Universitas 21 Global's course content embodies a global context and provides international perspectives
Because there are no geographical boundaries, we are able to connect our students to a global community of professors and students with different cultural and industry backgrounds.
We believe that online education is true student-centred education. Students can think carefully about what they want to say, and spend time considering the responses of others. In this way, the quality of interaction can be much higher than in face-to-face group discussions.
Does online education offer an edge?
Online education offers greater possibilities. For example, we have witnessed that it is precisely the lack of face-to-face interaction in an online environment that allows our students to discover new aspects about themselves.
There is equity in the online classroom -- all students have an equally loud voice.
Is online higher education a revolution in the making?
Education has evolved and is no longer as elitist as it was before. Institutions are now starting to treat the student as a customer. And why not -- education is a $2.2 trillion industry globally, the second largest after healthcare!
However, the gap between the supply and demand of education is getting bigger. There are 100 million students worldwide, 50 million students in Asia Pacific alone, seeking higher education.
There isn't enough time or money to build college campuses to cater to this increasing demand for higher education.
But isn't this too 'inexclusive' to hold prestige?
The process of selection and admission of students is very demanding, as are the evaluation standards but all applicants are considered on their individual merits.
Our entry requirements for an MBA are not any different from the requirements needed to apply to a typical campus-based institution.
Have you done your MBA online? Share your feedback with us.