Building Global Cohorts

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Karan Raturi, General Manager, North America at UpGrad joined the podcast to discuss the student and enrollment advantages of building global cohorts, especially in preparing students to compete in an increasingly global economy.

When we think about folks from othercountries, each bringing their own perspective to a classroom, whetherit's in person or digital, i think, there's an incredible doubt of value ad you're, listening to enrolment growth,university from helic education, the best professional development podcastfor higher education leaders looking to grow in roman at their college oruniversity, whether you're looking for fresh and roman growth techniques andstrategies or tools and resources. You've come to the right place. Let'sget into the show, welcome back to an roman growthuniversity, a proud member of the connect edu podcast network, i'mmiracles with heles education, we're here today with karen rature generalmanager, north america, at up grad caren. Welcome to this show thanks aracgreat to be here really excited to have you and talk with you today about thestudents and enrollment benefits of building global cohorts. Before we takeinto that, can you give the listeners a little bit of background on both upgrad and your role there? Certainly, as you mentioned, i am caron ritui and iam the general manager at up grad for north america, so largely responsiblefor the pin up up grads north american operations forming you universitypartnerships based in the us and global distribution rights for thosepartnerships here in the us, so joined up grad early in march of this year,and it's been an adventurous four to five months with them. But i've betcarent to kick us off today. What are some of the student advantages ofhaving a cohort of global citizens in their classroom? Sure you know i'vepersonally been a product of two things: one is kind of growing up globally, soi've spent a number of years in my life in india, the early years and sothrough elementary school and india and then spending the later half of myeducation here in the us, and the...

...change in perspectives from that levelhas been tremendous in the value addition is brought in my own life, andthen you know off to college and grad school in both of those scenarios herein the us. I was surrounded by students from all over the world sitting in thatclassroom, and i don't think i fully appreciated what that depth ofdiversity brought to us in the way we solved our problems, and so when wethink about folks from other countries, each bringing their own perspective toa classroom, whether it's in person or digital, i think, there's an incredibledoubt of value ad. One of the easy examples that comes to mind is: is youknow we had up bread? Have you know data science courses, machine learningcourses is part of that. There's a lot of problem solving that you have to doin groups, there's a lot of mathematics that you have to solve as part of thatproblem solving in groups, and you just learn the way, a mind to work and theyou know some tips and tricks as to quick problem solving in quickmathematics that someone may have picked up, you know in the way they'vegrown up, and it's i you know, you see it all the time within the us. Right ofso you go to if you're at a university here in the us, you might make friendswith the folks from the midwest from the south from the west coast and eachbrings their own diverse perspective. Now, if you take that and amplify thattimes, one hundred now you're talking about folks from other countries andeach comes from their own culture at upread. We have case studies that arevery tailor made to regions. So you know in the us we might do a case studyon uber and we still have a global court around that in india. We might doa case study around ola, which is an over like service in india. We do doordash and zomat. So zamano is again a door dash competitor in in india andit's interesting because they're sometimes they face the same challenges.Sometimes they face different challenges and it's interesting to seea classroom of you know. Students from...

...thirty countries try to solve the sameproblem. One i'd love to just talk about one which is like cash ondelivery is as a huge component of delivery services in india. So imaginean amazon delivery person coming to your home and requesting cash formaking that delivery, and you know how do we solve for that? How do we buildtrust in the supply chain that delivery drivers are? You know coming to yourhome and collecting cash and bringing it back to the office and so on soforth, and it's an awesome problem for someone who lives in a credit cardworld to try to solve as well, and that wouldn't happen if you weren't thinkingabout problems in a global perspective. It's super fascinating this. Thisconcept of the group dynamic benefits of globalization, so de loi did thatstudy on cognitive diversity that suggests having a diverse team in yourwork can increase company innovation by efforts to twenty percent. You manton,you believe, the same as true for creating innovative discussion in theclassroom as well. Yeah, i'd, say, diverse perspectives, increaseinnovation in all settings, and so again i would break it down to thesimplest of paul settings, which is just a group of friends and when you'resitting around you know a bon fire whatever it may be. You will find thatfolks that have the most interesting positions on topics are often thosethat come from backgrounds, most dis, similar to your own. So you know delitsof point of view. There is absolutely i think, on in line with what we'reseeing is as upbred builds these global colport. The diversity of thought inour classrooms online is incredible and it decreases over confidence if youhave ten folks kind of aligned on a point of view. There's this perceptionthat you're definitely going down the right path and you might not try tooptimize or you might not look at other opportunities and you might miss somelow hanging through to do something even greater than sort of where you'reheaded. You know. This research has...

...been replicated in a variety ofsettings, including, and you know in music in work settings and what what isconsistent is that bringing together perspectives that are not kind ofaligned or cultural backgrounds or socioeconomic backgrounds that aredifferent from each other and up creating the best outcomes, becauseyou're challenging each other. If you look at cultures in terms of kind ofcompany cultures right, so you look at some of the the top employers in thecountry. Today they have cultures that are known to be flat. So you know,folks that are new to the organization, are challenging senior leaders at theorganization and that's accepted and even encouraged. In the same way, youcan bring that point of view to globalization and various cultures canstart to challenge other cultures, and then you end up with a work product.You end up with an output that is far greater in its complexity, maybe in itsinnovation- and i think, that's where delight was really headed with withoutresearch. How do you need to think about sinceres versus a synchronismlearning when you have this globally diverse student cor all coming fromdifferent time zones and different life circumstances? So you know eric already in the us. Ifyou go to, you know reasonably get school, you have professors that arelargely sourced from all over the world. It's just the folks that are the bestin their field and that's what we're trying to do at our bread is just bringthe best resources to teach the topics that we think are relevant for ourlearners, and so what we do know, however, is in the secondary researchwe've done as well as in focus groups with our own learners. What students ofvalue is sincronizadas, so i wouldn't so i don't. You know stress too muchabout the fact that you know where are our professors from? Are they beingable to relate to each of the the student population, more student typesin the in the individual cohorts? But...

...what we look, for instance, are theyleaders in the field and are they able to teach a case or teach a conceptproficiently to a global student base? And so i am very much a proponent for ablended learning model, because part of the online experience is flexibility.So we do have a synchronise. You know learning pieces within all our coursework, but we believe we deliver immense value through the synchronouscomponents and to deliver that. We make sure that the professor that isassociated with our program is top notch and then they are able toovercome any concerns that there may be, even though i'd say, they're largelynot justified concerns, but any cancers that might arise due to like culturaldifferences within within the group. How do you think about scheduling andtiming for those synchronous, portions d, d d? Do you set the time leaningtoward east versus west, and you know hope thethe right students, opton or you're surprised when other people avoid. Theydon't seem to mind that man a bit nice? No, no, you know, we've had anevolution there, eric to be honest and, and so we've gotten better and betterright. So we're based on headquartered in india. We started delivering towardsthe indian population and it was difficult for american learners to join.Our american business grew enough to justify a sort of its own. You knowtime zone and delivery, and so we started resourcing and sourcing atalent to additionally deliver a second live session for each of our topprograms in us time zones which again it spans four times on so we i'd say:we've had an evolution, we went from india only to india and what we calledinternational, which clearly isn't sufficient and it so it's a big bigworld out there and then we further carped it up, and now we have sort ofdedicated sessions for india, mea region, a pack and then north america,as we've grown, we've felt that we have enough confidence to invest inadditional delivery for our north...

...american learners and we're continuingto get better at that and re finding it further so that each time zone isreally accounted for, is not the easiest thing to do. But when you do itright and you do it well and you stick to it that it's a huge unlock, becauseat the end of the day, folks are taking online courses. One of the biggestreasons, as we all know, is for flexibility and convenience, and so, ifyou're going to use global cohorts and then not deliver it in a convenientfashion. As for a working professionals timeline, you know their days and theirschedules, because these are folks. You know our average learner is betweentwenty five and forty five years old and if we're not making it convenientfor them that that you know that takes away one of the big value propositionsupon line learning, and so we are laser focused on on nailing that timing pieceon delivery as well, so certain countries appear to be better at thisbuilding global cords than others. For instance, you know that the uk hasthree times the number of international students enrolled in their onlineprograms than the us does. Why do you think american institutions are slightlaggards here? The global cord game? It's interesting, because the theamerican universities actually were ahead of the curve when it come when itcame to going online right. So when we look at who went online first, it's usuniversities, no doubt about it. When we look at who went global first, itreally seems to lean towards non american institutions. You know, partof it, i think, is- is regulation so making sure that we keep accreditationstandards high as we deliver these. You know global coharts, so there are onlya few players to be completely honest with you in the world that i think canmaintain. The rigor can deal with the compliance and all of the facetsrequired to take a us university's courses and deliver it to eighty fivecountries with confidence and so up.

Grad has built the infrastructure to beable to do that and others i'm sure have. But really that's part of theconcern is: how do we make sure when it's being delivered globally, that wemaintain that the standards we require? The second piece of it, i think is- isbrand and prestige. So i think, there's only a few. You know countries orregions in the world that have universities that have global appealand the us is certainly the the home and then the uk i would say- and europemore broadly have more institutions as well. That can be taken global. I thinkthe us has felt that the market size in the us and the name recognition thetrade off that would come from going global and allowing a large studentpopulation abroad to enter their programs might be in conflict or mightharm them in the us. In some way, and i think the uk and european institutionshave been a little bit more willing to to examine that and see if that's howit plays out and the us universities that have kind of gone down, that pathhave actually had the opposite experience. So what we find is when yougo online and when you go global, there is a halo effect and you actually getmore on campus applications as well, so folks get to know of your brand abroad.So if you're working with up brad and we're marketing you for one of youronline courses in india, all of a sudden you're going to see a spike inon campus applications from indian students as well, and so we're actuallyseeing that the universities that are most willing to partner and go globalare not only not going to have that detrimental effect of friend erosion inthe us, but instead you're going to have not only maybe the sort of thesame brand standing but an influx of potential enrolments, but alsoapplications coming from around the world. Yea coming from the marketingand the enrolment side, the idea of you can get. Students from anywhere isreally really exciting, and then it seeks sing stand up. Like oh man, ihave to target students everywhere now. What are the marketing and enrolmentadvantages and disadvantages of trying...

...to build classes across the globalstudent base? And so i may be touched i'll touch on the potentialdisadvantage that i think is relatively small, because we've gone through thisprocess now a few times, and it's just making sure that a university when youlook to an online partner that they are not just you know, a lot of o pm'sallow a lot of online partners will talk about maintaining brant identity,making sure your marketing is in line and getting approvals, and so and soforth that, actually, i don't think it's the difficult part. The difficultpart comes in the delivery of your course work and making sure that whensomeone in france, when someone in the uk takes a course from a university innew york or florida or wherever it is they're getting an experience that isin line with the standards and expectations of that university and thestudent experience isn't compromised in a way that is against the values andprinciples or the unique kind of marketing values that that thatuniversity wants the student to experience. I say that's like the risk,more so than a disadvantage, but it's, i think, completely offset by themarketing advantages of going global and the two that are obvious, i think,are speed and scale. So when we talk about speed today, universities havethe ability to partner and sign one contract and distribute their onlinecourse work and with with a partner, taking sort of full marketingresponsibility and risk with the signature on one contract, and i think,that's unprecedented. You know largely universities look at one partner forthe us, then they might slowly expand and test something in south americapull back if it's not sticking so on so forth, and certainly prior to that theywere actually building campuses around the world. There's certainly no needfor that anymore, but they can take a graduate program that has a hundredstudents. Professors are willing to. You know, work with an online player totake that program, global and all of a...

...sudden. That course work. That is thatthat return on a professor's time is now amplified by fifty, because you cantake that you know one hundred sort, o student enrollment and make it you knowa thousand or fifteen hundred or greater right up. Rad is graduatedeighty five hundred masters in data science, students over the last ninemonths, and that has been done at the same level at which our partnerinstitutions would want admission standards to be. You know for inpersonal attendance, so without compromising quality. I think you cansee scale. There are you know north of seven billion people on the planet andthere are qualified students all over the world and the universities thatprovide that access are going to be long term, warners, carn, great stuff.Any final next steps advice for institutions listening considering thestudent and enrolment benefits of creating global cords for their onlinecampuses. Where should they start? You know i'd say: look internally, lookinternally, enrollment, look at programs that you think have global andmass appeal, think about your own values and philosophies on access. Weare big proponents of democratizing education and then you know evaluatethe market place. You know there's plenty of folks out there that arelooking to partner with universities and can provide global cords for theirtheir current courses or new courses that haven't been explored yet, and soi think i think it's all about initiative. We meet with universitiesall the time and just what differs between them is willingness to lookinternally, be introspective think about where opportunities lie and then scout a partner that speaks yourlanguage. Just you know someone. You can put your trust in with the brand ofyour university and then someone who can provide the scale and to theambition levels that you know you as a...

...university administrator are looking toachieve with your enrollment, with your academic, rigger and so on so forth. Sothat would be my guidance to any university administrator who isdebating creating global cords. Cart. Thank you. So much for your time today.What's the best place for listeners to connect with you or your team with theyhave me, fall up questions sure yeah, i'd love to connect with with anyonewho was like my my email address is karen dot ituri at up radom, and myphone number is four seroor: five hundred and eight to eight hundred twofour more than happy to network and connect and discuss the potential ofbuilding global courts. Awesome carent thanks so much for joining us today.Thank you. Eric attracting today's new post, traditional learners, meansadopting new enrolment strategies. Keelek educations data drivenenterprise, wide approach to enrolment growth is uniquely helping colleges anduniversities thrive in this new education, landscape and helix has justpublished the second edition of their enrollment growth playbook, with fiftypercent brand new content on how institutions can solve today's mostpressing, enrolment growth challenges download it today for free at heloseducation, com, playbook, you've been listening to enrolmentgrowth university from helis education to ensure that you never miss anepisode subscribe to the show in itunes or your favorite podcast player. Thankyou so much for listening until next time, e.

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