by Tony Cooke, CEO, One Planet Education Networks
This week I’m in India visiting Bangalore and Delhi, where I write this blog post from.
I spent a packed but extremely enjoyable couple of days earlier in the week with colleagues and new friends at CMR University in Bangalore, who we hope to be able to confirm as a One Planet Business School very shortly.
Hosted by Professor Shiv Tripathi, Dean of CMR School of Management with the support of Dr Patagundi Bassana (both of whom are now OPEN Fellows), I had the opportunity to talk with a group of their current postgraduate students from their MBA, Human Resources, Psychology and Social Work programs. I am told that my talk on One Planet Entrepreneurship was well received by students. Well I certainly enjoyed their challenging comments and questions!
I was also fortunate enough to meet with their Chancellor, Dr Sabitha Ramamurthy, who founded CMR Group over 25 years ago, initially as a village school with 6 pupils. It’s a remarkable story, made even more remarkable by the fact that Dr Sabitha started out without any formal educational qualifications herself, relying initially on instincts and passion for giving children a better chance in life through education, then acquiring formal skills and qualifications as the organisation grew.
CMR Group now educates over 18,000 students (including international students from more than 58 countries) and Dr Sabitha is ably supported by Vice Chancellor Professor M. S. Shivakumar (who I also had the privilege of meeting) and a team of over 1,000 highly qualified faculty and staff on campuses in India and Singapore. Academic programmes are varied and cover areas of study including engineering, education, law, management, media studies, biosciences, business administration, psychology, paramedical and nursing at the undergraduate, postgraduate, and doctoral levels. Despite this growth, CMR holds on tight to its original mission of providing accessible, affordable education for all.
CMR University are currently developing the first phase of a brand new state-of-the-art campus on the outskirts of Bangalore. It is being built to LEED Green Building certification standards, and designed by award-winning architecture firm CnT Architects. The proposed design features world-class amenities that include a residential zone with staff and student housing. The academic spaces are designed to encourage cross-disciplinary learning and interaction among students.
May I express my sincere thanks to everyone at CMR University for their extremely warm welcome and kind hospitality during my visit. I am delighted to say that OPEN is now working with CMR to develop an innovative, low-cost executive MBA program with a deep focus on sustainable business. We look forward to making further announcements on this in due course.
To find out more about CMR University, visit http://cmr.edu.in