Since 1998 Canada has enjoyed a steady annual increase in MBA student enrollment, according to Stats Canada, the Federal Government Department that conducts statistical analysis. However, this healthy margin is in jeopardy by the existence of an aging population and therefore a shrinking primary candidate pool. In an effort to expand their reach, Canadian schools are looking abroad for growth in the form of international partnerships. Top Canadian schools are aligning with high caliber schools in the emerging BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India and China) to offer a Canadian MBA on foreign soil and both parties are expecting capital gains.

India is a burgeoning economic powerhouse. After opening the formerly bankrupt state to industry de-regulation, privatization, international trade and investment, tax reforms and inflation control in 1991, India is now the second fastest growing major economy in the world. Since this economic liberation an estimated 300 million people have been lifted from the depths of poverty. To put the sheer size of that figure in perspective, it is equivalent to just under the population of the U.S. Another 300 million people now comprise the middle class, who can now afford an education and they are taking full advantage.

Although the country has bolstered its higher education budget by 40 per cent, the sector cannot grow quickly enough to support the demand. In an effort to decrease the shortfall and encourage growth, the government is fast-tracking partnership agreements and reforming its higher education system. This month the government approved a plan that permits foreign universities to establish campuses and confer degrees in India. While the law must still be ratified by parliament, it would be good news for both foreign institutions and India. Canadian schools could take advantage of the thousands of highly qualified English-speaking students and India could retain the nearly half a million of those same students that would otherwise travel oversees to North America or Europe for an education. This law may mean the first appearance in the South Asian country for some but Canadian schools have been in India for years.

York University's Schulich School of Business of Toronto, Ontario certainly lived up to its reputation as Canada's Global Business School, when in association with Mumbai's S.P. Jain Institute of Management & Research (SPJIMR) launched the Schulich India MBA in February 2009. Students will spend one year in the commercial capitals of their respective countries. Indian students will spend the first year in Mumbai, taught primarily by Schulich faculty, complemented by SPJIMR adjunct practitioners. Students will then complete the program in Toronto, where they will be immersed in Canadian culture. 

SPJIMR is one of the top ten business schools in South Asia and within the top three schools in India. It offers a competitive post-doctorate diploma, postgraduate certificate and a number of executive education programs. Schulich is no stranger to international partnerships and has enjoyed a long history in India, spanning more than 15 years. The school has been apart of several successful exchange agreements with top Indian Management schools such as the Indian School of Business, Indian Institute of Management Bangalore and IIM Ahmedabad.  Schulich's Mumbai office serves as a hub for recruitment, career planning and executive and leadership programming. The school sits comfortably in the world's top business school ranks and has offices in Canada, China, India, South Korea and Russia.

The Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario is the second largest producer of business case studies in the world. It recently partnered with the Indian School of Business (ISB) in Hyderabad to establish the Centre for Case Development on the ISB campus. The Centre's mission will be to enhance the writing capability of Indian Academia and disseminate case studies highlighting Indian commerce and business models to campuses worldwide. Established in 2001, in only nine short years ISB is heralded as one of the premier management institutions in the world. The school is built on a solid foundation with research-orientated faculty who have ushered new trends in management education and regularly invite their international colleagues to teach in its Post Graduate Management/Executive Education Programs and collaborate on research. It has partnerships with Wharton, Kellogg and the London Business School.  Ivey is known throughout the world for exposing its students to real-world business models and scenarios through case method teaching.  It created Canada's first MBA program in 1948 and now offers the whole gamut of business education from undergraduate to PhD programs.

The Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, has sent a clear message to the Canadian people with his recent trip to India highlighting India's rapid growth and Canada's commitment to expand its, investment of infrastructure, education, life sciences, technology and natural resources.

Canada's current trade with India is only valued at $4.6 billion but will increase under Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. He has sent a clear message to the Canadian people with his recent trip to India highlighting India's rapid growth and Canada's commitment to expand its, investment of infrastructure, education, life sciences, technology and natural resources. Canadian business schools are especially committed to bridging this gap between home and India. Canadian-Indian academic relations will grow in exchanges and partnerships over the next ten years with more institutions capitalizing on the potential of an educational market in its infancy.  Currently the world's second most populated nation, within 30 years India's borders will hold the most people in the world.  The land of Bollywood and cricket lovers has an insatiable hunger for international programs and with a rising economy and population to support it, Canadian schools are capitalizing.

Stephen Kelly is an expert in the Canadian MBA industry. He is especially interested in the migration of universities into online delivery and the challenges and rewards that result.