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School of Management extends links with Delhi's Indian Institute of Foreign Trade


The Vice-Chancellor of a prestigious Indian university was a special guest at the University of Bradford School of Management this week.

Dr Surajit Mitra, who is Director and VC of the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) in Delhi, was given a guided tour of the picturesque Faculty of Management and Law campus on Emm Lane before having a meeting with a number of senior staff members on Tuesday.

The group then had lunch on campus at Heaton Mount before Dr Mitra met with the University of Bradford Vice-Chancellor, Brian Cantor, at City Campus.

There Dr Mitra signed a Memorandum of Understanding, which is a formal agreement that there will be a student exchange programme between the two institutions.

An exchange agreement is being developed which will involve Bradford hosting IIFT Master’s students for taught modules and IIFT hosting Bradford PhD and Master’s students as part of their dissertation work.

The visit by Dr Mitra follows a visit to IIFT by former Bradford School of Management Dean Jon Reast and Senior Lecturer in Economics Dr Abhijit Sharma in November 2014.

The following day (Wednesday), Dr Mitra met with Prof Nancy Harding, who is Professor of Organisation Theory at the School of Management, as well as Director of the University’s Centre of Research in Organisations and Work (CROW).

Prof Harding and Dr Mitra explored the possibility of joint research projects between the two schools.

“Dr Mitra is particularly keen on developing insights about leadership in Indian companies,” said Prof Harding.

“The School of Management's Critical Leadership Centre, under the guidance of Prof Jackie Ford, resists the one-size-fits-all school of leadership studies, which presumes that models originating in the US will fit every country and culture.”

She added: “We look forward to working with Dr Mitra and his colleagues to develop understanding of what sort of leadership works best in Indian corporations, and what our two countries can learn from each other.”

Director of the University of Bradford’s International Office, Dr William Mitchell added: “Collaboration with IIFT will enable Bradford researchers access to data and examples leading to joint publications and publications and projects.”

About IIFT

The Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) was set up in 1963 by the Government of India as an autonomous organisation to help professionalise the country's foreign trade management and increase exports by developing human resources, analysing and disseminating data and conducting research. The Institute visualises its future role as:

  • A catalyst for new ideas, concepts and skills for the internationalisation of the Indian economy.
  • The primary provider of training and research-based consultancy in the areas of international business, both for the corporate sector, Government and the students community.
  • An institution with proven capability to continuously upgrade its knowledge base with a view to servicing the requirements of the Government, trade and industry through both sponsored and non-sponsored research and consultancy assignments.

The Institute's portfolio of long-term programmes is diverse, catering to the requirements of aspiring international business executives and mid-career professionals alike. These are:

  • Two-year MBA (International Business), New Delhi, Kolkata, and Dar-es-Salaam.
  • Three-year MBA (International Business) (Part-Time), New Delhi and Kolkata.
  • Executive Masters in International Business, New Delhi.
  • Certificate Programme in Export Management, New Delhi.

Over the last 50 years, from 1963 when it was set up as a Centre of Excellence in International Trade and Business till 2012, IIFT has evolved as a top business school and research institution in the country. With robust infrastructure, strong faculty and dedication to excellence, IIFT has emerged as a National Institute for pedagogy and advocacy.

With the help of the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India, IIFT has established a WTO Centre which is the sole repository for WTO Secretariat.

The student community of IIFT has been vibrant and active. They have won laurels in various national and international fora from time to time. They have brought glamour and recognition to IIFT. Thus, IIFT is not only a leading business school in India, but also a Centre of Excellence in international trade and business besides being a Research Hub and a Think Tank Institution for Government and Industry.