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Global Education

08/10/2011

An MCLA economist is bringing the world to his classrooms as he networks with educators from around the globe.

Professor Ben Kahn (on the far left with colleagues from Israel and India) recently returned from Bangalore, India, where he attended the Eastern Academy of Management International Conference. In addition to hearing the latest in global economics from experts from 25 countries across five continents, he and this network of business economics professionals and scholars have formed a faculty teaching community.

Together, they will "team teach" their students. This will allow Kahn to share with MCLA students firsthand what is being taught in other countries, including Germany, Denmark, England, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, China and India, to provide a network of information regarding the global economy and more.

"It will bring the best of education to the classroom," Kahn said. "The types of teaching materials we will use are those typically used by larger institutions such as Harvard, MIT, Columbia, Stanford and Berkeley because of their size and prominence. They always attract the best minds from the global community. Now, we are able to bring this level of sophistication and technology into the classroom at MCLA. This will enable our students to think more globally, and to have increased vision and ambition."

Since 1980, the United States have moved a number of companies to India, which features the sixth ranking economy and the second most populated nation in the world.

"There's a great American presence in India. An average salary for a college graduate is less than $250 a month," Kahn explained. "Our companies have discovered this, and that India has developed tremendous expertise, competency and skill, and infrastructure in information technology."

According to Kahn, Sysco Systems has built an industrial complex identical to the one located in California's Silicon Valley in Bangalore, where the conference was held.

"They work 12 hours in California and 12 hours in India so the company can work 24/7," he said. "Even the legal department is cloned in India."

Kahn encourages his students to travel the world and experience it for themselves. At the same time, MCLA brings the world to them through visiting professors such as Dr. Laura Yang, the dean of international education and entrepreneurial studies at China's Shanghei Institute of Foreign Trade (SIFT), and also exchange students from SIFT and Hebei University.

This summer, Madam Kong, the director of  international  relations at the World Trade Organization Consultation Center in Shanghai, China, and the vice president of academic affairs at SIFT, Madam Xu, also visited MCLA.

Next spring, faculty from India will visit The Sage Colleges in New York, where Kahn also teaches. During their stay, MCLA students will make frequent visits to attend classes and hear a series of lectures.

Besides India, Kahn has traveled extensively throughout China - the most populated country in the world. Because the U.S. is home to just 5 percent of the world's population, Kahn said it is vitally important that we prepare students for leadership positions abroad.

"The future of the United States is outside of the United States. We have saturated our market, domestically. We have to look for an expansion of our market, outside of the United States. We can no longer rely on domestic production, producing goods for ourselves and consuming it and importing goods from other nations and consuming it," Kahn said. "We know the future is in the export market because 95 percent of the global population lives outside of the United States."