About the Speaker:
Prof. Paul Kelly, Pro-Director for Education and Professor of Political Theory at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Prof. Paul Kelly talks about the relationship Indian School of Business & Finance (ISBF) has with The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and the many benefits that the students enjoy sitting in the comforts of their home country, India. He explains how the programmes taught to students at ISBF are designed, examined and assessed by the LSE. Maintaining the same standards as at LSE, ISBF too abides by the former’s motto, rerum cognoscere causas, translating to ‘to know the causes of things’.
Paul Kelly: Well, I think the important thing that the LSE tries to capture in its education is to shape the minds of the learner. So, it isn’t enough just to know things, you know, to know the causes of things is to understand, rather than just to accumulate lots of facts and lots of data. To be successful in the social sciences in research, but also in policymaking in their application, you need to be able to think, and thinking requires, it requires knowledge, it obviously requires expertise, but it also requires a certain kind of mental discipline, the questioning attitude, and I think the motto tries to capture that. So, if you take the subject like economics, we don’t teach people economics, we try and train them to think like economists that’s I think what I would try and capture.
It’s a very important challenge to make sure that our curriculum is up-to-date. Of course, in the process of training people, to think like an economist or a social scientist and other disciplines, there’s a certain amount of the formation of mind, a certain level of discipline, and you will know that an important part of that is clearly mathematical competence at quite a high level.
So, in some respects, the knowledge doesn’t change that much, but of course we are not just looking at formal systems, we are looking at the real world where people adapt to the circumstances in which they find themselves. So, if you think of things like the crash of 2008, there are real challenges to what is it that economists, professors of finance and so on, didn’t see or perhaps more important, why their research, their knowledge and so on wasn’t recognised by those who use it, regulators, the wider system and so on. So, those are the public challenges and therefore we also need to make sure that that’s reflected in the curriculum and we want students to recognise the subjects are valuable, are up-to-date, are applicable and reflects the world they find themselves in.
So, we constantly look at the challenges, the questions that the world throws at the social sciences. I think there are probably some people outside the academy, who will say, but you didn’t – you know you didn’t predict the financial crash, you didn’t predict the global paradigm shifts that are happening. I think those challenges actually make the study of the formal study, the discipline enquiry into the nature of economics, the nature of political science and the application of those things, all the more important.
And, I think when those are presented in the right way, they are also some of the most challenging modes of study for young students looking at the world in which they are going to have to work for a long period. So, I think they are very significant. It might be easy to think of management or finance as a rather dry subject. But I think their significant is considerable. ISBF, Indian School of Business & Finance is one of the top performing Affiliate Centres in the University of London system. In some of its subject it is the top in terms of consistent performance of students.
So, from the point of view of the LSE who look for Affiliate Centres to be – in some respect equal partners in quality of their education, ISBF hits off like all of the key issues, the standards of admission are high, the consistent performance of students across the board are high, and their performance in exams are exceptional. I would strongly encourage the best and the brightest students to look to study the curriculum that’s offered here through the EMFSS, the LSE programmes. And, particularly if they have a view to come in to the LSE to study at the master’s levels or possibly at the PhD level. I think the LSE still has a very, very strong sort of brand recognition in India and in other parts of the world and rightly so, for historical reasons, but also because of the continuing quality of its programmes and of its research and the faculty who do that.
So, I would hope that those things are recognised by the best Indian students and they would still want to come and study our programs either here with our partner, the ISBF, or subsequently for the best of the best at the master’s level in London….