Westford Education Group: Redefining Education Globally
Firoz Thairinil, CEO of Westford Education Group comprising of Westford School of Management, Eaton Business School, Exeed School of Business and Finance, Taito Educational Solutions, Anna School and Westford Institute of Film Technology shares his insights on how they have developed a sustainable model to provide executive education and management courses to a global base by creating a platform for lifelong learning.
How was Westford School of Management Initiated?
During my MBA at University of Wales, I was enthused by the British Higher Education system which holds a reputation for developing skills which are in demand by the employers and I felt the curriculum had a pragmatic approach to learning where students are encouraged to actively engage and participate. You see, this helps in developing critical thinking, creativity and confidence in the students making them highly capable and fit for professional career. I strongly believed that there was a gap in the available educational programs in the sub-continent and Middle East region, might be this insight prompted me to work towards bringing the best facets of UK education and making it easily accessible to the masses in the region. Since then, along with few like-minded friends, it has been a continuous pursuit towards developing innovative and high value programs which are responsive to the needs of the learners, creating an enriching and resourceful learning experience offered through a variety of delivery models.
Can you tell us about your programs?
We provide a wide portfolio of MBA and Bachelor Degree programs from prestigious UK Universities like Wolverhampton and Cardiff Metropolitan. Guglielmo Marconi University from Italy is another University tie-up which focuses on Executive MBA with specialization in niche industries. All our Masters and Bachelors programs offer dual qualifications to the students, thus giving them a better value for their time and money.
We also offers a range of PG Diploma and Diploma courses, to working professionals to enhance their skills in HR, Marketing, Supply Chain & Logistics, Engineering Management, Finance & Risk Management, and a host of other similar courses awarded by leading international bodies like PEARSON, CIMA, IMA, IAAP and CIQ.
We have been quite active in the areas of management development and corporate training, as well as imparting executive education to working executives. We work closely with corporates in the region to provide them effective and efficient training programs for the learning and development needs of their staffs. We have a strategic partnership with the reputed University of Stellenbosch Executive Development (USB - ED), South Africa to offer a wide range of executive education programs. We are the exclusive partner of UCSI Blue Ocean Strategy Research Centre, Malaysia to promote Blue Ocean Strategy (BOS) training, consultancy, and education in UAE.
How student experiences at Westford School of Management are unparalleled compared to other education institutes?
Our teaching carries a distinctive element of blending the theoretical aspects taught to our students with pragmatic practical activities, which helps them to relate effectively to any working environment. Along with the academic support, soft skills development of our learners are also of prime importance to us. The faculty members act as mentors and thus student experiences at Westford are always fruitful. Westford also has a strong alumni network, who act as our ambassadors for the outside world and participate in all our alumni activities.
Can you comment on the shifting trends in the education system, where specialization is key?
In today's world, and thanks to the digital revolution everyone has access to a plethora of information on your fingertips, students who can intelligently make use of the right material stand out. Customized and specialized knowledge has emerged as a pre-requisite for any business today. The "Jack of all trades" concept seems to be out dated now, due to technological advancements, as well as changing business environments warranting a different approach. At Westford, we are always metamorphosing to adhere to the requirements of the public and private organizations, where specialization is key. Look for instance, we have now rolled out specializations in very niche discipline like Business Analytics, are working with a leading university to launch a brand new program in Cyber Security and so on.
How does Westford School of Management prepare their students to take on the challenges of being a professional in modern day, competitive industries?
We prepare our students to become well rounded professionals, useful members of any organization and more importantly great humans. You know, our finishing school is a mandatory part of our program delivery where we emphasize a lot on soft skills training and personality development, mentoring on a regular basis and so on. Apart from giving them the basic knowledge of the domain subject, theoretical and practical studies ensure they receive a comprehensive education. Through experiential training methodologies, seminars, and workshops, organizing CSR activities regionally and internationally, Westford ensures that students can face any professional challenge and real life situations in the most appropriate manner.
What have been the milestones in Westford School of Management's journey since its initiation?
Westford was established in 2009 and made our foray into the UAE market in late 2010. Presently, we are head quartered in UK with operational presence in UAE, India and Lebanon. 2012 was a defining year for Westford, as we forged a strategic alliance with University of Wolverhampton as their Transnational Education Partner (TNE), to Offer MBA Qualifications. Bachelor Degree programs was started in the year 2013. In 2014, we further strengthened our suite of programs, in partnerships with Cardiff Metropolitan University and University of Bangor.
With the steady increase in our student numbers and the need for catering to geographically dispersed learners, we invested in Schniede Solutions, an IT company specializing in the software development for educational institutes. Our Corporate Training division - EXEED - was launched in the year 2015. The same year Westford was awarded the Best Customer Delight award by MENAA awards.
In 2016, Westford became the largest TNE partner for University of Wolverhampton, in terms of the number of MBA graduates across their world-wide partners. An institutional partnership with Guglilemo Marconi University (GMU), Italy, was also signed up to provide specialized MBA programs. In the year 2017, Westford has signed a MoU with Indian Trade & Exhibition Centre (ITEC), to start our new campus within their premises with the most modern outlook and facilities. The same year we acquired Eaton Business School, Leicestershire and has now become a part of Westford Education group. We've also made our foray into the K-12 segment with our brand Taito, providing learning solutions and teacher training programs. The journey so far, is thanks to our strong and well-knit team who work tirelessly towards the common objective of redefining education, globally.
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