THE Asian Institute of Management campus in Makati City. — JUN ACULLADOR/FLICKR/CC BY-ND 2.0

By Patricia B. Mirasol, Reporter

The Asian Institute of Management (AIM) and the University of Houston’s (UH) C.T. Bauer College of Business recently signed a partnership deal to offer a double-degree undergraduate program.

“Through… our partnership with the University of Houston, we are confident of producing future leaders who can help provide technology-driven solutions to business and societal problems as well as contribute to nation-building,” AIM President and Dean Jikyeong Kang said during a briefing on Wednesday.

“There’s a huge value in exposing students to that kind of diversity,” she noted. “You being exposed to different kinds of perspectives, values, languages, business customs…[that] enriches one’s perspective.”

The partnership allows students to get a Bachelor of Science in Data Science and Business Administration from AIM and a Bachelor of Business Administration Major in Management Information Systems from UH.

UH’s C.T. Bauer College of Business Dean Paul Pavlou noted that his institution’s program will give students the skills needed to identify user or customer problems and translate these needs into technology solutions.

“Our partnership with AIM… will guarantee that students will get the highest quality education at the world’s leading business schools,” he added.

The program will be taught by faculty from the local business school and UH. The goal is to give students a “complete and holistic curriculum designed by experts from the two schools,” AIM said in a statement.

The first three years of the program will be held at the AIM campus in Makati City. For their senior year, students will have the option of attending classes on campus at UH. After graduation, they can pursue one year of optional practical training in the United States, which can be extended by another two years.

According to AIM, the four-year undergraduate program is the first of its kind in the country and the region. It will kickstart AIM’s foray into select programs designed for undergraduate students.

Applications opened on Oct. 1 last year, with the initial intake on Aug. 21 this year.

The initial batch’s cut-off is 50 students, according to Chris P. Monterola, head of AIM’s Aboitiz School of Innovation, Technology, and Entrepreneurship. 

“Right now, we’ve accepted 37, with 3-4 waitlisted. This week alone we have 15 more interviews,” he said.

Some of those already accepted are from high schools that include Ateneo, De La Salle, Philippine Science, PAREF Southridge, and Xavier.  

“We value diversity,” Mr. Monterola added, noting how the male-female ratio is almost at 50-50. 

At $13,500 per year, the program is “out of reach for many families,” Ms. Kang said. 

“Yes, there’s lots of great demand, but… we would like to offer a lot more opportunities and grant more scholarships,” she said.