Half-Baked MBA Schools


India is full of suspect business schools, which have sprouted like mushrooms all over the country.

I am not going to name any such school in this post, that is not the real point.

I will be careful in considering anyone coming from such schools with tall claims. I was shocked to read full-page advertisements and heavy television advertising promoting a business school, with an explicit claim that they are far better than the IIMs (Indian Institutes of Management) ! I thought comparative advertising without proof and basis are subject to advertising regulations – is the concerned advertising body watching and taking action to safeguard advertising ethics ?

Notwithstanding any “tall” claims to the contrary, it is absolutely clear where management education stands in the country. I am not referring to “research” which has become a subject of contention between a government minister and the top engineering and management institutes. Yes, research in academic institutions of repute in India is far below global standards, and that is why none of the top schools are in the top 20 institutions, even in Asia Pacific region.

However, it is not appropriate to contest the quality of management education at the top schools in India. The top schools, of course, include only the IIMs, the XLRI, and a few other well-established, long standing schools of academic (and not advertising-driven) reputation. None of the hundreds of other schools qualify to be even in the top 100 management schools in the country. In fact, they bring down the quality of the education.

The bigger challenge is the acceptance of such schools by private corporates due to non-availability of management graduates from the top schools (who have all flown away with multiple offers). They have to be more careful in assessing the credibility of such schools and the quality of their education. It may be better to go with graduates with non-business degrees from reputed schools and train them on management in-house.

I saw notification issued by AICTE (All India Council of Technical Education) which regulates management education as well specifying the names of schools which are not accredited by them. After that notification, I have only seen the decibel of advertisements by second-tier and third-tier schools going up. It would be better for potential students to check out the credentials and the approvals of schools before investing their parents’ hard-earned money.

Fake and half-baked MBAs taught at such schools by professors with suspect and / or no academic credentials will do no good for their future.

Cheers

Vijay Srinivasan
16th July 2011
Mumbai

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