Education Reform Could Help Indian B-Schools

Posted by: Geoff Gloeckler on April 22, 2010

Our colleague in Asia, Bruce Einhorn, wrote this post for the ‘Eye on Asia’ blog, but we thought it would also be of interest to the business school audience, so we’re reposting it here.

Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on April 20, 2010

The Indian government is considering liberalization of higher education in the country, a move that would allow foreign universities to establish campuses in India. Check out this story from Monday’s Financial Times for more on the proposed changes. One angle that story misses: How the proposed reforms could help local schools. Consider one problem faced by the Indian School of Business, the B-school based in Hyderabad that is partners with Wharton and Kellogg and has just announced an alliance with Sloan. (For more on ISB, look at my story about the school in the current issue of Bloomberg Businessweek here.) Since ISB isn’t affiliated with a university, it can’t give MBAs to its graduates. Indian students don’t mind: Most of the other top B-schools in India can’t give MBAs either, and everybody knows that the piece of paper you get from ISB is an MBA in everything but name.

Still, the lack of MBAs makes it difficult for ISB to attract students from outside the country whose friends and family members and would-be employers aren’t quite so understanding. Not being able to offer MBAs “does make a difference when you are trying to attract international students, particularly students from the Asian region,” deputy dean Savita Mahajan told me recently in an interview in her Hyderabad office. “That has been a challenge for us. When you go to Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, China, they are more conscious of the [MBA] label.”

ISB’s Dean, Ajit Rangnekar, says he’s hopeful that the proposed education reforms could eliminate the problem, allowing ISB and others to grant MBAs. That would make the school more competitive in recruiting students. Non-Indian students currently make up only about 5% of the student body, says Mahajan. “We will truly be in that [top] league only once we are able to get international students,” she says. “That’s one of our biggest drawbacks now.”

Reader Comments


April 25, 2010 9:19 AM

Yes - it will further bring transparency into the current murky sets of rules and regulations on the Education scenario. Regulation is necessary, but when it becomes complex and opaque, problems arise.

Prof P.Madhu Sudana Rao,Ethiopia

May 2, 2010 10:42 AM

Foreign universities & quality in higher education
With the foreign universities opening more and more centers in India coupled with aggressive marketing strategies, Indian education can only retain its identity and integrity only if it can provide a world-class quality of education.
Since Independence, the higher education in India has undergone a unique transformation, in terms of expansion keeping pace with globalization, liberalization and privatization. But a big question is whether the quality is ensured. .
The National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), an apex body for quality assurance of institutions of higher learning in India, has accredited 140 Universities and 3492 colleges in the country. To keep this type of momentum in the Indian context it has given guidelines to all the accredited institutions to establish an internal quality assurance cell (IQAC) to ensure qualitative growth of the institution. The composition of the cell has been clearly defined so as to representative of all the constituents of the institution.
It is saddening to note that universities and colleges who got themselves accredited by the NAAC “only 32 per cent could get ‘A’ or above level of rating.NAAC assessment further indicates that 68% of colleges are rated as ‘B’ while another 23% colleges is rated as ‘C’ grade; and only the remaining 9% are ‘A’ grade. Thus the quality assurance in higher education is the need of the hour. Quality is ‘the fitness to use and conformance to requirement, uniformity, and dependability and at low cost.
Quality education is also a function of competencies in terms of knowledge, skills and attitudes, capacity and competition vis -a-vis needs. It is described as efficiency in meeting the set goals, relevance to human and environmental needs and conditions and "something more" in relation to the pursuit of excellence and human betterment..’
An Internal Quality Assurance (IQA) system to be established with in an organization is a system under which students, staff and management satisfy themselves that control mechanisms are working to maintain and enhance the quality. In the specific context of higher education institutions, IQA is the totality of systems, resources and information devoted to setting up, maintaining and improving the quality and standards of teaching, scholarship (student learning experience), research, and service to community. Special instruments are to be used periodically and mostly combined with external assessment, like SWOT analyses, Inter-collegial audits, Information system, and Quality handbook
These requirements are in line with the requirements formulated by the European Association for Quality Assurance (ENQA). An institution must have: a clear policy for IQA and clear procedures for it; an adequate system for the approval, monitoring and periodic review of programmer and awards; an adequate system for the assessment of students, quality assurance of teachers, learning resources, and adequate information system.
Quality Circle is an integrated system constituting small groups of people from same or similar work areas, who voluntarily offer to meet in order to identify, analyze and solve problems, which may lead to improvement in their total performance and enrichment of their work life. Another source defines as “a Quality Circle is composed of a small group of employees who genuinely care about others, preferably doing similar work, meeting voluntarily with a leader on a regular basis, to identify problems, analyze the causes, recommend their solutions to management and wherever possible, implement solutions.”
Quality circles in industry have been known to increase productivity, improve quality, boost employee morale, and serve as a human resource development tool; these same benefits may be accrued in education. In fact, quality circles in community colleges have been used to solve problems in administrative developments and in student support
Facilitators are from a senior level in the hierarchy who liaise and co-ordinate the work of different circles under their control. Usually, three to four circles are allotted to each facilitator. They act as guides and catalysts for the circles and they stimulate the members to work together.
The steering committee is the apex body, comprising of departmental heads headed by the management representative. This committee overviews the work of all the circles and acts as a focal point for their planning and operation. The steering committee meets periodically to study the reports received from different circles or from their facilitators and the latter keep in touch with the members of the committee.
Quality in education can be ensured through the technique “Quality Circle” which has been successfully implemented in manufacturing industries. In educational institutions, the quality circles on various areas can be formed, so as to enrich the Indian Higher Education to International standard.
Quality Assurance Department:
There may be a separate department such as Quality Assurance Department or Quality Management Department formed for coordinating the various circles, selecting talented people, convening circle meetings, arranging training for members and obtaining other inputs from outside to prepare circles for solving problems, and arranging presentations of reports for the approval and implementation of management.
The thrust areas:
The various key issues on which the circles may be formed as far as any educational institution is concerned are:
Teaching & Learning in small groups, Infrastructure maintenance and its optimum use, Faculty development, Course Curricula review, Students academic Excellency - Subject knowledge, General knowledge and soft skills , Students co-curricular activities, Students extra curricular activities, Students Assessment, Placements and Employability, Out reach and Extension Programs, CSR activities ,Community and Social Responsibilities, Counseling and Grievance handling, Doctoral and Post Doctoral Research and Publication and Faculty members Consultancy.

Some gains may be tangible, while others may be intangible but in the final analysis, it will lead to improved institutional performance, reduced wastage and lasting relations between the management and staff members. Some direct gains are enumerated below: a) Improves quality and productivity, Promote job involvement and sense of participation, Creates problem solving and problem-preventing attitude, Develops creativity and innovative spirited Develops job satisfaction and hence less turnover of staff) Inspires team work and develops harmonious relations’, Achieves, cost reduction and cost control, Reduces human errors and system failures.
Globalization has created a global market place for students and scholars. It has resulted in massive expansion of higher education especially in the developing world. Universities and institutions of higher education have to produce graduates for the global market requiring content, method and structure meeting international norms. Indian higher education is widely recognized and respected across the globe. The educational institutions have to take care of providing quality education which should be in par with the international standards. By making their respective Quality Circles more efficient and effective every educational institution can get optimum benefits in ensuring quality in education

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May 10, 2010 2:47 PM

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June 20, 2010 10:14 PM

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Educational Software

August 6, 2010 7:00 AM

That is really great educational info...


September 25, 2010 10:18 PM

this article on mgmt education


October 18, 2010 2:10 AM

'Learn or Perish' is the mantra by which Indian B schools can survive the threat from foreign B schools. Today many Indian B schools are focusing their attention on tie ups with reputed foreign universities, International placements, World Class Faculties and experienced students.

MBA education is not only about learning from books but it's also about understanding the ground realities and coming up with workable solutions for everyday problems at a small cost.

For e.g MBA students from Harvard are working in small villages in India to understand the problem the people in lower strata of society are facing and many of them have in fact started companies that have introduced innovative products in the market at a low price.

The TOP B schools in India


December 6, 2010 4:32 AM

The business courses are chosen by the students as there is a lot of job options. These courses will permit the graduates to be tuned up to date.

Matt Smalls

December 10, 2010 5:07 AM

The business courses will help the students to get knowledge administration. This will help the learners to improve their capacity.


September 20, 2011 6:28 AM

indian education system needs much more improvement


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