An institution level gap-analysis of management education in India
| Education Jagat - 03 Jul 2018

Ensuring quality in management education has remained a major challenge in every country.  Even the countries having robust quality management system in higher education very often face the challenges of sustainability from different perspectives such as relevance of the curriculum, student teacher ratio, on class and off class academic delivery, issues of employability of the learners etc. In most of the western countries, accreditation has emerged as one of the major instruments, where independent bodies with global standings accredit different curriculums and courses of business and management following rigorous process. 
  Some of such accreditation bodies are The International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE), Association of Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programmes (ACBSP), EFMD Quality Improvement System (EQUIS), South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA), Australia Business Deans’ Council (ABDC) etc. All these accreditation bodies follow rigorous methods comprising of self reporting by the participating institutions, followed by extensive system modification as per very high level of quality compliance fulfillments. The quality compliance requirements in these systems have always been made more contemporary with futuristic orientations in terms of intellectual resources, research and development, student quality improvement etc. In India, we have more than 3000 approved business schools offering different business and management programmes. However, less than 2% of such business schools are internationally accredited and the accreditations are restricted only among top notch business schools, those are already nationally and internationally known. If, we consider the university departments in this list, the number will fall below even 1%. Apart from international accreditation, another major technique internationally known business schools and institutions adopt is extremely flexible curriculum design by incorporating latest and futuristic concepts and practices in their curriculum. A study by IACBE in 2015 has found that top 50 business management institutions modify the curriculum every 6 months, whereas an average university run business curriculum in our country is modified every 4 years on an average. Indian premier business schools and institutions update their curriculum every year at least once, according to Ministry of HRD Report, 2016. Stakeholder involvement is another major area, where Indian business schools and institutions should work more seriously. Every stakeholder should play much required roles in this regard. A clear system and participation mechanism should have been developed in this regard. 
    A study by ACBSP Committee of stakeholder mapping in management education in 2014 has shown that the top 20% of the business schools as per Financial Times ranking, have engaged the stakeholders upto a level of 77% to 52% in academic and institutional development. The same report has further shown that the next 25% category of business schools have the record of engaging the stakeholders below 40%. The same report has also identified different stakeholders and their roles in helping these illustrious institutions to sustain the highest quality academic  pursuits. A study by AICTE in 2016 in India has however shown that only 16% of the business schools in India have effective stakeholder engagement policy and this list is also dominated by already known business schools and management institutions. According to ACBSP guidelines, stakeholder engagements should encompass the areas of infrastructure development (including provisions of chair professors and creation of research centres), curriculum up dation, industry-interface, selection of academic leaders of the institutions, international tie-ups and collaborations etc. Another major problem, we face in average Indian business schools and management institutions are lack of diversity among the teaching and student community. This significantly lacks them the opportunity to think from the broader perspectives. 
   Nitin Nohria, the Indian born Dean of Harvard Business School has opined in an interview in 2017 that his institution has the unique advantage of having students from 92 countries across all continents and that has helped them to remain globally relevant always. Though the situation is fast changing with the top notch business schools in India, yet vast majority has shown no sign of breaking of their status quo. Therefore, many major issues and challenges have remained with the Indian business schools and management institutions, those should be addressed without delay. 



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