Overcoming Problems at B Schools

Here comes a message sent by the head of a group of educational institutions to all his professors: Every one of us is talking about everything, about student’s discipline, behavior, excellence, commitment, character building, unity and what not.

The big question is are we really and fully competent to teach the subjects which are teaching notwithstanding our qualifications with all the doctorates distinction in our PG’s, the tall claims, which we all are making ourselves?

How many of us have kept ourselves updated about contemporary practices? How many of us are engaging our students seriously and for the full hours allotted to complete the course creating curiosities and igniting inner urges and thirst to search for more answers from the big libraries / journals/ global search engines rather than bragging about ourselves and entertaining them? How many of us are up to date about the business environment? Are not unfolding big news in the media, case studies in themselves?

This message perhaps explains the status of the competency level of our B schools . There is an acute shortage of qualified faculty who are sincerely devoted to the profession of teaching. The PhDs in the country have become a big joke. By studying one drop of the ocean they believe that they have learnt everything (As of now any PG with a first class at the age of 22 or so, fresh from the institute is qualified to become an assistant professor to teach the students of the age group of 20 or so ).

The students want everything to be taught in the classes within that six to eight hour engagements every day . They want the salary of the IIMs and XLRIs but are not devoted enough to spend the rest of the sixteen hours at their disposal for the enrichment/enhancement of their attitude knowledge and skill. They plead for practical experiences and are adverse to bookish knowledge . The dichotomy of theory versus knowledge is crying for a solution.

And no faculty can be master of all practices in different sectors of industry. The industry wants readymade managers billable on day one.

These are few amongst many issues confronted by B schools. There are nasty comments that engineering colleges and management institutes are mushrooming in the country. What we forget is the fact that historically we have never been perfect. We have strived on improving our imperfection and innovating the means and methods while still being amidst thick battle fields.

With all the default, the most promising thing is our ambitious youth. The youth of the country and the students of the management institutes have proved that they can accept challenges. They are willing to sit with us if we are ready to sit with them. That is how India is successfully going through the biggest industrial revolution at the moment. The students are fully aware about the need for proper career building and the right grooming for that to match their expectations and the expectations of the parents, students and industry is the biggest challenge before B schools.

The big brothers viz the IITs/ IIMs / XLRIs have to find a solution and help schools. But, alas they too are crying and want to import faculty. So how does one not go about it? Leaving the issues to the bureaucrats and self styled leaders to set standards for us will take us nowhere.

We need more entrepreneurs to pass out from B schools. Hopefully competitions within B schools will raise the bar and standards. After all, ultimately the fittest will survive. And that is the history which keeps on repeating itself.

  • kshantaram

    the B Schools charge a high premium for offering the MBA degree hence the students and parents too want to cover the costs by expecting a high starting remuneration – the thirst for a placement starts the moment the first year is completed thinking one has now learnt the basics of management and is ripe enough – may be the MBA should be reduced to one year as is often advocated increasing the teaching and work hours and thereby reducing the costs and being able to cater more to the need of qualified management graduates by the business alike a one year training programme equipping the college graduates to enter the business world, the practicals can be learnt on the job faster having got the basic appreciation.

    the private schools charge high fees, hence why not the IIMs, brand IIM too should raise the fees from 2-4 lacs to 11-12 lacs so that they do not feel left behind. inflation is high and money supply is available atleast some people able to pay the high fees filling up all the seats and corporate social responsibility can be symbolised through token scholarships. why not IIMs maintain the same quality with the same or lower fees instead of joining the private sector education institutes – the brand IIM comes with quality and not the fee comparison. the factor of escalation of costs could be there but not raising fees from 2 lacs to 12 lacs over a short span of time, is premium education only for the top 5-20% o the population killing such an aspiration among the lower middle class and the poor of the country and hence stopping to aspire for such qualifications and careers coming in the way of building the quality human capital for the country. may be the government too has pushed the IIMs in this direction through budgetary cuts in the guise of making the institutions self-financed leading to reserving such institutions for the elite, alike the foreign education loans for the elite – while the income tax exemption for the poor for education costs had just been at the rate of Rs 100 or so per child per annum, an inclusive policy ofcourse ignoring the costs the middle class spends on education of a child to make the child competitive, generating revenue through the salaried class while businesses can escape not showing half of their incomes or paying a negligible fraction of their revenues and need to be kept in humor or the govt has no way of identifying them or making them pay the taxes, while the salaried class is not supposed to enhance their quality of life or else must pay up through various taxes – hope there is an iota of truth somewhere in these ramblings, ofcourse each year the budget session does offer some sops to keep the electorate in good humor, a parental approach towards the citizens of the country in the name of managing the tough economics while crores can slide away the spectrum auctions as if none in the government or the cabinet could smell it and time needs to be invested in the various formal investigations only now trying to finding out what happened buying some time for the nation; do we have such an unaware government or the polity all in the name of offering low cost mobiles and telephony to the common man with hidden costs to the nation!

    coming to the subject, colleges advertise professor/lecturer positions which cannot do without a heavy PhD so that the experienced professional need not be considered for such positions as if a farmer needs a PhD to be able to transfer farm technology to his sons. can a PhD in agriculture farm a piece of land alike the farmer with his intuition of the soil, the climate, the sowing and harvest experiences, the direct experience of the nature, love for the farm, etc. the PhD may ofcourse be useful perhaps in the laboratories in generating scientific research and has value to add, but is it compulsory to teach a bit of management to the fresh MBA students with so much compressed into the course as if they are meant to be the CEO the next day without any hands on experience which can be gained only over some years atleast if not decades of experience. may be the experienced Managers with teaching aptitude could be given a short training course too in managing the academics and it’s rules and methods to make them more effective while transferring learning and knowledge accumulated over the professional years – while good hr practices, training and induction are important in industry, how about imbibing the same spirit in educational institutes especially for visiting professors and lecturers creating an enabling climate and feeling part of the story rather than merely evaluating them merely based on student feedback funnily after the class results rather when some of them do not make the mark having bunked the classes or allowed to bunk the classes owing to preplacements so that the placement record of the institution can be highlighted – a viscious circle of the deliverables of an educational institution.

    how about the student selection – we have CAT/MAT/GCET etc lowering the standards each time; why not one test across the nation while the best students can be attracted by the best schools and so on maintaining a semblance of quality norms while the pedagogy could be moderated to suit the class of students making them learners at their own pace – the hrd ministry has already talked of same syllabus for maths/science across the nation as a relevant example here. the quality of engagement by the professor also depends on the quality of the students. taking students with autonomous tests compromising on quality while charging high revenues impacts the ROI as far as the teaching faculty is concerned the students not able to make the mark while transferring the blame to the teacher at the end of the year feeling frustrated having paid the high fee.

    hope the observations made would be found of relevance for the b-schools, the government, and the students and teaching community in terms of the b-school deliverables, attracting and training experienced faculty, focus on quality norms in terms of selection of students, focus on placements through quality teaching rather than handling high fees as an insurance amount for promised placements, regulating the fee structure so that a talented student could enter the b-school community and continue aspiring for the same without the need for segmenting/branding the country into india and bharat in the name of inclusive growth as if good governance is an act of charity towards the nation based on vote bank politics with something for all and everything for a few, to share a shade of perception here if found relevant at all.

    humble regards,


  • Cnusim

    i completely agree and am one among many students suffering from those promises done by my B school director.@ te time of admission he spoke about 8 new things how we change ur carrier…believe it or not , none came true except classes started and all r ppt only.
    nothing is practical,
    one day i asked a question to director who teaches better
    GOOGLE v/s MY B-SCHOOL? wit in minutes i got a letter of warning.

    now any one tell me after paying 5lakhs fee. who won’t dream of big salaries/companies

  • As long as you have a plan and some preparation, you can easily overcome those problems and fixed it in a short period of time. It’s really important for a school to fix problems that they have found in order to maintain their good performance for their students.