Benchmarking B-education with best practices

Benchmarking B-education with best practices

Benchmarking B-education with best practices

Dr Rajan Saxena explains the need for business schools in India to step up to match international standards.

Globalisation has become an imperative concept for all top business schools today. Internet and telecommunication have eliminated the information gap between developed and developing markets. This implies that information on developments in various management disciplines is available to all.These developments are no more restricted to American B-schools.

Rather, there is a whole body of knowledge that is getting generated across the world which is available to all B-schools, faculty and students for free. But it also continues to remain a cultural diaspora. There are countries like China and India which have strong cultural and consumption values. In order to build 50 global B-Schools in India by 2025, we need to consider the following factors:

Awareness creation

B-Schools need to create awareness at the global level. The agenda for awareness creation should include awareness about the institution, its programmes, its positioning in the Indian market and why a student should consider India for management education.

Today we need to sell India as a hub of management education.

For this, it is imperative to identify some of the possible reasons why a student should consider India as a place to study. The India experience should be a combination of learning from emerging markets, diversity management and understanding of strong Indian culture.

The societal structure and consumption pattern across different market segments presents an interesting learning, something which cannot be had anywhere in the world.

Showcasing Global Quality

Global accreditations and ranking can help business schools. Hence, the top 50 identified B-schools should pursue their agenda aggressively for global accreditation and simultaneously understand what it takes to be in the global rankings of Financial Times (FT).

The understanding of criteria and the standards of global accreditation agencies is important. We need to understand that a global B-school is an amalgam of global student community. For this to happen, the school needs to attract students from the world market.  Multiple approaches should be used like advertising in foreign media and participation in virtual and physical MBA fairs.

Participation by students in global events also helps draw the attention of the potential markets. To be able to attract global community of students B-School will need to make it a part of its strategic objectives and must actively pursue it.

A multinational faculty group enhances the learning value in the MBA programmes. Faculties from different nationalities, ethnic backgrounds and cultures bring to the class a diverse perspective which enriches the entire learning proposition.

For this to happen, the schools will have to make it a part of their strategic objective and go out in the world market to spot talent, lure and bring them to India. This requires change in the work environment at B-schools. Besides creation of research environment,  the leadership of  B-schools will have to let faculty pursue his or her research objectives and at the same time professionally grow in the system. 

Many of our current practices of decision making, academic planning and faculty roles will have to undergo a change if we want a global faculty to be a part of our schools.

Today there is an opportunity to bring back Indian scholars, especially the younger ones who went out of the country in early 2000. This group of scholars did not leave India because of lack of opportunities but because there were no good Indian B-Schools that could be compared at the global level.

We need to take a lesson from China which created a special campaign to bring back overseas Chinese to their home land. Research funds would further attract good quality global faculty.

The programme design needs to be innovative and must truly be a blend of global and local topics. It is here that the schools need to look at some of the best practices in curriculum design and bring in some of innovative content.

Regulatory Framework

All the above strategies will come to naught if the regulatory framework of India does not change. The focus of regulation should not be control or approvals. Rather, it should be to encourage growth in the sector. And this has to be quality growth and must enable B-schools to become competitive both at national and global level.

For this, the regulation has to be based on self-disclosure which must be assessed by a peer group consisting of management educators, industry and others key stakeholders. The role of the government has to be minimized.

The government of India would have to take similar courageous steps as the one like abolition of Controller of Capital Issues or Monopolies Commission being replaced by Competition Commission in 1991 which facilitated global competitiveness of Indian Industry.

In the short term, it may be discomforting and possibly resisted by all those who have vested interests in retaining status quo, but in the long run it will help the cause of education. If not done, greater national loss will occur as we will continue to produce unemployable management graduates. If we miss the global education opportunity, then it will be only we who will be blamed.

To sum up, we have an opportunity today to write a new chapter in the history of global management education. But to do so, we require a visionary leadership, strategy and regulation that will work in tandem to make 50 global B-Schools.

(The author is vice-chancellor, NMIMS University)


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