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Showing posts from April, 2011

US Management Education: Rigor vs. Relevance

The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times published a couple of interesting articles on the challenges faced by management education in the US. First article highlighted the degrading quality and rigor of undergraduate business programs and the other related story focused on the relevance of academically-qualified (PhD) faculty in business programs.

In a New York Times debate on the value of undergraduate business major, Professor Richard Arum, cited his research that business majors invest less than one hour a day in studying alone and hence he argues that "it is not surprising that business students show the lowest gains on measures of critical thinking, complex reasoning and written communication."

While interest of students in pursuing business programs is increasing, the standards of quality are decreasing. Every fifth undergraduate student in the US majors in business and the GMAT scores of business majors are lower than other majors (average GMAT score…

US is still the most attractive destination for international students

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US is strengthening its dominance in attracting foreign students especially from China and India. Already every fifth globally mobile students is enrolled in the US higher education institutions (OECD). The recent survey of graduate schools by CGS  indicates that the number of applications for US universities has increased by 7% for Indians and 18 % for Chinese as compared to 1% and 20% respectively for last year. This indicates that there continues to be a strong intent of international students to study in the US.
I have been making two arguments on the sources and destinations in the short and medium-term:

Source countries: Expansion of local systems in India and China will continue to fuel demand for higher education abroad. This is contrary to perception that local capacity will give more options for students to stay back. I argue that expansion is taking place at a rapid pace and mostly at the expense of quality. Thus, many more will continue to go abroad in search of quality o…

Admissions marketing mantras

Many wrongfully assume that marketing of colleges is same as marketing of cars, cell phones or cola. The result is undifferentiated positioning, overpromising of offerings, poor delivery of programs and disengaged customers i.e. students and alumni.

The alternative is to understand the key characteristics of higher education services and implement a marketing strategy that maps the needs of targeted student segments with the institutional program offerings.

Smit and Cavusgil note, “Colleges are selling highly intangible products with many costs other than money. The college student pays greatly in terms of time, loss of other potential income, psychic costs, and inconvenience costs. A college education obviously calls for an extreme level of involvement from its consumer.”

Marketing of higher education should focus on reaching to and communicating with the targeted segment of prospective students. It should help in bridging the information gap and engaging the prospective students ab…

Wake up IIMA: Lead the quality tranformation in Indian management education

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Indian management education is in a state of crisis and the issues of quality have aggravated over time. There is an imminent need of a leader to inspire a collective consciousness of quality and reform among B-schools. This leadership vacuum is most suitably filled by the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A) which is undoubtedly the most recognized and respected brand name in Indian management education.

Three primary strands where IIM-A could take a leadership role in shaping the management education agenda are: influencing practices and policies not only at the institutional level but also national level; building collaborations and alliances with other institutions; and encouraging interdisciplinary management education beyond traditional sectors and career paths.

Read complete article.