The Future of Management Education in India – Part 2

Future of Management Education

So, we concluded that management education in the U.S. is facing a crisis, with declining enrolments, and program closures. But is the situation any different in India? India was, at least until last year, riding the crest of a wave of fantastic growth, and plans were underway to take the economy to the 5 trillion-dollar level. The press and social media were filled with articles pointing out the need for more managers and the great future ahead for B-Schools in India. In fact, India was touted as the destination for more relevant business education, and everyone dreamed of making the business education industry into a second medical tourism industry, where applicants from all over the world would come to get trained for the 21st-century business world.

Alas, the facts point to a more troubling picture. While it is true that India’s booming economy (after it recovers from the current malaise it is in) will need more and more managers, it is doubtful if these needs can be met from the current business education providers. I spend a quiet afternoon getting data from the AICTE web site about the current trends in business education. The AICTE is the All-India Council for Technical Education and controls technical education in India at various levels, including management education. This includes approval of programs of study, granting expansion of programs, as well as accreditation of programs. Every educational institution that is under its authority reports to it on an annual basis, so this data can be seen as data submitted to the regulatory authority, and reasonably free of bias and self-aggrandizement.

What do the numbers say? Over the last 8 years, there has been a decline of about 21% in the number of institutions offering post-graduate management education (both MBA and PGDM). The sanctioned intake has also witnessed a decline of 16% over the past 8 years. Enrolment over the past years showed an increase from 2012-2013 to 2015-2016, but have declined after that, and are currently at 2012-2013 levels. Another troubling part is the graduation rate. Seen as a percentage of the enrolment in the year of graduation, the graduation rate has held at 74% or so. Even more pathetic is the placement rate. Again, as a percentage of the enrolment in the year of placement, the placement rate varies between 40% and 46%. In effect, about 53% to 61% of graduating students find a job!

We will take a closer look at the data, and try to find out what has happened the next time around.

By Dr. Ashok Natarajan
Professor, Rajalakshmi School of Business, Chennai
Email – ashoknatarajan@rsb.edu.in

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