Rating the rankings – Opinion News


The recent Financial Times ranking of the world’s executive MBA programmes saw four Indian business schools taking spots in the list of 90 — Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad, at 26, and Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Bangalore, Ahmedabad, and Indore at 48, 70, and 85, respectively. Europe and China dominated the list, snagging the top nine spots, and one has to go all the way to no. 10 to find a US institute — Yale School of Management. While it is laudable to see the Indian institutes being recognised globally, one is also inevitably prone to question why the number is so few. At the outset, it begs the question: Are Indian B-schools not good enough? However, this question does not have a straightforward answer. First, one might consider the rankings themselves — even if the most popular ones such as the Quacquarelli Symonds, FT, and Times Higher Education rankings — are taken into account. A quick look at their methodologies will show that these lists are not using uniform parameters. Moreover, as with any statistical exercise, they suffer from biases — for example, the FT rankings survey alumni and new students, both of which are not indicative of how the school runs at the present.

Second, accreditation comes into the picture. The QS and the FT rankings require institutions to be accredited by either the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, an American organisation; EFMD Quality Improvement System, prevalent in the European Union; “or equivalent”. However, accreditation is a lengthy, expensive, and extensive process — the fabled “triple-accredited” status, which also includes the Association of MBAs accreditation from the UK, has only been acquired by 129 B-schools worldwide. Lastly, the age of the institutions should be considered. Earning reputation and the trust of stakeholders come with time. Different schools also start off at different points — ISB was established in 2001 by influential stalwarts who had access to capital and contacts to make the school a success. Similarly, of the 26 IIMs, only four are triple-accredited. This seems low at first, but a majority of IIMs (15, to be precise), are less than 20 years old.

This then warrants another question: How can one ascertain if B-schools are doing well? While there is no singular answer, one can begin to look at how employable the schools make their alumni, which is somewhat reflected in some of the rankings mentioned, and if graduates themselves feel that their expensive degree will be useful in the future (ISB did rank first globally in the FT rankings on this parameter). This is but one way to view performance, and an informed decision should be made by the prospective students based on what they require from their studies. This is not to suggest that Indian institutions should stop vying for spots in these global lists. Once they have reached a certain age and reputation, they should certainly seek to represent India in the lists.

First published on: 27-05-2024 at 04:45 IST


Source link