Management Education in India and Global – A Comparative Analysis

This data is taken from QS Ranking based on data scored by individual parameter both for International Top Universities and Indian Top Universities for Business and Management category.  Major differences come from Employer reputation and academic reputation. However interestingly, research outcomes are relatively similar.

The infographic is created for informational purposes only.

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A closer analysis reveals that in research scores, we are really comparable and close, despite a fraction of the size of our western counterparts. However we need significant boost in terms of academic reputation and employer reputation to really compare ourselves with the top players.

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Recently I had a very interesting chat with a close friend based on his/her perception of Indian education. Why do some of the best Indian Institutes never rank among the top universities in global rankings. What stops us to work harder and achieve global rankings. Why do Indian institutions fare badly in research? I was kind of perplexed in responding how can I explain it to someone outside the ecosystem. The challenge is that I should explain this in less than 500 words, since readers inside the domain of academics, know already about our shortcomings, but readers outside our system may get lost if we explain it in too much of details. But more importantly, I also suffer from a lack of time to pen down my thoughts in a more detailed manner.

The international rankings like QS rankings evaluate universities based on 6 parameters

  1. Academic Reputation (40%)
  2. Employer Reputation (10%)
  3. Faculty/Student Ratio (20%)
  4. Citations per faculty (20%)
  5. International Faculty Ratio (5%)
  6. International Student Ratio (5%)

To address the answer, very briefly I present the QS Ranking scores of the best universities globally, and of IIT Delhi, since I teach here.

QS_Ranking_IIT

If one looks carefully at the list of how we compare, only criteria where we are somewhat scoring favorably is on the basis of research outcome. The citations per faculty, as an outcome of our research, scores higher than even Oxford and Cambridge.

So where does things go wrong for us? I try to share my top 10 list based on limited experience as an academic in Indian Institutes.

  1. Employers who hire our students are for needs which are mostly based out of India, even if they are MNCs. So our employer reputation goes down, when we compare the salaries without equating the purchasing power parity. So surveys among employers seldom reflect understanding of how students take part in that organization from Indian ecosystem, simply because of a lack of awareness.
  2. When we speak of faculty student ratio, we are abysmally poor. We end up teaching a lot more students every year, as compared to our western counterparts. The western universities have faculty members above 1000 but a student count lower than 10,000. We on the contrary struggle with half the faculty size and similar student size. IIT Delhi has a student faculty ratio of 18:1. Good universities typically have a ratio of 10:1. DMS IIT Delh has a ratio of 25:1 as of now.
  3. Being in an emerging economy, we rarely get international faculty members, though a lot of our faculty members may have been trained outside India. Hiring policies in India do not favour foreign faculty hiring, as of now. Remuneration is also not attractive, when compared with salaries in foreign currencies.
  4. International students don’t like applying to third world countries. We have facilities which are not really luxurious. Often 2-3 students share a room, and many students share a washroom. This is completely different if we compare the infrastructure of western economies.
  5. The cities have poor amenities as compared to developed economies. We seldom have the bet of facilities and infrastructure in our cities which houses these institutions. Pollution and health hazards are high as compared to western economies like American and European countries. New IITs / IIMs are in even more poorer condition in terms of host cities’ ecosystem.
  6. Our infrastructure in classrooms and laboratories is poor and very sometimes risky. Often students feel the hazards, but Indian students manage to cope up, since we are used to these systems and facilities. But the same does not attract foreign nationals.
  7. No wonder we score low in terms of academic reputation. Academic reputation is captured by comparing among universities from other academics who respond to surveys based on perceptions on the university they are grading. Indian institutions like IITs/IIMs have never tried to market itself globally for enhancing visibility of our productivity despite limitations.
  8. For higher education, the best brains of the country, if they decide to pursue a PhD at all, prefer to do it in the western universities. The PhD applicants to our programme, while very motivated, seldom have the undergraduation in the best of Indian Institutes.
  9. We often do not go for accreditation since we are not really geared up for global exchanges due to the above mentioned limitations. Since we are in a relatively closed economy, historically speaking, we often do not need these accreditations to compete locally.
  10. We do not publicize our achievements through formal institutional mechanisms. At best, we may share them in our personal networks. We are more media shy than our western counterparts.