Tuesday, March 21, 2006

What’s missing in B-school rankings?

Note: This is specifically for the people who Google and land up in my blog searching for ranking of B-schools, Indian and otherwise.

On the advice of some of my friends, I’m not planning to put up a ranking list for Indian B-schools since I think it’s going to be controversial no matter what I come up with. But this post is my attempt to give an idea of how prospective students have to evaluate schools – at least for the ones with the luxury of multiple calls.

The rankings put forward by the different magazines are pure crap, which is widely acknowledged. They definitely do not give a true picture – because they can’t, and more so for the reasons mentioned below.

What has been a primary sore point in all the existing rankings is that there is no mention about the future potential of the institutes – the rankings tend to be a snapshot of only the past and current status of the institutes. What is missing is a ‘future potential’ element that takes care of how the institutes would fare in the future – when the students pass out of the institute and beyond, which matter more for the students in the long run. Although predicting the future seems tough, some insight can definitely be gained by looking at the growth trends of the institutes in the recent past.

The second parameter that is missing is the ‘brand value’ of the institutes. While a lot of students and alumni debate about what one learns in an institute, nobody ever complains about the importance of brand name. As one of my professors put it, IIM education has become more of a ‘necessary evil’ for a corporate life than anything else. Brand value doesn’t come just out of one year of great placements or because of a great infrastructure.

In other words, the B-school rankings, in my opinion, should behave like the stock market. Stocks of companies are valued not just for the current performance but the growth potential of the companies in the future and the glamour coefficient. I would ideally love to see parameters of weight-age say 10% to 20% out of the total to be dedicated each to the future potential and brand value. This would also undercut the excessive swaying of rankings.

To give an example, a lot of people opined a couple of years back that the only way for schools such as the new IIMs to go was up. Although the theory was rebuked by many, it has been proved true, since these schools that didn’t have facilities such as foreign exchange programs or foreign placements or PHD programs have started all these in a matter of two years. Similar stuff goes into schools such as SPJAIN that have showed that they mean business when they went to Dubai, compared to numerous other schools that have been stagnant for a long time –decades, in some cases. These are just examples that I know of. My tip to prospective students would be to do a lot of research and speak to many alumni to get different sides of the stories and to take all these parameters into consideration before coming to a conclusion.

Search tags: “B-school ranking”

9 Comments:

At Tuesday, March 21, 2006 11:27:00 PM, Blogger kr!sh said...

But Govar. Even in Signal Processing theory, the best estimate of the future is a function which takes past and present snapshots!

For instance, if the past is an increasing function and the present is an all-time high, the future is expected to be higher. Nothing wrong right!

 
At Wednesday, March 22, 2006 12:48:00 AM, Blogger Govar said...

WHich is exactly what I'm saying. :) Make an future estimated rank based on past and present. Giving a current snapshot alone doesnt reveal abt the future.

 
At Wednesday, March 22, 2006 9:14:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Govar,
This is a very usefull info...
To research and finalize on the
institute....
Good Day,
Regards,
Girish

 
At Saturday, March 25, 2006 1:29:00 AM, Blogger CB said...

How did you land up in my blog?!
Anyways, I completly sympathise with you guys. The other day, I was shouting regarding this, with my mom. And she was like 'You're screaming as if it's happened to you!'.
Wimpy's also posted regarding all this media hype. My opinion - Media sucks.

 
At Saturday, March 25, 2006 11:50:00 AM, Blogger Govar said...

"Anyways, I completly sympathise with you guys"

Yeah, we kinda need all these desperately! :(

 
At Thursday, April 27, 2006 6:41:00 AM, Blogger erasmus-in-india said...

well what is really missing for IIM's to go up the ranking is a lack of student DIVERSITY!

India asks subjectively high level of merit from foreign students and want to impose reservation for its lower casts... When will the same rules apply to all?

I probably dont fully understand the whole reservation thing. My friends from all IIM's keep sending me petition, news abt people who want to imolate themselves etc... Why a country with such a huge economic potential would want to commit suicide by preventing its best students to join its best institutes?

I was at IIMB as exchange student. I saw people working hard there. Then I thought of joining IIMB for the full 2-year program. I put a post on the pagalguy/mba forum and some indians told me not to steal there seats!

Those are different issues. But in both cases, I am against quota and in favor of diversity.

1) reservation for lower casts: the indian government should ensure high quality primary education to all and then let the best students join the IIM/IIT's through CAT.

2) lack of foreign students: I'm not begging for quota. I expect to work as hard as Indians. Not harder. Right now, the GMAT route to the IIM's is highly subjective. The ones to go through are mainly NRI's and the admission process depends almost fully on IIM's willingness to do some extra administrative work.

India would gain from diversity... Students from all origins, religions and casts... The only thing i believe in is merit!

elise

 
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