Criteria and Process for CRISIL Business School GradingsGrowth in Indias economy has accelerated in recent years, driving demand for technically and professionally qualifiedmanpower. Indias demographics support the growing demand: CRISIL Research estimates that nearly 20 per cent of India’spopulation is expected to be in the age group of 15-24 years by 2016. If the Ministry of Human Resource Development,Government of India is to attain the targeted gross enrolment ratio, the country will need to set up a large number ofuniversities and colleges. This indicates the urgent need for scaling up delivery in higher education, and more importantly,for setting in place a mechanism to ensure steady improvement in the consistency and quality of education provided.CRISIL believes that a robust assessment of educational programmes, by independent agencies, will help introducedifferentiation in the sector, and serve as a precursor for improvement in the quality of education imparted. Anindependent assessment will enhance transparency, benchmark institutes against best practices, and improve governancestandards. The outcome of such assessment can be used by all stakeholders in the sector, including students, faculty,employers, donors, investors, and the government, to assess the quality of education being imparted. It is to address thisobjective that CRISIL has developed its Business School Gradings framework.About CRISIL Business School GradingsCRISIL Business School Gradings is assigned to specific programmes offered at different campuses by institutes, andassesses the ability of the institutes to impart quality education and to achieve the desired student outcomes through thegraded programme. The grading will be valid for one year from the date of assignment. The business school can requestCRISIL to renew the grading at the end of the one year.The Grading ScaleThe grading will be assigned on an eight-point scale to the mandated programme of the business school.Grade A (pronounced A triple star) denotes the highest grade, and Grade B the lowest. NATIONAL LEVEL SCALE STATE LEVEL SCALE National A State A National A State A National A State A National A State A National B State B National B State B National B State B National B State B
Each programme is given a national grading (relative to other programmes across India) and a state grading (relative toother programmes in the same state). This enables the institute to benchmark itself with other business schools across thecountry, and with institutes in the same state, operating in the same regional, infrastructural and regulatory environment.Assessment ParametersCRISIL has developed its criteria for grading business schools after extensive research, and after having obtained feedbackfrom several stakeholders. CRISIL uses quantitative and qualitative assessment parameters, to ensure that the evaluationframework is both robust and comprehensive. Industry Management Interface Student and Selection Governance Process Student Business Learning and Outcomes School Physical Infrastructure Gradings Research Curriculum FacultyManagement and governanceAn institutes vision and mission serve as a roadmap, and provide direction to the efforts of the management to achieve itsstated objectives. CRISIL believes that well-defined vision and mission statements and their effective dissemination are keydifferentiators of quality for management institutes. The success of an institutes programmes hinges on themanagements effort to impart quality education, and optimise students employability. CRISIL looks at the compositionand experience of members of the business schools governing council, its academic council, and academic advisory body,and evaluates their contribution to achieving the stated goals. The managements policies and governance practices arealso assessed, as are student-enablers (such as merit scholarships, provisions for inclusive education, and bank tie-ups)provided by it.Student selectionCRISIL evaluates the programmes student selection process, especially transparency and rigour in admission andselection, the composition of the student selection panel, and the importance attached to the students extracurricularachievements.CRISIL believes that for management programmes, student diversity is a critical enabler of peer learning and therefore, ofan enhanced learning environment. Peer learning complements the traditional faculty-driven learning, and often forms amajor part of learning at good business schools. Students with work experience bring in a firsthand corporate perspectiveto the programme study, and enrich the collaborative learning experience. CRISIL, therefore, factors in centrally theinstitutes efforts to build student diversity.
FacultyFor a business school to ensure uninterrupted curriculum delivery, and optimise the learning environment for its students,it will need to ensure the adequacy and stability of its qualified faculty. A stable, adequately qualified faculty will, in the longrun, reflect on the quality of student outcomes. CRISIL takes into account the experience (teaching and industry) of thefaculty, and evaluates the transparency and robustness of the faculty selection process. This is because the quality of theinstitutes faculty and the facultys ability to foster wholesome development of students is critical to student outcomes.CRISIL also evaluates the effectiveness of the teaching methodology adopted, because the mode of curriculum delivery is adecisive determinant of the students ability to learn and adopt management concepts.CRISIL also assesses the institutes initiatives in faculty development; these initiatives include sponsorship for externalfaculty development programmes, and tie-ups, if any, for faculty exchange programmes.Physical and learning infrastructureCRISIL examines the adequacy of the institutes infrastructure and its efficacy in complementing the teaching-learningprocess. The assessment factors in both the physical (brick and mortar) and learning infrastructure. CRISIL evaluates if theseresources are effectively utilised and maintained. The assessment of infrastructure includes the evaluation of the selfsufficiency of the campus, the adequacy of auxiliary, including information technology (IT) infrastructure, availability oflibrary (both physical and digital) resources to students and faculty, and the institutes commitment to enhancing thelearning infrastructure.CurriculumThe structure and delivery of curriculum is a key determinant of the quality of education imparted. The mode of curriculumdevelopment and efficacy of delivery methodology are assessed in detail. Given the increasingly global and competitivenature of todays workplace, CRISIL evaluates how effectively the programme sensitises students to cross-cultural issues,and to ethical and social responsibility. CRISIL believes that optimal delivery of academic curricula and support for non-academic activities are extremely important for the wholesome development of students. The importance attached toinitiatives such as extracurricular activities, competitions, and networking among students is, therefore, evaluated. Howeffectively the curriculum addresses industry requirements, the flexibility it offers to students to select electives forspecialisation, the regularity with which curriculum is updated, and the emphasis placed on practical learning are alsoassessed.Student outcomesStudent outcomes are a direct reflection of the institutes quality and excellence. CRISIL evaluates student outcomes as acombination of employability of students, recruiters satisfaction, support provided for entrepreneurial initiatives,extracurricular achievements, and contribution to the social sector. A programme that supports skill development andcareer guidance, in concurrence with academic skills, enhances the employability of students. CRISIL believes that it isimportant to provide leadership opportunity to students by creating an environment where students participate inclubs/committees, and are involved in decision making. Students participation in competitions and events that are notstrictly part of the curriculum enhances their ability to perform in a dynamic environment. CRISILs perspective on studentoutcomes is, therefore, not confined to placements - an obvious outcome of management education in India - but to a morecomprehensive view of academic and non-academic outcomes.Industry interfaceBusiness schools need to cultivate strong associations with industry in several key areas. These include inputs forcurriculum development and review, guest lectures, and focused discussions led by industry professionals, alumni
involvement in student selection and faculty development, placement opportunities for students, and support for researchactivity. The quality of the business schools interactions with industry will impact the quality of education it imparts. CRISIL,therefore, evaluates the ability and initiatives of the institute to connect with industry. CRISIL assesses a host of factors,including the quality of executive development programmes, hosting of and participation in industry seminars, andinvolvement of alumni body, that enable an institute to develop and maintain close connections with industry.ResearchResearch and development involve a diverse range of activities aimed at enhancing the institutes overall knowledge pool.Research focuses on knowledge creation, which is an important goal of educational institutions. CRISIL believes thatexcellence in research strongly boosts an institutes ability to attract funds, and high-quality faculty and students. CRISILlooks at investment in research, quality and quantum of research activities undertaken by the institute, and initiatives tofoster a culture of research. CRISIL team analyses the information provided by the business school The business school shares information with CRISIL in a pre-specified manner The business school requests CRISIL for a CRISIL team visits the grading campus and interacts with students, faculty, and THE management GRADING PROCESS CRISIL team communicates the grading, and provides CRISIL team also takes a detailed evaluation feedback from recruiters report and alumni CRISIL team prepares a detailed report and presents it to CRISILs grading committee CRISIL grading committee assigns the gradingThe grading process commences with the institute mandating CRISIL to conduct the grading exercise. CRISIL approachesthe institute for critical information necessary for the grading, which CRISILs analytical team analyses before visiting thecampus. CRISIL analysts then visit the business school campus and initiate discussions with members of the governing andacademic council, the programme director and coordinator, senior members of the faculty, non-teaching staff, andstudents as part of the grading exercise. CRISIL also seeks feedback from alumni and recruiters. CRISIL believes that such in-depth analysis of the institute is essential to optimally benchmark the programmes of the institute with those of its peers -both at the national and state level. Following these discussions and the information-validation exercise, CRISILs analyticalteam prepares a report based on which an independent committee assigns the grading to the mandated programme. Thegrading is then communicated and a detailed assessment report is sent to the institute.