Studies In PG Education

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Studies in why Indian managent training institutes get marginalized. Mushrooming growth of new generation institutes is making this activity vulnerable. Some thoughts on it..

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Studies In PG Education

  1. 1. Studies about scenario in case of marginal Professional Educational Institutes ( MBA ) by TankSolutions  Professional Education Institutes ( PEI ) existence and growth is development linked national need.  Professional graduates are expected to deliver growing value addition in any field.  PEIs are responsible for developing the most important resource – the Human Resource.  They also contribute to the Human Social Capital essential for social well being.  Therefore, they should have ability for market driven sustainable growth.  Economical and employment growth volumes are expected to be more than ever witnessed.  There is need for fundamental change in thinking behind educational growth to be relevant.  PEI must be in a position to reinvest for the desired growth through revenue/surplus growth.  PEIs should plan growth avenues to boost operating surplus consistently for reinvesting.  With reengineering and reinvesting alone PEIs can remain relevant, reinvent themselves, will be more in demand in the markets they operate.  Such PEIs will never age, on the contrary with growing age they will possess vast intellectual capital, they will attract good faculty and administrative manpower.  They will have good reputation and brand values.  Otherwise they will get marginalized.  Such managements will always be comfortable in any given situation.  Such institutes will always be in sellers market and will have the pricing power to generate more revenues and surpluses.  Operating surplus is a function of laws of demand and supply and a value chain consisting of below mentioned variable factor sets.  In these three functional areas PEIs need to have a strategic focus enabling them to acquire and deploy requisite skills.  This will also help to create positively helpful operating environment to remain in a seller’s market and achieve the potential operating surplus.  Being connected with professional education institutes must demonstrate they practice what they preach and teach to the aspiring managers. 1. Demand side management – to create a brand in the employment market. This requires course and teaching suitability considering existing and emerging market needs; along with employability skills. 2. Process side management – for content development, facilities, faculties, innovative methods and technologies. Management of ancillary services - hostel, canteens, cultural and sports activities, extra curricular activities. Process management needs to be synchronized with the demand side requirements. 3. Intake side management - Intake for professional schools like MBA is mostly heterogeneous. For MBA like course there are no confirmatory tests like software, engineering or medical disciplines. This tempts more wishful students for such education and many a times affects performance. There is need to handle uneven preparedness of student intake with proper motivation.
  2. 2. Studies about scenario in case of marginal Professional Educational Institutes ( MBA ) by TankSolutions  These 3 aspects are closely interrelated and depending upon the management effectiveness either they create a virtuous circle or a vicious circle.  In virtuous circle there is natural growth which increases the institution’s brand value.  In vicious circle it is just opposite. In the field of management education the rule is ‘quality of intake students mainly determines employability of off take.’  Spoon feeding is not the ‘higher education’, so also the bookish knowledge.  Institutional emphasis is to enable students to be self directed learners. Enabling to think out of books / box is the real objective.  Different topics, study materials, curriculum and specialization provide contextual learning agenda.  Faculty and technology are supposed to provide knowledge access and delivery.  Graduation studies are expected to take them near to finer learning skills and effective ways to use the skills in real life situations.  Working Papers, Question Answers, Group Discussions, Seminars are ways to simulating the real life challenges.  Aptitude tests indicate views about absorption skills and self learning abilities.  Indicators need to be confirmed by quality and rigorous efforts for employability.  The entrance tests are supposed to screen the student potentials.  Bypassing requisite tests cause loss of PG focus. Faculty works with less prepared intake.  Superfluous aptitude test skills do not help students in effective self learning.  Such students, even after getting through the exams, extend their struggle in future life.  Institute specific conditions/ policies fill classrooms for short term advantages, compromise brand value and threaten the long term health.  Process and intake side policies compromise the basic objectives of the institute.  Students unconcerned/unprepared about the usable knowledge compromises their future.  In this process they also negatively affect ‘college reputation’.  Faculty does deliver the knowledge and libraries do not lack the knowledge books; but knowledge and skills absorption by student becomes detrimental.  The vicious circle begins where majority of students compromise their future.  To transform a vicious circle into virtuous circle intake side policies is the right place.  Good students are more demanding. They can extract good from faculty.  The institute’s positive responses help make things best.  Learning is a partnership and as a senior partner institute needs to take practical initiative.  The test of cake lies in being happy after having eaten it. The Pricing Power – corollary of the brand value These discussions are applicable where (1) institutes are operating in buyers market or (2) they want to do better than what they are. In both the cases the pricing power of the institute is not absolute and is resisted by student’s side. The
  3. 3. Studies about scenario in case of marginal Professional Educational Institutes ( MBA ) by TankSolutions competition keeps pricing power in check. Willingness to pay Institutes's pricing power is countered on student’s side by ‘willingness to pay’. Concessions are pleaded and this has nothing to do with the student/ parent’s ‘ability to pay’. In buyers market institutes have much to loose; their revenues and surpluses are threatened with lower capacity occupation. The willingness to pay is exclusively a result of student and his family’s perception ( views and understanding ) about a. student’s potentials and determination due to self doubts and past lower academic performances. b. institute’s comparative lower reputation or brand values ,and c. collective ability of student and institute to achieve a positive improvement in student’s potentials. The perception is a result of reputation relating to various success parameter/achievements and prevails as an image – a sum total of various expressed or unexpressed opinions. It is abundantly studied in special branch Economics called ‘Behavioral Economics’  The Web sites, broachers, catalogs and advertisement campaigns inform PEI capabilities.  They rarely create a desired impact on opinions that create the reputation or brand values. Creating positive impact is a long term process supported by performance trend.  All factors mentioned above ( Demand, Process and Intake side management ) build reputation. Promise to deliver positive advantages to heterogeneous students, is a probability.  Numerous variables, including student and family perceptions always attract discount factor.  Students always know how much knowledge and skills they can absorb habitually.  Improvements in knowledge absorption rate, over the existing habits, due to PG teaching methods and technology cannot be anticipated easily; this complicates the perceptions.  Students want to take a chance even when they are not fully prepared for the rigorous learning. Such students are open for wider possibilities and their ambitions are governed by self doubt.  Such applicants want to optimize the price for such unclear possibilities.  Strong and erroneous perceptions keeps no scope for change in perceptions.  PEI’s pricing power is the casualty – it undergoes different negotiating ways.  It is not uncommon to see such people spending lavishly on matters of their choice/convenience.  Ability to reinvest for sustainability and growth through surplus is partly affected by such perceptions. Processes reengineering and PEI repositioning in the market is essential to demonstrate leadership and management determination to change the fundamentals for long term advantages. Much advertised missions always talk of noble goals, but mission accomplishments are far behind. Lot of information about these is buried in the record rooms, files, hard disks and minds of the people. The fact that despite this the problems exist or something is found missing is that the data does not get transformed in
  4. 4. Studies about scenario in case of marginal Professional Educational Institutes ( MBA ) by TankSolutions knowledge and whatever efforts are being taken are not driven by that knowledge. Same applies to the emerging trends in market, academia world over. For all marginal PEIs regulatory compliance is the only priority. All such feedback is not readily available as rarely it is a matter of public discussions. In our exposure to the industries during last 30 years, we had opportunities to study performance of number of managers / executives/ owners and organizations. Most common causes for expectations / performance gaps were (1) inadequacy of knowledge and inability to monitor root causes (2) lack of focus on total situation to interpret it defining problems for satisfactory solutions (3) inability to form virtual team for handling peculiar situation (4) shying away from responsibilities due to fear of failure. Yet so many changes have taken place in this period. Our feedback source has been various MSMEs which have more observations to add. Despite comparable education many of management graduates were unable to deliver useful that was expected. In last decade we started interacting with MBA students, teachers, industrialists, engineering graduates and slowly the situation started unfolding. Major negative factors have entered in the scenario after explosion of PEI and growing competition. Many management schools find it difficult to keep pace with the changing trends and competition. Slowly they started finding themselves in buyers market and moving into vicious circles. After prolonged studies we find the indications why these things happen. Real life studies alone can lead to institution sensitive hard and relevant conclusions. Same applies to PEIs. Many businesses get locked into their old and glorious images and remain out of the mainstream - a marginalization in the market. To prevent marginalization and achieve a competitive edge for next 5/6 years to come is a project, which needs to be handled with the people who are willing to own the responsibility and success after reengineering and repositioning efforts. We have narrowed down the meaningful ways and means for such project and process. For any such initiative today there is immense need for statistically analyzed insight about various symptoms and diagnostic factors so that they can lead to institute specific strategic solution options. It is essential to remember that no one can build the future with convictions about the yesterday’s solutions. For us performance analysis to understand the dynamics and its demands and search of solution options is a regular activity. This study is a corollary of our plans to go in for corporate training. This report is extension of the plan related research. Following is the structure of study report about PEIs in 2009. 1) Introduction and approach towards the study a) Demand side issues b) Resource facilities and process issues c) Intake side issues (students and preparedness) d) Viability of campus operations 2) The present scenario 2009 a) Indian demand, supply and institutional approach b) Global demand, supply and institutional approach 3) Board of Studies and Faculty – growing and dynamic role 4) Administration and support functions 5) Indicative objectives before management schools 6) Short term, mid term and long term ways and means of reengineering / repositioning 7) Emerging scenario in following 3 to 8 years with suitable transitory requirements, requiring major shift in concept of management education access/delivery management. 8) In addition to this we would like to state here that we can conduct campus and curriculum wise cost benefit
  5. 5. Studies about scenario in case of marginal Professional Educational Institutes ( MBA ) by TankSolutions analysis wherein we will be in a position to suggest and correlate the improvement options already covered in our complete report. Leaders in management education fields all over the world are focusing on enhancing their student handling capacity by multiples of 15-20, yet they plan to reduce their recurring costs as much as 50+% and reinvest the savings for new methods and technologies. The suggestions discussed in the report are targeted towards reengineering of the all processes for increasing the brand value of PEIs in the minds of prospective students, present students, society in general, employers and recruiters in general. These studies are adequately supported by successful case studies and they demonstrate that achieving the required changes is possible and there are dependable ways for it..  This study and its particulars highlight major areas of which need change.  Well prepared and institute/ campus specific reengineering plans need to be worked out.  Once done, the efforts will definitely be productive in the medium and long term provided.  The success will depend upon how deeply the concepts are understood and proper environment for implementation is created.  In majority of cases the results will not be related to the concept in itself but its customization, priorities and whole hearted implementation.  As an integral part of this study we have prepared an exhaustive question bank to enable the PEI to build up, study and analyze the multidimensional feedback statistically.  This feedback will provide the insight for reengineering various processes.  Designed feedback system is best alternative for infrequent and situation triggered queries, feedback and solutions.  All the questions in the question bank are duly connected with objectives and ways & means.  All questions are classified on different parameters (at present two).  The rationale behind the question and matrix for expected answers is provided.  With this PEI will be in a position the weigh the answers statistically to define the problems situations more objectively, decide importance and priorities for corrective actions.  We will provide the prototype of the analysis report and conclusions as a part of report. The management may select the question so as to suit the survey methodology, time available and cost consideration. We suggest institute to decide how such surveys should be conducted (1) internally by institute staff (2) externally by some agency trained for this. Training the surveyors, with this plan, will be our responsibility. Considering the number of students in a given campus, the management should define the sample size and selection criterions. It is our studied opinion that successive feedback on all segments and components with a predetermined interval will define the total situation, successive such surveys can refine the first one. However, it is very much certain that the changes that are taking place in this field need suitable responses.  The question bank will mostly remain valid for next five years.  We will be taking periodic review of the total contents and will add and change the questions, answer parameters and values.  The basic intention is to have a total picture before the institute managements to facilitate corrective responses based on such picture.
  6. 6. Studies about scenario in case of marginal Professional Educational Institutes ( MBA ) by TankSolutions At the end of second round of surveys, if conducted religiously and in an unbiased manner the reengineering process may lead to advantages in following areas  Improvement in Customer (transitory and ultimate) satisfaction  Standardization of enrolment and admissions procedures  Demonstrable improvement in quality of teaching, overall performance and employability  Reduction in cost of operation  Improved response time  Improved efficiency  Improved control on the operations  Improved Curriculum flexibility  Improved Brand Values It will take such school to higher and commanding position in the market space. Questionnaire Spread linked to objectives and ways & means In addition to this we have also prepared a questionnaire for administration and services staff. This will highlight administration’s role in mission compliance and alignment with the top management’s views. This is important as much of the impressions are generated through interaction with administration personnel, they have role in utility of infrastructure for the intended beneficiaries, productivity of resources and economics of the activities. Prakash Tanksale September 2009

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