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Management Education - Need For Innovation

By Prof. Arya Kumar, Director, Lal Bahadur Shastri Institute of Management, New Delhi | Friday, 23 Jun 2017, 05:11 IST

The Indian higher education system is the third largest in the world in terms of numbers, after China and the United States. There has been an unprecedented growth in number of universities, colleges as well as enrollment in higher education system particularly during last one and a half decade. Large number of private institutions entered into education sector- having short term perspective. In tune with the growth in general education, management education system also grew at extraordinary pace during last one and a half decade.

There has been extraordinary growth in number of institutions imparting management education which has increased from 2614 in 2006-07 to 3451 in 2015-16, resulting in an average growth rate of 3.13%. However it had touched a peak of 3865 institutions in 2012-13; implying that net of new institutions has resulted closure of large number of institutions during the last four-five years. It is a matter of deep concern that 260 colleges imparting MBA and PGDM have been closed during last four years i.e. from 2012-13 onwards. The main reason for the closure of the institutions is employability of graduates coming from majority of the institutions has come to a big question mark. 
The areas in which there is a need to come out with policy perspective at macro level and innovations at institutional level are quality and excellence with perspective wherein educational institutions need to fully get integrated with the world of work across sectors. 

Quality and Excellence- Management Education
With a rapid expansion in terms of number of institutions and enrollment, especially, during last one and a half decade, the greatest set-back and challenge that has arisen is the issue of ensuring quality and excellence in management education. Amongst the three, Indian Institute of Management-Ahmadabad tops the list with being 24th best B-school globally, followed by Indian School of Business-Hyderabad (29th) and Indian Institute of Management-Bangalore (62). 

Some of the crucial challenges for achieving excellence in management education and creating institutions with world standards would require innovations in the following areas are relevance of management education wherein the course curricula in general are outdated. Introduction of new areas of specialization and courses is very slow and the greatest challenge for management education is the integration and linkage with industry. There is a need for great interdependency between industry and academia to improve the relevance of management education in curricula development, pedagogy of teaching, new course offerings ahead of time, training to prospective graduates, and involvement of professionals from industry in teaching, and involving young minds (students) in contributing to come out with innovative solutions to problems faced by industry. Secondly, there is a need for innovations in teaching /learning process. To build world class institutions, Indian management education institutions need to continuously innovate, so as to impart relevant education whereby needs of the corporate world and other sectors of the economy are well catered, while providing gainful employment to passing out students. 

Some of the key areas of innovations in teaching/learning process are:
1) Curriculum development " A new approach to curriculum design and development has to focus on developing students" capabilities and competencies to make triplization i.e. individual, local and global for their own learning and development. Therefore, the curriculum design and development has to be futuristic and to ensure that it maximizes development opportunities for students' learning. 

2) Pedagogy for Active Learning and Wisdom - The outdated and outmoded method of teaching pedagogy emphasizes and focuses on delivering subject knowledge and skills to students. The emphasis is on students' learning as a disciplinary, receiving, and mingling process and fundamentally involves close supervision and regulation during the learning process. Against this, the new pedagogy has to focus on Facilitating Self Learning that should ensure students' learning as a self-actualizing, discovering, experimenting, experiencing, contemplative and introspective learning. 

3) Participative and Experiential Learning - Effective group learning focuses on student as a center and focal point. The students share an overall common experience along with their own experiences as a resource with each other. There is active involvement in discussion and activities. There is an internalization of learning because of self-experience. Group as a whole and each participating student mutually share their insights and resources in learning from each other. 

In case management institutions in India have to survive and grow in future and become world class institutions, they need to be highly innovative to continuously improve the quality of management education, so as to make it relevant and purposive at individual, local and global context. 

Prof. Arya Kumar
He had served as Dean Student Welfare Division and Chief Entrepreneurship Development & IPR Unit BITS, Pilani prior to joining LBSIM. He was also coordinating the activities of Alumni Affairs Division, Technology Business Incubator and Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership at BITS, Pilani. He has been honoured with distinguished faculty award by BITSAA International in 2011, Global Excellence Award for Outstanding Contribution to Management Education - 2012 by Management Teachers Consortium (MTC) and Entrepreneurship Educator and Mentor Special Jury Award for promotion of Entrepreneurship Education by National Entrepreneurship Network, Ministry of Skill and Entrepreneurship Development, British Council and Intel in 2015. 

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