Shyam's Slide Share Presentations


This article/post is from a third party website. The views expressed are that of the author. We at Capacity Building & Development may not necessarily subscribe to it completely. The relevance & applicability of the content is limited to certain geographic zones.It is not universal.


Saturday, July 30, 2011

Academy or Aca-Dummy

Academy or Aca-Dummy

You are an Educational Institute alright, but…
Are you an Academy or an Aca-Dummy?
I feel, we have more of the latter…..

A few years back I had written an article, which was a comparative study between the two of the world’s most famous B-Schools in the world “Harvard Vs Wharton a comparative study”It is all about how an educational institution has to be, & the parameters and the metrics, against which the institutions have to be evaluated. 

United States, which has some of the best educational Institutions also has a swarm of pedestrian institutions, which survive on the revenue generated by the international students mostly from India. the closure of some of such institutions is putting the students who take huge student loans from Banks back home into a very unfortunate situation. There is no strong legislation in USA to severely punish the Bankrupt universities.

Even the State Universities are facing great strain on account of reduction of teaching staff due to heavy cuts in the funding by the Governments. The Florida State University's example is glaring, where it had to close down its computer science department due to drastic cut in funding by the Governor. Many other state Universities in more or less in similar situation. Quality teaching staff are  either moving towards greener pastures in Research projects partially or completely. The other fact that is discouraging the students from pursuing higher education is the steep rise in cost of education. According to the reliable stats. the cost of education has gone up by 550 % since 1985. this  has  not only resulted in the decline in admissions but has also contributed to heavy increase in dropout rates.

Furthermore, the leadership structure of the universities is ill-fitted for the pursuit of excellence and knowledge production. While talking on the higher education systems around the world, Prof. Stephen Heyneman made an excellent point explaining the difference between top ranking American universities and the universities in developing nations. The leadership structure in top ranking American university is very conducive for continuous pursuit of excellence. The board of visitors (mainly, donors and alumni) appoint the president of the university on contract-bases and pay them hundreds of thousands of dollars. In order to get that job, the highly-skilled candidates have to present institutional goals and action plans for the same – how the institution will achieve and maintain excellence, how will the resources be generated and how all stake-holders will be taken on board etc. Therefore, from the day one, the president has a mission and s/he is highly accountable. On the other hand, the appointment of Vice-Chancellors in most of the Indian universities is based on political loyalties and personal influences. There is no vision presented for the institutional growth; and there is hardly any accountability. As long as the system runs without much media outrage (possibly on corruption, lack of governance, or more serious criminal charges) and the political equations are in balance, the vice-chancellor can survive.
In total, neither the institution leaders nor the faculty members face any negative consequences for not contributing to the knowledge production.

(Bill Gates read and reviewed "That Used to Be Us", a new book on how to strengthen America's economic competitiveness. Bill sat down with co-author Thomas Friedman for a probing conversation about the vitally important issues raised by the book.) View the Video Here

On the brighter side of course is the joint venture by Harvard & MIT to impart Free Online education to students worldwide. The platform named Edx has received record number of registration from students worldwide.This project is expected to go a long way in addressing the education problem. The happy news is that they intend to invite other leading Universities in the world also to use their platform to impart online. And everything is absolutely free. View More Information Here

A look at India Scenario.

Of course we could also do the same comparison between the great institutions in India, unfortunately the data available is not sufficient for carrying out a full analysis on all the relevant parameters. Some rankings that are being carried by the highly respected magazines are honest no doubt, but they lack the in-depth analysis. Even that is viewed by a very few parents. Usually the parents fall for the high claims made by the institutions in their ads. Hardly any institution is asked to substantiate its claims with documents.

Don't we need a set of highly demanding parents to make the institutions more responsible in their thought and actions???

Parents, who spend huge amounts for their children’s Technical or management education, do not demand an equitable ROI (Return on Investment) on their precious investments. We feel highly blessed if the institution promises campus recruitment & keeps promise. Is a job, any job, with any salary, a solution? When there is an investment, there has to be a proportionate return. Even the jobs offered do not materialize for quite some time. Aspirants are indefinitely put on bench by the corporates.

Who is to be blamed?? Of course the Academic institutions.
How???  Let us analyze.

A recent report by  The National Employability Report of Engineering Graduates done by Aspiring Minds. presents a very deplorable picture.

While a dismal 3.51 per cent are appropriately trained to be directly deployed on projects. Only 2.68 per cent are employable in IT product companies, which require greater understanding of computer science and algorithms, according to the National Employability Report of Engineering Graduates done by Aspiring Minds. View the complete article Here

The Institutions feel secure the moment they are able to get some organizations for campus drive. This ensures for them the admissions in accordance with their capacity. This also makes them complacent, and the management is reluctant to invest money to improve the quality of content, imparting, quality of the faculty.

Let us analyze as to what is the % of PhDs among the faculty in the technical and management colleges???  Ideal   % in top B-Schools & under Grad Schools (Engineering colleges) in USA is 60%. This excludes of course the IVY League Institutions where the % is still higher.

In India 10 to 15 % is considered ideal in Management & Engineering. Rules are there of course; however contravention is more a practice than compliance. Here again of course there are exceptions as University campuses and some institutions of repute follow the norms religiously, judiciously, and zealously. Yeah, but they are not in majority.

However when it comes to qualifications in teaching, you hardly have faculty with qualifications in teaching or education. While in most of the schools, a degree or diploma in teaching is needed for selection as a teacher, no such requirement is needed for becoming a lecturer in a professional college.

You mostly have B.Techs teaching B.Techs or MBAs teaching MBAs in the majority of the Academic Institutions. The institutions have genuine financial constraints. Probably the funds generated cannot give the management the luxury of hiring more qualified teaching staff. These result in lower quality of imparting, lower caliber of the students, lower starting salaries, resulting in lower Brand Equity, lower revenue generation, lower bottom lines, and again a heap of constraints.

There is an urgent need for the Academic Institutions to come out of this vicious cycle. There is an urgent need for them to create a niche for themselves in the education scenario.

This is possible by working to increase the brand equity of the institutions. This is possible when there is an improvement in the quality of imparting, imparters, & the content. You need to make an investment for the future. The results will speak for  themselves. The institutions can reposition themselves, move to the next level & compete with the best.

What we have now is a lot of chaff with a very small quantity of grain. We need a quality winnowing process to separate the chaff from the grain. And a time bound process to transform the chaff into grain.

Now, as far as the job front is concerned, the situation is encouraging globally. It is sweet music to hear organizations speaking about recruitments and expansion. In India the situation was never bad even during the infamous global recession. According to Government sources, during the period 2000-2007, more than 200 million jobs were generated in India. Presently the government of India feels that annually 10 million jobs can be generated every year. Apart from this, government feels that an additional 20 million jobs can be created annually in the labor intensive sectors like agriculture, tourism and other segments.

In ranking an institution, what we need to consider is the return on the investment for the student .The essential parameters should be the Starting pay package. Career growth, the longevity of the job, and the % relevance of the knowledge gained in the institution in job application. There are large media houses with the capacity and resources to do this exercise. They should use the available technology to conduct research and surveys with healthy sample sizes and ensure that the report is available, accessible, and helpful for parents in selecting the best institutions suitable for their children.

We find it gratifying that my articles on education are getting very good and positive response from the Academia, the Industry, students and the people in general both on our CBD blog wikiHow.

Encouraged by this, we have decided a platform for knowledge sharing, where we will feature information regarding the Academia, the Industry,& people]s take on the  education. Apart from the articles written by Shyam on education, we will also feature article by famous management gurus. Case studies from the leading management libraries.

The rich resources we have access to, from many important organizations will be shared on social media platforms for the benefit of everyone.

Aptly christened   “Knowledge – Korridor”, The corridor will showcase the best from the best sources.The “Knowledge – Korridor” still in the early stages of evolution has already has interesting content from some of the best Institutions of the world.

Let us look forward to happy boding for the Institution, Industry, & more importantly for students

Best wishes,


My other well read and well accepted articles.

No comments:

Post a Comment