New Delhi: As management education in India continues to evolve, leading B-schools are opting for international accreditation to improve their brands and pedagogy, fuel exchange programmes and increase international relations.
Asia is increasingly being viewed as the next management hub, and within the continent India is emerging as a key player due to the rising importance of its economy, liberalization of education, and corporate endorsement in higher education, say industry experts and education entrepreneurs.
Indian B-schools are opting for three kinds of global accreditations—the British-promoted Association of MBAs (AMBA), the European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS) and the American AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business).
Last week, the Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad, got AACSB accreditation, the first South Asian B-school to get this. In November, the Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow, got AMBA recognition.
While AMBA is given to courses and programmes, the other two take into account the overall aspect of a school, including infrastructure, governance and coursework.
“It took us almost one year to get AMBA accreditation,” said Sanjay K. Singh, a professor at IIM-Lucknow. “As Indian education opens up, foreign institutes will come home and domestic institutes will go abroad. Here, international accreditation helps. It improves your brand image for sure,” he added.
AMBA has accorded accreditation to IIM-Lucknow’s PGPM (postgraduate programme in management), IPMX (international programme in management for executives), and WMP (working managers’ programme), the institute says on its website. The accreditation has been awarded for five years beginning November.
Suresh Advani, a professor and in-charge of international relations at Mumbai-based SP Jain Institute of Management and Research (SPJIMR), said the school’s international exchange programme has gone up significantly since it got AMBA accreditation in 2010.
“Earlier, we had two student and faculty exchange agreements but was almost ineffective. Now we have eight operational exchanges, three twining programmes with leading foreign B-schools,” he said.
An international accreditation implies a level of governance structure, curricula, placement record, pedagogy and research background, among other things. “While the institute gets good collaborations and a better brand name, students benefit from better exposure, international exchanges and, of course, a further better placement,” Advani explained.
Ajit Rangnekar, dean of ISB, said foreign accreditations will help Indian management schools strengthen their global standing and raise the quality of Indian education.
“We are confident that this recognition will translate into increased interest by the international community comprising of faculty, students and recruiters, and help us chart Asia’s and India’s growth as the global management education hub,” Rangnekar said in a statement.
Other Indian B-schools that have got international accridiations include the IIMs at Kozhikode, Ahmedabad and Bangalore, and the Management Development Institute, Gurgaon.
Several other institutes have applied for these accreditations. “If you want to improve your standing, such accreditation help a lot. We have applied for AACSB accreditation,” said Anand Rai, vice-president of the New Delhi-based IILM Institute of Higher Education.
H. Chaturvedi, director, Birla Institute of Management Technology, too, is eager for an international accreditation, as this, he said, can introduce diversity into classrooms by bringing foreign students and faculties.