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Monday, January 28, 2008

Major achievement in higher education in India

The Financial Times ranking of global MBA programs places ISB at #20 in the world. I believe this is the first time an Indian MBA program has made it into a good rank by world standards. (There is no other Indian MBA program in the top 100). I also suspect this is the first time an Indian university has figured with a decent rank in any global ranking (is that correct?).

This achievement reminds us of how a radical break with the past - i.e. internal mechanisms which look more like international universities and less like Indian universities - can yield major success in six short years. I think ISB features very important institutional innovations that should be increasingly transplanted into other Indian universities.


  1. IISc featured in top 30 in recent past. TIFR has become deemed university recently. It is also highly regarded insitute.

  2. Despite all this, the education system is not going great guns.The SMS and other disrupted form of communication is making the picture more adverse for the education seekers.
    The no of Students knowing the exact spelling and thence pronunciation is getting lesser and lesser.
    So the need of the hour is to improve the quality of primary and secondary school education, which is getting worser and worser..

  3. I get a feeling that its more due to the presence of Wharton , Kellog etc in the board rather than anything else.

    I have read an article saying that the IIM's do not train the students in certain analytic tools required management. But inspite of that , dont you think IIMs should have there in the top 50 ( if not top 25) ?.

    - Vivek

  4. Anonymous,

    Wharton/Kellogg/etc. aren't just on the board. ISB is extensively using faculty members from the top schools of the world. Some of them are of Indian origin (i.e., they are NRIs), while others are not.

    Wharton/Kellogg/etc. on the board help in terms of ensuring that world class practices are brought into the operations of the institutions. ISB does things routinely and effortlessly which are considered heretical in traditional Indian universities. And that is of essence.

    Is ISB's success somehow tarnished because it was done using foreign or NRI workers or consultants? I would think not. If you had to build a world-beating organisation, if recruiting foreign/NRI staff or consultants was the way to get it done, you should do so!

    We are seeing a lot of expats being recruited as employees at the top layers of Indian firms or as consultants to these firms. Universities should be no different.

  5. It is notable that the ISB does not have official recognition from the useless bureaucrats in the UGC and AICTE in Delhi who supposedly 'regulate' tertiary education in India. It is partly the freedom from babu control that has allowed the ISB to experiment and adapt to meet the changing demands of the market. The market obviously thinks it is a good institution since its graduates get very good offers. This is the example for others to follow. Stop wasting time meeting the official criteria for government accreditation and focus on the market. Prospective students care more about what future employers may think than what type of stupid restrictions the government has imposed on the institution.

  6. This is a truly a major achievement. Freedom from government control (read AICTE) ,political oppurtunism and thinking out of the box has caused ISB to achive this.

    Hopefully this gets copied into other streams (Engineering, Medical, Law etc)

  7. But their is another dimension to this issue . Think of some colleges like "santosh nagar university" and similar stuff, where students from far off places join , just lured by infrastructure or claims made by the college. In that case students may need a guiding mechanism--- i see this something like need for a rating agency (rating IPO's). After all career is like investment itself. While no doubt ISB is a gem, but it is an exception as well and policies cannot be formed on the basis of exceptions i suppose. As long as we do not have a market driven solution, government is still providing that service (i know that quality of the same is not good though).


  8. Hello,

    I am a current student of ISB and just wish to share my opinion.
    I feel that ISB is really a great institute. Being tought in normal Indian institutes, before coming here, I never expected that quality of teaching could be so good.

    e.g. I studied financial
    engineering from a Harvard Professor who is a former Goldman Sachs trader and a also a MD of his own $2 billion asset management company. I studied Statistics from a Wharton professor who also runs a successful consulting company.

    A lot of vising and resident faculty who are NRI are mostly IIT+IIM+ PHD's from universities like stanford etc.

    Most of the faculty that teaches here also undertakes premium executive programs the cost of each of which is in lakhs.

    Where else could one get similar level of education in Asia.

    The infrastructure at ISB is also great.

    Almost everything in ISB has really surpassed my expectations.

  9. Well one has to really congradulate the staff and students of ISB for this achievement.
    After going through the methodology i learnt that Weightage accorded to variables related to Faculty and Research comprises not more than 25 out of total 100.
    No doubt ISB would have scored high on these factors related to faculty and Research but going by methodology this alone would not have ensured the high ranking of ISB.The contribution ISB has made to the career growth of its students has significantly enabled it to climb the ladder in this ranking.
    But I am sceptical in calling it a premier Institute because number of visiting faculty outnumber its permanent faculty.Many of the permanent faculty in ISB are Asst.Profesors who have recently graduated from doctoral school,few of these quit their job in ISB after couple of years of working there.ISB also does not have a doctoral program and its post doctoral program has not placed the graduates in the same league as the people who teach at ISB.Finally almost all the highly ranked MBA programs of world including those of partners of ISB offer two year MBA program but the program at ISB is compressed into one year with this it more looks like executive program rather than conventional MBA program.There should be something missing in this one year program else why are not other BSchools adopting this model.

    If its all about about money then ISB surely deserves this spot but if its about academic output then it is far behind.(I would not count publication of visiting faculty at ISB at ISB's own)

  10. thats really a great news for us... but i thought iims are best in india... can u tell me where do they stand in world rank

  11. It is nice to know about that major achievement has been made. Thanks for share this info to us.....


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