EPGP’s Rise Into World’s Top 70 MBAs Finds No Mention At IIM B’s Convocation

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At IIM B’s 41st Convocation, the One Year MBA (EPGP), the institute’s only programme to have made a mark on the prestigious Financial Times Global MBA Ranking 2016, in which it broke into the Top 70 MBA programmes world-wide, was completely absent from the narrative. 

Kiran Majumdar Shaw, the Chairperson of IIM B spent considerable time on the institute’s achievements – big and small, speaking at IIM B’s 41st convocation. She talked of how the B-School was ranked in the Top 30 Masters in Management (MiM) programmes by FT, she talked of the FT executive education ranking awarded for part-time programmes. But she did not mention the One Year MBA’s meteoric rise in the Financial Times Global MBA Ranking.

IIM B’s One Year MBA (EPGP) rose a massive 20 ranks – from a 82 rank to a 62 rank in the Financial Times Global MBA ranking in 2016. FT’s Global MBA ranking is the among the most prestigious and comprehensive ranking of MBA courses and ranks the Top 100 MBA (top 1%) courses out of almost 10,000 MBA courses across the globe. Consequently, B-Schools consider a spot in the Top 100 a huge honour.

A student we spoke to said, “What happened was hurtful. This was a critical achievement that went unannounced. Despite the EPGP leading on all fronts – our placements are higher than that of PGP, our global ranking is as an MBA, not an MiM, our class is drawn from experienced professionals, not freshers – the course is getting step motherly treatment.”

Alongside this omission, the Chairperson’s speech also missed on critical details about the MiM ranking gained by the institute. She said, “IIMB has also been ranked among the Top 30 Business Schools in the world on the Financial Times’ prestigious Masters in Management Rankings for 2015.” What did she miss? The fact that FT ranked IIM B’s pre-experience two-year Post Graduate Programme in the MiM ranking – and not in the MBA ranking. MiM’s are courses for students with 0-3 years work-ex – but IIM B claims the PGP programme is an MBA level programme.

The Director Sushil Vachani, also did not clarify these aspects in his speech.

Why was EPGP’s success on FT’s Global MBA Ranking and FT’s bench-marking of the two-year PGP as an MiM skipped?

Speaking anonymously, an IIM B student told us,  “IIM B does not want to disturb the status quo – in popular imagination the two-year course is an MBA and the MiM ranking for PGP and MBA ranking for EPGP would raise some uncomfortable questions. Questions they probably don’t want to address because it could affect the brand of the two-year programme.”

Another student we spoke to felt this was part of a larger issue – “What happened was hurtful. This was a critical achievement that went unannounced. Despite the EPGP leading on all fronts – our placements are higher than that of PGP, our global ranking is as an MBA, not an MiM, our class is drawn from experienced professionals, not freshers – the course is getting step motherly treatment.”

Another student we spoke to however had a different view. She said, “Not wanting to admit that IIM B’s One Year MBA course does not figure in the world’s top 10-20 courses could be the reason behind the omission. For IIM B it could be embarrassing that while its PGP does not qualify in the MBA ranking, its One Year course is still sometime away from a top slot in the ranking – this flies in the face of the perception within India that IIM B is as one of top B-Schools globally. 

Seen in the context of the comments made by students, IIM B Director Sushil Vachani’s speech comes across as ironical. Speaking at the convocation, the Director said, “You can, and must, confront norms that have become entrenched and hold us back as a society, such as corruption or discrimination. You have an obligation to help those who are less advantaged, and help level the playing field for those who are powerless. Whether you work in corporate India, or start your own venture, or focus on advocacy in an NGO, or opt for public service with the government, you have the power to change the culture and norms that provide or deny opportunities, that promote or deter equality, that enhance or suppress freedom, and that make us a stronger or weaker nation.”

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