November 27, 2010

Higher Education & Global Education in India

We still await the government green signal to entry of global education organisations into India. Once they arrive it would sure change the domestic market dynamics as happened in other sectors like electronics & auto etc. Its time that local education organisations prepare for the battle ahead. Once global competition hits services sector in India the customers can look forward to mush better quality & availability of services.The professional education sector would be particularly hit hard initially unless they pull up their socks in right earnest.

Firstly the quality of the service has to be improved. That would involve putting together good faculty, content, pedagogy/andragogy, technology, & interactivity besides building and official approvals. Good quality faculty is certainly in short supply therefore this has to be managed strategically through guest or part time faculty route. First of all the promoters must allow the directors/principals some little role in the functioning of the institute. Current scenario in the privately run universities & institutes is very serious with as most,perhaps all, the directors/principals are appointed for AICTE/UGC purpose only. Its a pity that so called leading academicians accept such jobs with high flown pragmatism & prudence. Otherwise its sick.

Content & delivery in classroom needs to be looked at very closely. We have talk down one way  method of teaching with no interaction at all. The faculty must take prepared content into the class and allow free discussions. The content must be updated & must reflect the present technical/managerial status of the fields under study. Fundamentals of the disciplines must be introduced to the students. For example MBA students must be informed about the real macro industry profile of India so that they can appreciate the nature of work opportunities available. Same could be done for the global markets.

Most students seek professional education not because they have aptitude for it and they want to pursue study of that field, most students are forced to join professional education for the sole aim of finding a job. What an institute can do? In the short run, focus on developing the students' aptitude as far as possible in the current field of study and in the long run the institute could make aptitude test a compulsory requirement for admission.

Higher education organisations do not have to restrict themselves to proximity criteria for student enrollments, i would recommend that such firms must vigorously focus on complimentary markets for growth. This would require creating a central admissions team that takes care of all students enrollments in a strategic manner.

Marketing would have to be the cornerstone of success in any scenario. An education enterprise that works on its marketing would benefit hugely. A tailored marketing campaigned would be needed to weather the churning after mushroom growth. Different institutes would have to develop & adopt  a suitable strategy for attracting students & delivering value to the customers for success in the competitive market.

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