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Article from Tribune on evolution of ISB --

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Article from Tribune on evolution of ISB -- [#permalink] New post 14 Jan 2008, 02:13
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I live in the Windy City and saw this in the Tribune...interesting how the ISB is avoiding the the quotas. Could more schools be on the way?

WORLD
World class fits for new India school
Northwestern among foreign partners of MBA program
By Laurie Goering

Tribune foreign correspondent

8:54 AM CST, January 13, 2008

HYDERABAD, India

When Aarti Kothari decided she needed a top-quality MBA to further her career, her choices at first weren't encouraging.

In a country suffering a dramatic shortage of placements for college students, the nation's best business school, the Indian Institute of Management, had more than a hundred applicants for each seat. Lesser programs, strapped for resources, offered degrees of questionable value. Going overseas was an option but only if she could find the nearly $100,000 it would take to pay for a leading U.S. business school degree.

So Kothari, a 26-year-old New Delhi journalist and economics graduate, was thrilled to win a spot at the Indian School of Business, a venture backed by Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management, the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, the London Business School and McKinsey & Co., a management consulting group.

Today she and 424 other Indian students study for their master's in business administration under visiting professors from Kellogg and other top business schools at a state-of-the-art facility in this booming southern Indian city that is home to many technology ventures. Such foreign-supported campuses, many believe, may be one answer to an educational crisis that threatens to hold back India's ambitions to become a world economic power.

The Indian School of Business "is definitely not an Indian school," said Kothari, strolling past sleek classrooms full of students giving PowerPoint presentations. "I'm studying in world-class infrastructure with world-class professors."

India, with its booming service economy but lagging higher-education system, has one of the biggest gaps in the world between the number of skilled college graduates needed to fill jobs and the nation's ability to produce them. That threatens to put the brakes on the country's economic growth, now running at nearly 9 percent a year.

Helping to fill gap

The country's National Knowledge Commission says only about 7 percent of Indians age 18 to 24 enter college, half the average for Asia. To double enrollment, it says, India needs 1,500 new universities by 2015, something the country will be hard-pressed to achieve, particularly with a nationwide shortage of high-quality faculty.

The country's laws effectively prohibit foreign colleges from setting up campuses to fill the gap. But dozens of universities from the U.S., Europe and elsewhere are finding creative ways to get a foothold in a market that offers both enormous demand and, potentially, enormous profits in terms of tuition and number of students.

"It's very, very important to us," said Dipak Jain, Kellogg's dean, who played a key role in setting up the Indian School of Business and who travels there regularly to teach. "There are lots of eligible students all over the world, and not everyone can come to us. If the students can't come to us, we need to go where the students are."

In most cases, foreign colleges looking for a start in India have partnered with existing higher-education institutions, offering help with curriculum development and staff training or setting up exchange programs.

The Indian School of Business follows a slightly different model. Set up as a new Indian-owned and -managed school, it takes capital funding from Indian businesses and relies on a core group of 24 Indian professors supplemented by visiting faculty from top business schools abroad.

Each year, 8 to 10 professors from Kellogg make the trip to Hyderabad, spending three to six weeks each, and Kellogg faculty of Indian descent also serve as three of the institute's seven "area leaders," overseeing operations as well as entrepreneurship and accounting programs, said M. Rammohan Rao, dean of the institute.

"The quality of education is very high. Basically they're getting the same quality" as students at Kellogg, Jain said.

A key difference, however, is that for $40,000 -- the cost of the one-year program, including food and housing on the sprawling 250-acre campus -- students get no formal degree, just a certificate. That is widely recognized by Indian industries looking for workers but not by India's government when it hires civil servants.

Getting around law

By law, only schools or institutes affiliated with Indian universities can offer degree programs. But schools that affiliate must, like their partners, comply with complex affirmative-action laws that set aside many seats for lower castes and other classes of Indians.

"We don't want to give degrees and come under too many restrictions," Rao said.

Foreign education institutions looking to step into India's education gap face other hurdles, including opposition from professors at Indian universities who fear the defection of their best students and faculty.

McKinsey estimates that a quarter of India's engineers and 15 percent of its finance graduates are qualified to work in multinational companies, a legacy of what Prime Minister Manmohan Singh calls a "dysfunctional" education system mired in shortages, red tape and corruption.

"Foreign universities come for profit, not to fulfill the social agenda," warned Vijender Sharma, a Delhi University researcher on Indian higher education. "If they don't get a profit, they move away. That's the rule of foreign direct investment."

Others, however, argue that inviting in foreign colleges may be the only means of improving India's ailing higher-education system to meet the demand of both students and employers.

India's Commerce Ministry last year called for opening up the country's higher-education system to foreign investment.

India's restrictions on foreign higher-education institutes are aimed in large part at weeding out the legions of fly-by-night operators. India today has 1,800 MBA programs, Rao said, but only 30 or 40 that offer any sort of high-quality training.

If India manages to revamp its rules to allow foreign universities to set up satellite campuses, students will have more choices, though many may still find a high-quality "foreign" education beyond their means, skeptics warn.

U.S. universities say they are eagerly awaiting that opening.

"Northwestern is thinking of creating something in India," Jain said. "I am sure lots of people would like to do something if the regulatory environment existed."
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Re: Article from Tribune on evolution of ISB -- [#permalink] New post 14 Jan 2008, 11:16
I would certainly hope so. At the moment, there is a dearth of management schools in India that have a study model similar to ISB.

ISB is the only (good) school in India that uses GMAT+ values significant work exp and has an application process consisting of essays, reco and such (like US schools). The Indian Institutes of mgmt use a nationwide Common admission Test which is extremely competetive (1 in 100 or something). Most of the folks who get in through CAT attend preparation classes rigorously for a whole year to improve their chances.

Unless more schools that follow the ISB model come up in the future, Indians who work abroad will continue to apply in heavy numbers to US/UK B-schools and work there after graduating.

Just FYI, I had a 710+ GMAT score, significant Intnl exp and was dinged at ISB this year.
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Re: Article from Tribune on evolution of ISB -- [#permalink] New post 14 Jan 2008, 11:24
IMO- IIM's cannot and probably will never go the essay route- just because of the sheer number of students who apply. I mean, you have 7000 applicants to HBS, for the IIM's it is well over 100,000. Reading and then making any decision on such a large number of applications is just not possible when you have to select about 1000 out of those applicants. Having said that, ISB and a few other schools have started using essays and have been pretty succesful. The biggest benefit ISB has over IIM's, as the article points out, is the complete autonomy. I know the first couple of years, they used to take in fresh IIT grads who scored like 750+ in GMAT and had a 9.x GPA- dont know if it is still the case though.
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Re: Article from Tribune on evolution of ISB -- [#permalink] New post 14 Jan 2008, 11:26
Conversely, that is precisely the reason I expect them to go the essay route. By going the essay route, you force applicants to put in real hard work, not the number cruching work everyone in India is capable of. That will IMO lead to a significant reduction in apps.

dosa_don wrote:
IMO- IIM's cannot and probably will never go the essay route- just because of the sheer number of students who apply. I mean, you have 7000 applicants to HBS, for the IIM's it is well over 100,000. Reading and then making any decision on such a large number of applications is just not possible when you have to select about 1000 out of those applicants. Having said that, ISB and a few other schools have started using essays and have been pretty succesful. The biggest benefit ISB has over IIM's, as the article points out, is the complete autonomy. I know the first couple of years, they used to take in fresh IIT grads who scored like 750+ in GMAT and had a 9.x GPA- dont know if it is still the case though.
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Re: Article from Tribune on evolution of ISB -- [#permalink] New post 14 Jan 2008, 11:49
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ncprasad wrote:
Conversely, that is precisely the reason I expect them to go the essay route. By going the essay route, you force applicants to put in real hard work, not the number cruching work everyone in India is capable of. That will IMO lead to a significant reduction in apps.

dosa_don wrote:
IMO- IIM's cannot and probably will never go the essay route- just because of the sheer number of students who apply. I mean, you have 7000 applicants to HBS, for the IIM's it is well over 100,000. Reading and then making any decision on such a large number of applications is just not possible when you have to select about 1000 out of those applicants. Having said that, ISB and a few other schools have started using essays and have been pretty succesful. The biggest benefit ISB has over IIM's, as the article points out, is the complete autonomy. I know the first couple of years, they used to take in fresh IIT grads who scored like 750+ in GMAT and had a 9.x GPA- dont know if it is still the case though.


I disagree, NC. "Competition of number crucnching" is a better option in India keeping in mind the basic education system. I was never expected to write prose after my middle school. Even if there was writing , it was writing about things from an objective point of view, e.g., writing about theorems and biology and all that. (That does not mean I can not think. I can still think logic, reason and derive decisions based on subjective information but self promotion becomes a bit of a problem.)

Additionaly, if schools in United states say, for example, that they will go objectively by GPA and GMAT, they will have to set pre-defined quota or lower standards for diversity, which probably they do not want to do.

My strong belief, "Great Number Crunchers" have power to think and this power, along with values, helps them make good judgments, good for themselves, good for society. I do not see anything wrong with selecting people based on their number crunching and verbal capabilities. As far as essays are concerned, I would be all for essays provided we write supervised, as we do for GMAT.

Well, this is my take, and I am ready for brickbats.
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Re: Article from Tribune on evolution of ISB -- [#permalink] New post 14 Jan 2008, 11:51
hbs, i am not arguing about the merit of essays vs scores as an evaluation tool. I am simply countering dosa's assertion that applicant population levels will prohibit use of essays as a factor. I think the application volumes will come down if essays are also used as a measurement.
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Re: Article from Tribune on evolution of ISB -- [#permalink] New post 14 Jan 2008, 11:51
But again ncp- how much will it drop by? I am guessing not much more than 50%. Knowing the way these exams work- you would have to let people write the essays in their regional language. Also, even if you do reduce it to 25-30,000 applicants, I think the essays will not be really that different. I mean, you can be unique amongst say 1000 applications, but at that level, I am not sure.

Well they do have a GD and an interview right- I think the system they have is not THAT bad but yes, it can be improved. Maybe shortlist based on the score and then make them write essays ?:)
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Re: Article from Tribune on evolution of ISB -- [#permalink] New post 14 Jan 2008, 11:54
ncprasad wrote:
hbs, i am not arguing about the merit of essays vs scores. I am simply countering dosa's assertion that applicant population levels will prohibit use of essays as a factor.


Hey, I just presented my points since it seemed relevant here, did not mean to prove anything against you. I said "brickbats" to invite another opinion. :)
We are free to have our opinions and have them as strong as we want, aren't we?
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Re: Article from Tribune on evolution of ISB -- [#permalink] New post 14 Jan 2008, 11:57
Of course. I responded because I somewhat agree with you and wanted you to understand that I value "scores" and number crunching intellectual HP :-D
hbs.aspirant wrote:
We are free to have our opinions and have them as strong as we want, aren't we?
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Re: Article from Tribune on evolution of ISB -- [#permalink] New post 14 Jan 2008, 12:10
ncprasad - no offense, but aren't you now resorting to making huge generalizations yourself, something you were accusing others of in the Indian Admits thread? Not everyone from India aspiring to an MBA graduates from IIT or gets a q49+ on their GMAT.

ncprasad wrote:
you force applicants to put in real hard work, not the number cruching work everyone in India is capable of...

I think I agree with hbs.aspirant in supporting the status quo as far as IIM et al admissions are concerned in India. The introduction of essays as a key part of the application is going to hugely favour applicants educated in "public" schools and elite universities in big cities.

You and I both know how much effort the average school puts into encouraging the development of stellar writing skills.
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Re: Article from Tribune on evolution of ISB -- [#permalink] New post 14 Jan 2008, 12:19
lol. I think I am doing a poor job of expressing myself. solaris, I said IIMs can use essays and not worry about essay review logistics due to application volumes, because I believe the policy will reduce the number of apps. Also, please note that I expressly stated that I am not arguing about the merits of the current process.

Also, when I said almost all Indians are capable of number crunching, it is really a complement to the excellent school system in India which builds analytical thought and the natural intellectual HP we have. Sure, you may be right that essays may not be best method to select candidates for IIMs. But, that however was not my argument. :)

solaris1 wrote:
ncprasad - no offense, but aren't you now resorting to making huge generalizations yourself, something you were accusing others of in the Indian Admits thread? Not everyone from India aspiring to an MBA graduates from IIT or gets a q49+ on their GMAT.

ncprasad wrote:
you force applicants to put in real hard work, not the number cruching work everyone in India is capable of...

I think I agree with hbs.aspirant in supporting the status quo as far as IIM et al admissions are concerned in India. The introduction of essays as a key part of the application is going to hugely favour applicants educated in "public" schools and elite universities in big cities.

You and I both know how much effort the average school puts into encouraging the development of stellar writing skills.
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Re: Article from Tribune on evolution of ISB -- [#permalink] New post 14 Jan 2008, 12:26
Out of respect for copyright, please avoid posting the entire article. It is always nice to post the link first and a few relevant and interesting quotes.
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Re: Article from Tribune on evolution of ISB -- [#permalink] New post 14 Jan 2008, 12:50
hbs.aspirant wrote:
My strong belief, "Great Number Crunchers" have power to think and this power, along with values, helps them make good judgments, good for themselves, good for society. I do not see anything wrong with selecting people based on their number crunching and verbal capabilities.


Good discussion guys. But based on my observations of the "number crunchers" I've been in contact with (which is quite a few, like many of you), I would *not* say that selecting people based only on their number crunching and verbal capabilities (on tests) is a good system. There are many great number crunchers and verbal specialists who cannot do the "soft side" of business well at all, let alone function in every day society (some of my engineering friends are like that). They can ace any test and figure out tough logic puzzles and complex problems, but ask them to present something, explain a topic to someone, or even just socialize and make connections, and they're pretty much useless.

I'm not making generalizations here, but quite the contrary, arguing against the generalization that there is "nothing wrong" with using only test scores to select people for any fine institute. There will definitely be a lot of good people who get selected based on those test scores, but you will also let in a good number of people you would never want them to be managers or business leaders (either due to their social skills or their values, which you cannot judge based on test scores alone).

I'm also not saying that essays can "save" the process, since people who can write can be very convincing about things they don't believe in. But it is definitely a step in the right direction. I like the US system because they do look at everything, including extracurriculars, volunteering, work experience, recommendations, essays, GPAs, and test scores. I hate the word "holistic", but in the end, it does help reduce the number of people you probably don't want in your MBA class. :)
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Re: Article from Tribune on evolution of ISB -- [#permalink] New post 14 Jan 2008, 13:09
Kry,
IIM's do have a process of having observed discussion among candidates to validate their soft skills. Topic of discussion is decided on the spot. I kind of assumed that will go with number and verbal skills.
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Re: Article from Tribune on evolution of ISB -- [#permalink] New post 14 Jan 2008, 14:14
ahh, thanks for the clarification. Interesting method using discussions. They have to go through 100,000 applicants doing discussions?
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Re: Article from Tribune on evolution of ISB -- [#permalink] New post 14 Jan 2008, 14:15
The applicants are initially filtered based on their CAT (gmat scores). Amognst the super intelligent pool, they look for the one with the best communication skills.
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Re: Article from Tribune on evolution of ISB -- [#permalink] New post 14 Jan 2008, 14:28
I also wish the diversity of the classroom was made slightly better in IIMs to promote different viewpoints in the class.
Engineers make up 75% of the current IIMA class.
http://www.iimahd.ernet.in/recruitment/ ... tudent.htm

But there is no arguing about the quality of faculty and placements there...really top notch.
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Re: Article from Tribune on evolution of ISB -- [#permalink] New post 15 Jan 2008, 09:04
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Although I think essays coupled with test scores is a good way to select candidates, but for affluent aspirants, this method, thanks to liberal use of essay consultants, has become a way to game the system! How come a firm such as MBA Exchange claims that 92-95% of their customer got into their first preference schools? And they get it validated by an independent agency!!!

How many of the selected candidates actaully present their own soft skills? A number we will never know.

The admission committees, with their over importance on essays actually promote the admission consulting business because most of the admisson officers see this business as the post retitrement option ( a look at the admission consultants' careers is enough validation, some exceptions are there I agree)!

Some schools do the lip service against the consultants and most other does not even do that!

Essays are a great way to know the candidate, but let us smell the rat and wake up, now it has become one of the easiest way to con the system!! At least in IIMs it is much harder to do so.
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Re: Article from Tribune on evolution of ISB -- [#permalink] New post 16 Jan 2008, 07:26
Not to target any specific group, but this is how essays can be misused.
A quote from Sandy on BW about one of his client's essays:

"I thought there was a strong affirmative action system for backwards castes at IIT etc. In fact, I once had a client write a great essay about being a backward caste at IIT and how much grief he took from the upper caste kids, etc, etc."
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Re: Article from Tribune on evolution of ISB -- [#permalink] New post 16 Jan 2008, 07:42
Oh dear God!! I hope he didn't get into his target schools!
Re: Article from Tribune on evolution of ISB --   [#permalink] 16 Jan 2008, 07:42
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