IIMs gearing up for foreign accreditation
ACCREDITATION is the buzzword at most of the management education conferences nowadays. Accreditation by AMBA (Association of MBAs), AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) and EQUIS (European Quality Improvement System) are now doing the rounds frequently.
There are 15,000 business schools across the world. India has close to 4,000. But, if we look at international accreditation India’s percentage is dismally low at 0.5 percent. In 2008, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIM-A) became the first one to receive EQUIS accreditation by European Foundation for Management Development. Now the IIMs have stepped on the gas, and are applying for international accreditation. India’s own National Board of Accreditation (NBA) claims that it is capable of accrediting IIMs and other management and technical education institutions in the country. So, why are the IIMs overlooking the Indian option?
International accreditation in BRICS
Among the BRICS nations China leads the table. Ten management institutions in China have AACBS accreditation. India, Brazil and South Africa have two each while Russia has none. If we look at accreditation by AMBA, India is in the third position among BRICS countries with six accredited institutions: IIM-Calcutta, IIM-Kozhikode, IIM-Lucknow, IMI-New Delhi, MDI and SP Jain Institute of Management and Research. China has 17 AMBA-accredited institutions; Russia has nine while Brazil and South Africa have five each. China has six EQUIS-accredited institutions, Brazil is at second spot with three, and India shares the third spot with South Africa with two institutions; IIM-Bangalore and IIM-Ahmadabad.
Triple Accreditation is the accreditation awarded by the three largest and most influential business school accreditation associations. It has been awarded to 59 B-Schools across the world. China has five institutions, followed by South Africa with two while Brazil has one. India and Russia draw a blank. Many of the world’s top business schools are not triple-accredited. Experts opine that they choose not to incur expenses for international accreditation and instead rely on national accreditation.
Prof. B S Sahay
IIM RaipurIf we want to attract good quality faculty and students across the globe, international accreditation is important. Otherwise how will they come
Prof. Devi Singh
We need to bring the same practices which are being practised outside, in terms of research, in terms of intellectual contribution and align our learning with our mission
International accreditation for IIMs
Carrers360 interacted with some of the Directors of the IIMs for their views on international accreditation. Prof. B S Sahay, Director of IIM Raipur, one of the new IIMs, said, “If we want to attract good quality faculty and students across the globe, it is important. Otherwise how will they come to know about us? Now even the President of India is asking us to participate in international rankings. So we must participate.”
“I have seen many institutions in different parts of the world which are nowhere close to us but they are accredited. So, it is very important for us and that will raise the bar,” Prof. Sahay added. Prof. Devi Singh, Director of IIM-Lucknow, says “We need to bring the same practices being practised outside, in terms of research, in terms of intellectual contribution and align our learning with our mission,” he said.
Research output is crucial for international recognition. Prof. Rishikesha T. Krishnan, Director, IIM-Indore said, “To become internationally known IIMs need to improve their research output, which many of them are doing.”
International certification gives a stamp of quality, explains Prof. PrafullaAgnihotri, Director, IIM-Trichy. “Today if you want to buy gold you look for certification, so it is same thing; international accreditation is nothing more than a certification of your quality. They are the processes that you follow, the research paper that you present, the syllabus that you have created,” he explained. Certifications are a must to remain competitive in a global world, he pointed out.
International Vs. NBA accreditation
When most of the B-Schools abroad get themselves accredited by national agencies, why don’t IIMs get themselves accredited by the NBA? Why are they opting for AACSB, AMBA or EQUIS?
Prof Devi Singh answers, “So far IIMs have not gone for NBA accreditation and there is no particular reason for that, it can be done. In India we already have that kind of reputation and we never felt the need to establish ourselves here, but there is nothing against it.”
NBA is still evolving, says Prof. Sahay. “Ideally everybody should be part of NBA accreditation but it is still evolving. Getting international accreditation gives you global visibility. Outsiders don’t know what IIMs stand for, their vision or mission, or how they are contributing to the society,” he said.
It is their brand value that holds back IIMs from going for national accreditation, says Prof. Krishnan. “NBA accreditation doesn’t help you in getting international students and in India we are well known. So, if we have do make our name in the international arena then international accreditation becomes more critical,” he said.
The IIM Trichy Director said that IIMs should go for both national and international accreditations. “We cannot remain in silos. Today India is becoming a global power. Education at IITs and IIMs has to be at par with best in the world,” Prof Agnihotri said.
Most of the IIMs have initiated steps for international accreditation. “We are taking some steps to get accredited by AACSB for this we have formed a committee and have also done first level of documentation,” Prof. Krishnan said. IIM-Lucknow has already has done AMBA and is planning for AACSB accreditation, while others are following suit.
The trend for international accreditation suggests that now IIMs are looking beyond Indian shores to tap students. “The time has come for us to make our institutes attractive enough so that students studying in the USA or Europe should come to India. Why not compete and relate with the best of the institutes in the world? It will only bring the best out of us,” Prof Agnihotri sums up.