How B Schools are trapping students

We are seeing B Schools popping up from no where since last half a decade. These B Schools have, since then,  started marketing like FMCG companies, more or less. From free laptops to air conditioned classrooms, from 100% placements to hostel facility, Indian B-schools use all marketing strategies to attract students to take admission.

1) 100% placements: Best B-schools of India, at times, fail to offer 100% placements, how can private B-schools even dream of doing so?

2) Approval from AICTE, UGC: Even approval from these regulatory bodies do not ensure whether the institute is good or not. Only those high-quality, AICTE-approved B-schools are the ones that have been around for long and will flourish despite or without AICTE approvals. Clearly, such approvals do not guarantee quality education; neither good colleges have ever cared about it.

3) Air-conditioned campus: 🙂 I saw “With state-of-the-art infrastructure and air conditioned classrooms” on a B School hoarding in Pune; sorry state of affairs if such things lure students.

4) Free laptops: This is a catch 22 situation. If you’re paying a fees of  around Rs 6 lakhs to Rs 15 lakhs per year for an MBA, then getting a free laptop worth Rs 20,000 is not a big deal. So it isn’t really free!!

5) Visiting faculty: Just marketing with ‘Visiting Faculty’ does not mean they are good. This may also mean, a School is trying to save cost; or faculty is making more money visiting more schools. In any case, this isn’t a USP.

6) Hostel and canteen facilities: There is nothing unique about hostel and canteen facilities in the campus. Although, having a residential school is always good, almost all have them.

7) Scholarships: Have you ever heard of ‘buy 3 apparels at price of 1’? OR raising the price of a product and then giving a discount to lure customers? Giving a discount on tuition fees by some institutes can lure students till an extent. But it means that these B-schools treat education as a commodity which can be bargained. Moreover these scholarships they offer are handful and have some riders.

8 ) Student exchange programmes: Many B-schools promise students about student exchange programmes as they have tie-ups with foreign institutes. This is a personal choice of students; because this usally happens on the basis of who can afford to enroll in such programs and not based on merit.

9) Rankings: This is one of the best ways to trap students. There will be a time where ranking bodies will also be ranked 😛 With so many ranking bodies and publications taking out their own rankings list, it is not a surprise that many B-school top the rankings in either of the lists. I wonder how schools unheard of make it to the list; not far when B Schools will start bidding for a rank of their choice.

10) Syllabus: Many B-schools boast of an international curriculum which is in lines of Harvard, Stanford or Wharton. However, no institute can copy the curriculum of these universities.

Some B Schools have Salesmen and Sales-Women who try to convince prospective students to take admissions in the name of ‘counsellors’; a job now based on commissions. What’s your take on this; has it not become a cheap business, a business of selling 2 year course that is not worth the value?

Satyam is a Consultant with Infosys Ltd. and editor / founder of marketinomics.com. When he is not talking about Digital Marketing or dreaming of CRM strategies, he can be found on a treadmill. He enjoys travelling, reading and listening to music! Catch up with him on twitter at @xatyam

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