In this issue, we make an attempt to bring in regional perspectives
on the quality and administration of higher education in the Indian context
especially Punjab and Coimbatore. Performance expectations, training needs, methods and techniques, cost-benefit analysis, and teaching ethics are some of the areas touched upon. In addition, we also bring some perspectives from the USA.
S Sandhya Menon and S Isac Athisayam, in their paper, “Training Needs:
A Study Among Teaching Staff of Management Institutes in Coimbatore City”, attempt to envision the future of management education and the role played by teachers in transforming the vision into a reality. They make an assessment of the training needs with a view to influence the aspirations and improve the quality of the teachers. Defining the scope of their study as identifying the institutional expectations vis-à-vis actual performance besides identifying the required organizational and administrative interventions for teaching effectiveness, they conducted their study in management institutions in Coimbatore. The paper makes several pertinent observations, gives relevant suggestions and points out various areas for further research related to environmental challenges, managerial practices and available competencies with regard to imparting managerial skills.
A comparison between the university management departments and private management institutes of Punjab in the aspects of fee structure, faculty, links with industry, placements and infrastructure is drawn by Lakhwinder Singh Kang and Surinder Sharma, in their paper, “University and Private Management Institutes in Punjab: A Comparison”. They present an analysis of how different stakeholders, viz., alumni, faculty and the practicing managers, perceived the state and privately owned management institutes. The findings of their study provide useful pointers to policy makers, quality assurance agencies, faculty, industry, governing bodies of various management institutes, parents and prospective students. On similar lines, Satvinder Kaur and P S Raikhy, in their paper, “Cost Recovery in University Education in Punjab: Trends and Implications”, estimate the extent of cost recovery in university education in Punjab for the years 1991-92 and 2005-06 and the changes therein over this period. They factor in the rise of forces of liberalization, privatization and globalization in the economy. The results show that there has been sufficient increase in cost recovery from students and/or their parents in the form of enhanced tuition fee and other fees and funds.
Ashish K Pillai and Arunesh Garg, in their paper, “Attitudes and Perceptions of Students of Business Schools in Punjab Towards Treatment of Ethics in Marketing”, study student attitudes and perceptions regarding the importance of ethics in marketing and the need for teaching it. The study found that the MBA students from the regional business schools in Punjab consider ethics in marketing to be a very important aspect for discussion. They also felt that currently marketing and allied subjects cover ethics inadequately.
Subhash Sarnikar, in his paper, “Is Diversity Other Side of the Same Coin (Affirmative Action)?”, traces the historical background of affirmative action. In the context of USA he summarizes the viewpoints of both race neutral and race conscious proponents, evaluates the implications of the Supreme Court decisions and finally brings out a concluding analysis suggesting clarity and differentiation in the intentions of affirmative action and diversity policy objectives so that the public and private benefits of higher education do not suffer under policy confusion. Affirmative action seeks to affect workplace demographics based on race, gender, disability, and veteran status, whereas diversity policies could include a wider array of characteristics, including generational differences, age, gender orientation, educational background, religious beliefs, marital status, geographic location, income, and parental status. He opines that crafting a diversity promotion policy keeping in mind affirmative action intention is like putting the cart before the horse. That a broad based affirmative action policy and an independent diversity policy together can play an effective role in support of the public and private benefits as propounded by higher education is suggested. He argues that while initially such policies will produce social benefits, eventually economic benefits, both public and private, will follow.
In the context of USA, the case study by Surajit Ghosh Dastidar, “Bridging the Gap Between B-School and Businesses: A Case Study of US B-Schools”, traces the evolution of the MBA program from the ‘Corporate-Based Era’ of the 1900s to the MBA program as we know it today. It brings to light the perceived as well as the real gap between current business practices and what is being taught at business schools in the USA. The case is rich with examples of the initiatives taken to bridge the gap by leading business schools, viz., Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, Harvard Business School, Darden’s Graduate School of Business Administration, Olin School of Business at Washington University in St. Louis, and Indiana University’s Graduate School of Business.
- - Y Malini Reddy