Vacant seats in MBA Colleges: Lack of Talent or Greed? Know the Reason

Vacant seats in MBA Colleges
Thursday, February 07 2019, 11:11 AM
Why the MBA colleges look for an intake increase each year, when their current number of seats do not get filled up by suitable candidates - is a big question? Is it due to the lack of talent that has not been able to cross the minimum required score cut off or it is only the greed to expect more without offering the affordable quality education with a vision to make them industry ready. Let's just try and figure out some key reasons behind this vital issue of Vacant seats in MBA colleges and in the process let's just take responsibility of our own faults and mistakes.

Reports get released every year; every year discussion is done on various educational platforms on the nature and scope of vacant seats in MBA colleges across India. But, the condition remains same. Why?

Inspite of the fact that MBA is the most popular Post Graduate degree, why do MBA colleges have to bear the loss of vacant seats. As per our practice, we are quick to blame others for it too. We blame the European economic crisis, we blame the Govt. policies, we even blame students and etc, etc. But, we don’t introspect; we don’t sit down and check our faults.

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You can pin point one party for the sole reason behind this problem. From B-school admission team to Promoters to HRD to MBA Aspirants, we all are to be blamed for this mess.
Let’s just try and figure out some key reasons behind this vital issue of Vacant seats in MBA colleges and in the process let’s just take responsibility of our own faults and mistakes. As a wise man once said, “Unless you realize your mistake, you won’t be able to rectify them and make sure that you don’t repeat them again.”

Instead of pin pointing the fault of each party involved in this mess, let’s just make a single list of key reasons. 

1. Rush to launch new course
A B-school should first try to popularize and fill its quota of full seats for its Flagship programme. After getting success and depending upon the demand in the region/sector, a new course should be launched.

But B-school promoters seem to be thinking on a different line which only they seem to understand. They need to understand that a seasonal boom in applications does not mean that MBA aspirants will flock to your B-school for any type of course you will offer. Lack of promotion, lack of awareness about the new course, impacts admission and hence the college has to suffer with vacant seats.

2. MBA in.. Everything
Have you ever seen the prospectus of Universities or Old and prestigious B-schools, you will be surprised by the variety of MBA programmes they have to offer.  And believe me you don’t even know it did exist or what’s the use of MBA in that particular field. Take for example, MBA in Post harvest technology, Unbelievable!

This doesn’t stop here, few institutions go ahead and divide the courses into parts so as to make a separate course. For example, we all know about MBA in Project Management or Real Estate. But the B-schools will come out with, MBA in Urban Infrastructure or Construction or Construction economics.

Many will counter by stating the reach of MBA in various fields and why management is useful in different sectors of business. Agreed, but this is also a matter of fact that in India still the most popular specialization choosen by MBA aspirants are Marketing, sales, HR, Finance, Media, telecom, logistics, and a couple more.  

How these arrays of unknown MBA courses affect us? The seats of all these courses count up while considering the total MBA seats of a colleges, university or country. Thus increasing the percentage of Vacant seats which in turn has many negative impacts on the future of MBA programe as a whole. 

3. Greed to Increase the Seats
Call it rapacity or money-grubbing, but almost all B-schools in India are affected by this syndrome. Every B-school is always looking for reasons and ways to increase their approved capacity of seats for MBA courses. On 60 seats, they now want 120, then 180 and so on. Regulatory authorities are flocked with applications regarding increase of seat every academic year before the start of next Admission session.

And the main reason for the desire of increase in seats is not always because of demand of that particular course of the institute among MBA aspirants but surely the desire of the Institution board and owners to expand and in turn increase the volume of profit. More the students - More the margin, basic concept!

This increase in number of seats and lack of demand among MBA aspirants lead to vacant seats in the B-school. And those who are finally left to pursue the course in this academic session are filled with distress throughout the 2-years on being part of a reduced squad.

These students doubt their placement, their future and this act as a negative Word-of mouth communication of B-school in the society and MBA community. 

4. Lack of commitment by Admission team
Admission team of any B-school is considered very crucial for the survival and success of the B-school. A slight deviation in terms of commitment towards MBA aspirants can prove very fatal for the B-school in that admission year.

There are many B-schools who don’t even bother to contact their prospective MBA students. They believe that their popularity and reputation is enough to attract MAB aspirants. While some find it below their stature to contact students and ask for Admissions in their institute. This phony ego has led to many vacant seats or significant decrease in applications of several b-schools.

Some B-schools rely on e-mails only to contact to MBA Aspirants, which is one of the least popular methods of communication used by graduate level students. And these are the B-schools who suffer in the end when their seats are not filled.

On the contrary, B-schools must try to build a proper communication with the student with regular follow-ups with parents, institute visits, etc. Even if the students don’t agree to take admission, he or she will always have an affirmative image of the B-school. He will always go ahead and suggest it to his peers. 

5. Blurred Fee refund policy
Although, AICTE has given out a strict guideline on the fee refund policy to be followed by MBA colleges, the lack of commitment on the Institute front disrupts the process and faith of MBA Aspirants.

Many B-schools do not have a proper system of fee refund, therefore, the most drop-outs don't inform the B-school about their decision of opting out. In record books of Admission committee these seats are shown as filled seats whereas it’s opposite in reality.

Hence, every B-school must clear out its fee refund policy along with all the hidden caveats explained. Proper & regular communication with your students will also prove beneficial. 

6. Life beyond IIMs and Top 30
From the starting itself, MBA aspirants are forced to accept that there is no life beyond IIMs or Top 30 B-schools and sadly many aspirants believe it too.

It’s correct, that IIMs and Top 30 B-schools provide quality education and have made a mark for themselves in MBA education field. But, those after that are also providing the best possible MBA education in their own small cities and regions. The faculties at these B-schools are equally talented to teach you with the high and low of MBA domain.

There are many students in this country who dream of pursuing MBA, but not all can afford the high fees of top B-schools. And it’s not just the tuition fee that I am talking about; there are a lot more other things where an MBA student has to spend money in their two years of MBA. 

Lack of financial assistance, scholarships, force many brilliant minds to choose a B-school near their small town, as per their pocket size and in the way unknowingly they become a part of a 30 batch class out of approved 120 seats.

Sure, demand and interest of students to pursue MBA course plays a significant role but solving few small issues at micro-level will definitely help B-schools to fill their full Quota of seats. Aspirants on their part must try to be more information seeker and decisive in their choices.

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