18 Aug 2017 19:59 IST

‘Amity’s focus is on outcome-based education’

Amity Business School has a student-driven credit system, says Director Dr Sanjeev Bansal

Amity University is a huge sprawling campus that one sees upon entering Noida, on the fringes of Delhi. Amity Business School is the fulcrum around which this campus has grown to be a University campus, being the first school set up on this campus. Dr Sanjeev Bansal is the Dean, Faculty of Management Studies, as well as Director of Amity Business School. In this interview, Dr Bansal talks about how the University evolved and the variety of innovative programmes the B-school offers. Excerpts:

 

How did Amity Business School evolve in this region?

We started the business school in 1995, the first of all the schools in the Amity group. In 2005, we started the Amity University and today we have eight functional universities, and offshore campuses in Dubai and London. We started with one PGDM programme in 1995 with 120 students. Today, there are over 1,500 students in the business schools. We offer 32 programmes and have 13 academic departments. Management studies are offered in eight of our institutions.

What new programmes does Amity offer today?

We offer many specialised MBAs, such as marketing and sales, HR and competitive intelligence; we also have healthcare and biotech. In terms of progarmmes, we have come out with a number of innovative courses, apart from the conventional courses, irrespective of the demand. This year, we have an MBA in finance, which has elicited a good response. One of the notable education reforms we have effectively implemented is the choice-based credit system. It is a flexible system where every student is given a work-sheet and they can choose their teachers and their time-slots from the multiple baskets offered to them. A number of universities started out with this concept but could not execute it, though we have done it for a year now.

We also teach a host of foreign languages in the B-school. There are a number of things we are doing that others are yet to start.

What innovations is Amity experimenting with?

Outcome-based education is another aspect that we have been pursuing. Even in the US, 40 per cent of Universities don’t follow outcome-based education. At Amity, we have implemented this, the first in Asia and the fourth outside of the US and every day is a new learning. Earlier, we were focused more on output, now we have shifted the focus to outcomes. We started working on this concept five years ago.

How does Amity fare on the placement front, considering the large number of students you have in the B-school?

We are not a placement agency, but as a commitment to all Amity students, and as a promise made by our founder, every student who takes admission, we adopt them. If you pass all the exams and if you are still not placed, the moral responsibility rests with us. But because we have been around for 22 years, we can boast of good collaborations with industry.

We have a centre for corporate induction, and our team has a number of corporate associations; we have an association with CII as well. We are associated with over 300 companies and, in addition to regular jobs, our emphasis is on turning out employers than employees.

We have a big incubation centre, a defined centre for entrepreneurship, where a lot of students are coming up with their start-ups. We have an MBA in entrepreneurship, which has a small batch size of 30. I can see that, of every passing out batch, at least 80 per cent become entrepreneurs and some of them are entering their family businesses to enhance this learning. From other batches, too I can expect 10 per cent of students from other programmes to start their own businesses.

What about your course structures?

Everybody can apply for any course here, taking the eligibility tests. There is no restriction that students should focus on any particular streams. Many students who join are from a diverse background; for example, very few students have a background in commerce. Our courses are designed in such a way that core courses are mandatory. Later, once they are ready, they can specialise in operations, finance, economics, accounting, marketing or HR.

In addition to these courses, we offer some domain expertise. If students want to go beyond the domain, they can choose courses beyond the domain as well; an HR student can opt for marketing as an elective, they can even opt something from sports or in business communications. In every semester, there are value-addition courses offered as well.

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