18 December 2015 12:34:29 IST

How to pick the B-school that’s right for you

Infrastructure, teaching methods, quality of faculty, placement record and accommodation, are all important factors in your decision

Picking the right B-school from among the good ones is a difficult decision, to be made judiciously. First, to decide which the top-rated B-schools are, you need to go through the current as well as the past few years’ credible rankings, such as those of MBAUniverse.com . These agencies rank B-schools with transparency, based on strict parameters.

Interact with alumni

Another practical approach that can help you decide on a B-school is to interact with the alumni of a few preferred institutions. Usually, the better-placed the alumni, the better would be the quality of his or her B-school.

Check for AICTE approval

A management studies institute has to submit all relevant details about its courses to the regulatory body, and any exaggeration or concealment of facts may spell trouble for the institution in the form of cancellation of approval, or suspension of a particular course, either temporarily or for good. B-schools, therefore, try to avoid such situations by furnishing to the Board all the information required.

Before taking a decision on admission, it would be a good idea to spare a few minutes and read the mandatory disclosure well to ascertain that the B-school enjoys AICTE approval for the current admission session, both overall as well as for the particular programme you are seeking admission into. If satisfied, you may proceed. If confused, you should contact the B-school as well as the AICTE.


Different types of faculty members are mentioned on the websites of B-schools. These include core, adjunct, guest and visiting teachers. In some cases, administrative staff members are clubbed with faculty to project a better teacher-student ratio. Sometimes, you may only find a number, without further categorisation. This may be confusing.

To know the facts, it’s better to check the AICTE Mandatory Disclosure by the B-school as this document has to carry accurate information on permanent faculty strength.

It will help you to assess the potential learning experience and the exact teacher-student ratio that exists at the institute. The higher the strength of core or permanent faculty, the better will be the learning environment at the institute. The faculty position in a few top B-schools is given in Table 1.

Importance of infrastructure

Any institute can claim to have state-of-the-art campuses with many unique features. But the reality could be that the institute may well be running courses out of a hired campus. Many new IIMs do not have their own campuses yet and are operating from hired spaces. Their campuses are not yet operational, although you may find pretty pictures of campuses on their websites. This fact can be ascertained by reading the mandatory disclosure available on the institute’s website.

According to AICTE regulatory directions, B-schools have to publish information on the entire open and covered area of the institute, the number of lecture theatres and halls, classrooms and computer labs, with number of available computers and their configuration, library with number of books and national and international journals, working hours and other details about its administrative set-up.

This will help a potential MBA student understand how much the library and computer lab is used by the students. The more such facilities are used, the better and more vibrant the institute’s learning environment. Some institutes keep their libraries open till late at night, which indicates that the library is rich, with well-chosen books and periodicals, and that the students and faculty use the facility to the optimum level. It also reflects the B-school’s vision of imparting quality education.


Good infrastructure may not necessarily mean availability of an on-campus hostel facility. It could be an off-campus one, or you may have to search for accommodation of your own. The exact information may not be available on the B-school site but the mandatory disclosure section will have to reveal if there is an on-campus or off-campus hostel, or no such facility at all, apart from other information such as hostel accommodation capacity, number of 1-,2-,3- and 4-bedded rooms, and so on.

An older institute with an on-campus facility should be preferred. Next could be one whose campus is going to be ready in a short time. An on-campus hostel has its own advantages as such spaces are usually equipped with numerous facilities, such as Wi-Fi and common rooms, where recent periodicals and recreational facilities are available. Besides, you will have a good opportunity to interact with your peers as also with faculty members residing on campus. Security will also be better in an on-campus hostel.


After all the hard work, you are justified in looking for a high return on investment (RoI) after completing a MBA/PGDM from a reputed B-school. The top-rated B-schools have been maintaining and improving the placement packages year after year (see Table 2).

B-schools go on updating the pedagogy with changing demands from MBA education. The focus is gradually switching from classroom lectures to more mind-sharpening activities. As per MBAUniverse.com research, the average adoption of pedagogical methods across B-schools in India is as shown in Table 3.

The low or high fee structure of the MBA programme remains an issue. But once you are in one of the top B-schools, such as the IIMs in Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Calcutta, FMS Delhi, SPJIMR or MDI, the learning experience and high placement packages or nurturing of your interest in becoming an entrepreneur makes the fees and expenses a secondary issue. You gain good leadership skills while studying at a good B-school and that is a life asset for you.

Long-term investment

A good MBA is a long-term investment. It adds immensely to your knowledge about how businesses work, gives you the skills to get things done and opens the doors to dream jobs in great companies. So, if you have an interest in business and management, go for it!

(The writer is Editor at MBAUniverse.com and author of ‘Build your Basics First’, a comprehensive book on verbal ability for CAT/XAT)