Has anyone really been able to crack criteria for academic admissions?

Academic admissions  criteria is something a lot of colleges and universities  in India don’t get too right.  Two streams that I have watched closely in the last couple of years,  MBA (mostly)  and engineering  (for a couple of months only) and they  seem to be constantly evolving  to suit changing times, technology and shifting student profile (so they think).

B-schools across India, even the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) have been particularly worried about the excessive presence of the engineers in their schools. Thanks to CAT’s obsession with Quant, engineers have been ruling the roost at b-school admissions.

Yes, tried and tested methods have been adopted to reverse the tide. From handing over marks in charity to women candidates, non-engineers  and even changing the exam pattern – but engineers still come knocking in huge numbers.

The new IIMs, two years ago, attempted an innovative stunt. They included a written test in the admission process. This, according to a director from one of the new IIMs was to make sure students have at least a basic level of ‘English. ‘ “How else will they become managers in the future and write emails. Good English is a must,” justified the same director.  

How much that helped, the coming years will tell.

And this is in the creamy layer of colleges. Lower down, cut-offs take a good beating and so do placements and performances.

The engineering space has also seen movement. Admissions criteria has changed. To offset the heavy dependence on coaching classes and to provide relief to parents who cannot afford coaching for their wards, the measures were changed two years ago.  While there is a scram for the top rung, empty seats stare back in the lower end of the colleges.

Last year, in Maharashtra alone, there were some 50,000 seats vacant.

Will this rigmarole ever end? The craving to become an engineer and later pursue an MBA and flaunt a CV and skills which are so hackneyed is not going to change the job skyline at all. Some originalities at the admission level may do the trick.

May be Deepak Agarwal has a
few answers in his article.

An excerpt from his article. 

You would possibly do greater service to society and your institution if rather than finding applicants who would fit in from day one in management learning, you could select those eligible applicants who will grow along the learning path and attain as much proficiency as your system desires to produce at the end of the program. It may mean to have just a lower cutoff say of 24 for verbal in GMAT and likewise in CAT (vice versa for non engineering applicants). I think it will open a floodgate of true  and raw talent for your institution…

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