LIBA, Chennai Director says “We Lay Great Emphasis on the Skill Development of Individuals..”

1. What is your take on the current education industry?

Education industry has grown exponentially during the last 25 years, particularly in the area of professional education, including business education and it has been made possible with the Government allowing the private investors to start self-financing institutions. However, the number of institutions imparting quality education has not increased proportionately. We follow outdated pedagogy and old system of rewarding the memory in our evaluation system. In general, the quality of education in India is far below the international standards and not many of our institutions figure among the schools ranked by the global agencies.

The business education is no exception to it. The system of education and pedagogy employed in the business education are totally outdated; the advancement in technology and modern teaching aids have not been optimally utilized in the education sector. I think, the millennial generation requires a totally different type of pedagogy to keep them engaged. It is challenging to provide them a good learning experience.

There is a greater need to focus on the development of the skills and capabilities of the students; along with the conceptual clarity, they need to learn to apply whatever they learn in the real business world. In addition, the curriculum needs to be constantly updated to meet the needs of the ever growing and rapidly changing business scenario.

2. Do you think there are gaps in terms of quality students demand and supply? How does LIBA help in bridging this gap?

As I mentioned earlier, we are dealing with the millennial generation with their own specific strengths, demands and characteristics. Unfortunately, they seem to be look for only good placements and the admissions to business schools are greatly placement driven.

LIBA, a Jesuit institution, with its long tradition of more than 450 years in education, has its own principles and values; Jesuits all around the world are renowned for their education. Excellence and Ethics are two important hallmarks of Jesuit education and in LIBA, Excellence and Ethics are part and parcel of whatever we do. In whatever we do, we would like to do them well with our own stamp of excellence. We also take special efforts to inculcate ethical values to our students and all our stakeholders, through various activities and programs. For example, we have a centre for Business Ethics and Corporate Governance which organizes an international conference called BEACON (Business Ethics Conference) every year. Business Ethics and Social environment to Business are core subjects in the MBA program.

We try our best to make our program as relevant as possible; currently we are in the process of revising the curriculum to suit the changing needs of the industry so that the students when they pass out may excel in whatever field they are.

3. What are the 3 value proposition which make LIBA students stand out from other B school students?

We concentrate on the ‘holistic formation’ of the students – intellectual, emotional, social and spiritual quotients. The Institution works with an undeterred zeal to offer its students the best of the education, blending classroom and experiential learning. It conducts several activities related to learning for their overall growth and development

Curriculum is constantly updated, focusing on the skill development of the students, through workshops, outbound learning, village visits etc. In the new curriculum which will be implemented next academic year, a greater emphasis will be given to it.

As a Jesuit institution, value-based education is given importance; LIBA earnestly strives to inculcate in the students the values of ethics, honesty and service to the society.

One of the hallmarks of Jesuit education is ‘cura personalis’ (care of the entire person). Each student is assigned a faculty member as a mentor to guide them; it also strengthens the teacher-student relationship. A buddy system is in place where each second year student tutors first year student for a smooth transition into the program. Additionally, counselling sessions are available to those who need additional support.

4. The college has done many International Collaborations with Universities across the globe. What is the benefit/exposure you think students derive from this?

In the context of globalization, today there is no domestic business; every business is global, in different degrees; even those businesses which are not internationalized are affected by global markets. The goal of any business school is to prepare leaders of tomorrow with international perspective, with an ability to understand and accept the differences in cultures and have a capacity to live and work with people of other cultures, shedding all their prejudices and misconceptions. These international collaborations help us to reach this goal.

5. What kind of personality grooming/self-grooming help students receive at LIBA?

LIBA lays great emphasis on the skill development of individuals – communication skills, negotiation skills, stress management, etc., through regular classes and workshops.

Students are encouraged to organise various co-curricular and extra-curricular events to help build self-confidence and develop their leadership qualities. Some of the noteworthy co-curricular activities are: ‘INSIGHT’ – conference on a relevant theme where industry leaders are invited to share their ‘insights’; BEACON – Business Ethics Conference, Business Summit – to enlighten the students about international trade policies and practices, Chrysalis – Annual Management Fest and Union Budget Analysis. In addition, there are a lot of club activities.

6. Would you like to give any message to MBA Aspirants?

Each one of us need to be happy and satisfied in life. Life would be futile if we pursue financial success alone. One needs to develop right values and principles in life and they will automatically bring credit to themselves and to others in life. Wish you the best.