Monday, January 17, 2011

Crisil to grade B-schools 
While general interest and business magazines have for years been 'rating' business schools and other higher education institutions, for the first time a reputed ratings agency has got into the act.

Credit Rating and Information Services of India Ltd (Crisil) – promoted in 1987 by the erstwhile ICICI Ltd, along with UTI and other financial institutions, but now a Standard & Poor's Company – announced the launch of a ratings programme for B-schools.

''It is an in-depth and interactive evaluation exercise, which will classify management education programmes on an eight-point scale from 'A***' to 'B','' said Roopa Kudva, managing director and CEO, Crisil. While initially the agency is targetting B-schools, it plans to provide similar grading for engineering, medical and even under-graduate and primary education programmes.

According to Kudva, it is a voluntary exercise and institutes will have to offer to get their programmes evaluated. Crisil will be charging Rs.3 lakh for grading an institute. The agency will separate the business development and analytical functions to ensure transparency in the grading process. The gradings will help both students and their parents and recruiters. The gradings would be done both at the national and state levels.

Crisil would provide a comprehensive report on the graded institutions on its website for free. About 20 institutes, across the country, have been graded in the first exercise. They include 10 in Maharashtra (Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Pune), five in Delhi and the National Capital Region and one each in Chennai, Hyderabad, Coimbatore, Bhubaneshwar and Guwahati.

''We spent a year in developing and testing our criteria and methodology for business school evaluation,'' adds Kudva. ''Our process uses quantitative as well as qualitative assessment parameters.''

Beginning with management institutes, the Credit Rating and Information Services of India Ltd (CRISIL) launched its education grading initiative on Monday. CRISIL will be providing an independent and all-round assessment of the various programmes offered by B-schools. At the launch event, CRISIL

Of these five — SP Jain Institute of Management, Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Sydenham Institute of Management Studies, Institute of Business Studies and Research and ITM Institute of Financial Markets — are from Mumbai.

While the highest grade is A***, the lowest is B.  

“We are not grading institutes sequentially because it is not about rankings but about the quality of courses. We include parameters such as placements, curriculum, faculty and fees,” said Mitu Samar, marketing and communications head, CRISIL.

“These ratings are valid for a year and the institutes are under constant surveillance. So any changes will reflect in the ratings,” Samar said.

B-schools will have to apply for these ratings. They will be graded both on a national and state level. 

For instance while Sydenham Institute of Management Studies has an A*** rating in the state, nationally its programmes are graded as A**.

A comprehensive report on graded institutes including their faculty and student profile and best practices adopted by the institute will be available on the CRISIL website for free.

Source: The Hindustan Times

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