A recent article in TOI read the following "225 B-schools, 52 engineering colleges close in 2 years" . Upon reading it further i made a note of some of the facts presented in the write up and they were startling.
- Since 2011, 225 B-schools and over 50 engineering colleges across India have downed shutters.
- For the first time, overall growth of MBA education is negative in the books of the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). In 2011-12, 146 new B-schools came up and 124 that were already running closed down. This year so far, 101 management colleges have closed down, only 82 have started.
- Similar is the story with the Master of Computer Application (MCA) course—84 colleges stopped offering the programme this year; only 27 started MCA courses.
|Degrees are for namesake|
These facts only point out at the number of colleges that went off the radar but it did not touch upon the plight of students who passed off from these colleges. We all can comfortably agree that these institutions downed their shutters because they could not provide quality education , world class infrastructure and most importantly jobs to the students. The hapless students would have chosen these anonymous colleges at that point of time because of myriad reasons. The opportunity to get a job is lost but the grave issue is the opportunity cost.
The student did spend a good 2-3 years to earn a professional degree but at the end of it this is not sufficient enough to substantiate their claim for the skills learnt and the knowledge acquired. Most importantly we need to understand the cost to fund this education. In today's era this figure has even spiraled northwards, and one needs to muster 10-15 Lakhs to complete a graduation and masters degree. Self funding for these grad courses are decreasing day by day and the trend is to go for education loans that are as easy as buying a new mobile connection. First the authorities approve of these fly by night colleges and then the banks join the party by disbursing loans to their students. The student enrolls himself in a college which has no future and can't even guarantee him or her a future as well. The depressing part of this episode is the financial liability that the poor student undertakes with a hope that this can be paid off, after the job placement. A reality check between the EMI rates for the education loan and the take home salary will clear all confusion. This is a nonviable proposition even if you land a mediocre job. We are creating a workforce that is low on employability , is under financial burden and not even sure of the future ahead.
The criteria for opening these professional colleges cannot be limited only to availability of land , mortar and brick structure and political clout .The mushrooming of colleges everyday is a sign of this pact between the policy makers , government bodies and the groups who have deep pockets. Rather than giving these unscrupulous persons a free hand to spoil careers and our nation's future we should identify and shun such establishments. Efforts should be made to discuss this vicious cycle of education with the students community and the opportunity cost of the same needs to be worked out. The motive should not be, to just earn a college degree but to acquire knowledge , skills and perfection in the chosen field of study. The harder the route to success is the better equipped one is for the future battles.
Students !! The next time when you come across a college advertisement ,their job placement promises and a esteemed degree that will serve you well , just beware and skeptical .