Source: The Times of India via PwC – EdLive
In the early part of the last decade, hundreds of new institutes came up and thousands of aspirants queued up to join them. A decade later, the picture is one of stark contrast in technical professional colleges. Since 2011, 225 B-schools and over 50 engineering colleges across India have closed down. Many more colleges have trimmed programmes, branches of engineering or streams in the management course.
Similarly, the Master of Business Administration programme was once the most sought after. Now, for the first time, the overall growth of MBA education is negative in the books of the 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, while 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. As a result, the AICTE has decided to allow colleges to offer a five-year dual degree programme and also permit graduates of science, BSc (computer science) and BSc (information technology) to jump to the second year of the MCA course. Yet, the small positive growth in the sector is from the engineering colleges where new institutes are coming up faster than closures taking place, largely in Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab and Rajasthan.
S S Mantha, AICTE Chairman, said, “This is a turning phase for the professional education sector. Colleges in remote India and institutes of poor quality are not getting students. And for colleges, there is just one key to attracting students: institutes need to be top-of-the-line colleges. There is no pay-off in running a bad college.” “The problem is also linked to the slowdown,” said IIM-Ahmedabad Director Samir Barua and added, “The job market has been tight for a couple of years. Earlier, many would give up a job to get an MBA and then re-enter the job market after pumping up their CV. They are hesitant to take such a risk now. The pressure is being felt and applications for MBA are falling. But undergraduate programmes such as engineering will not feel the same tension as everyone wants their first college degree.”