Indian business schools revamping their cursus

Today, here is a second post that has less to do with Vlerick per se. I just read an article from the (Indian) Economic Times about Indian business schools revamping their cursus. I was curious about this article because, at Vlerick, we talk about a future new branding, a future new website, potential evolution of courses following feedback from students (is that possible? ;-) ), etc. I was then wondering how are business school in other countries (and Indian in particular, sorry guys if I always come back on this) and how they are evolving.

David Garvin (HBS) on Rethinking the MBA

Everything started last year when three professors from HBS published a book about “rethinking the MBA” (S.M. Datar, D.A. Garvin -above- and P. Cullen, Harvard Business Press Books, 2010). In a video, Prof. David Garvin explains “why business education is at a crossroads” (in other words: why he wrote the book and why you should buy it). In a nutshell, if many business schools focused on knowledge and analytic skills, in the authors’ opinion, very few MBA graduates have a balance between this knowledge and practical skills and a “sense of purpose and identity”. This would make them brainy in theory but handicapped in practice.

Re-thinking the MBA idea

The new curriculum proposed (both by the book, by some US business school and apparently now by some Indian b-schools) contains:

  • subjects like business ethics and CSR (*),
  • more field works and supervised projects,
  • more self-analysis and leadership humility,
  • a more global perspective,
  • etc.


Now, did Vlerick applied this? I’m not privy to how/what Vlerick decides for its programme but I think we have a little bit of everything mentioned above … Vlerick has business ethics and CSR classes, it has in-company and give back projects for full-time students (the project for part-time students) as well as the IMEX game giving an integrated persepctive of the whole curriculum and the global perspective is given by the diversity of students’ origins (especially in full-time students) and the international study trip. As I only spent 6 months so far, I don’t know yet if there aren’t other activities.

It’s good to have these activities but is it enough and are we good at them? As the proposed balance is only 1-year old, I think very few people exactly know what is the right balance and which school is good at re-thinking its MBA.

What do you think? Is is just a cosmetic change or is it really something that will change the face of MBA studies? As a Vlerick student/alumni, do you think your b-school was re-thought enough (or that it doesn’t/didn’t need to be re-thought) (anonymous reply authorised ;-) )?

(*) the author of the MBA oath was a student of Prof. David Garvin ;-)


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