Daily Post 1447
THE MARKETING OF ACADEMICS
Body shopping is one term which this country fancies. This is generally used for providing manpower by IT and ITES companies making a commission in between. It happens in two types; one were the manpower is organised and is recruited by the concerned company or organisation. The process is conducted by the outsourced agent for a price. The other is the manpower remains on the rolls of the providing company and he works with the company who has asked for the professionals as per their requirements. The salary is paid to the company on agreed rates, which provides the manpower, while it pays on the rates it has hired the resource. Profit sharing is the main motive, quality of the resource becomes secondary.
On the same principles a trade of marketing emanated to fulfil the student requirement needs of the even burgeoning private sector educational institutions, mostly professional. Only getting autonomy or deemed to be University status does not sort out matters. It helps in controlling the whole mechanism end to end to facilitate the marketing of academics. Who is there in the trade of creating institutions, they have to be just money spinners. Most of these institutions have made a name through variety of marketing gimmicks. To their credit some have also improved in the process but most come in category of producing unemployable engineers and other such professionals. Accreditations and inspections are the biggest accomplishments of their academic journey. They keep praying that they don’t come in the deletion list of the controlling authorities.
This is much more sophisticated version of the coaching centres dotted all across the country, after KOTA made it an industry. At the end they have some responsibility. Here there is nothing. Once the admission is done, the story is over. You have to fend for yourself. Every year there is a new crop and life goes on. These guys fan out all across the country with targets and over decades they have created local connects everywhere. It is a well oiled machine. It is done even outside India. The name of the college does not travel far and wide as in the case reputed and established institutions, the marketing guys do. There is a cut for every level of middlemen, which has to come out of the course fees.
After middle men cut, the superfluous physical infrastructure created to entice the students also has to be maintained. The salary of the teachers is the only thing that can be manipulated and it’s done. When you give peanuts what can you get in return. It is finally a battle between the students and teachers, after everybody has made his moolah. When regular courses are so difficult to handle / deliver, fancy courses showing fake market requirements are added to increase the intake. The fees is equally fanciful. Sometimes admissions are done and courses initiated even without the requisite approval. Marketing for course in anticipation. Now it is the same story for marketing for certification courses which are conducted to make you industry ready. Companies are paid to come for campus recruitments. The connect with HR depts of equally dubious companies or the low end jobs of known companies completes the professional education’s life cycle.
WITH A CUT AT EVERY POINT, EDUCATION ITSELF IS CUT INTO PIECES.