July 04, 2008


It is irritating to see full page advertisements of management schools wooing prospective candidates to join their institutes. Everyone, including the person who occupies half the page of the advertisement, knows its all for the money. Why then drag premier institutes like IIMs and IITs into it?

First of all these institutes don’t have any entrance examination worth the name. Anybody who can pay the fee they demand can secure a seat in these institutes - and they have the audacity to ask you to “dare to think beyond the IIMs and IITs”!

Tell that sick looking man in the ad that an institute doesn’t become famous by promising free laptops to students – by the way those “free” laptops are charged through “invisible” components in the fee structure. Also add to the invisible component charges for “free” trips to Europe.

It is sad that advertisements should rely on women from shaving blades to management institutes. Showing cute women working on laptops, girls and guys playing basketball and hugging each other are aggressive marketing strategies targeting the male crowd.

To satisfy the middle aged parent about the “high standards” of the institute there is a write-up on current national events at the bottom of the advertisement. Such articles are written knowing completely that they won’t be read by anyone. It is this confidence that gives the writer the strength to write whatever he feels like. At best some bored soul may skim through them – yet they find a place in the ad to convey the “seriousness” of the institute in imparting sound education.

It is sad that education should be advertised like a commodity, and I’m not sure if it’s the case with developed countries too. Such advertisements show the failure of the state to regulate the quality of education and provide enough opportunities for students to study. People who brag about the power of privatization, free market policy to solve the problems of the bygone era should learn from this.