What role is the batch size factor plays in a b-school?
What role is the batch size factor plays in a b-school? Which is a good big batch size or small batch size? And why?
Batch Size is important because it has an impact on quality of learning as well as competition during placements.
Benefits of a small batch size :
1) Better Student-Teacher ratio and there is an assumption that that leads to better learning outcomes. It doesn't always work that way though. A bad professor will be bad irrespective of the batch size. You are anyway never going to get personal attention in a business school.
2) Lesser competition during placements. This is definitely a big plus point. However, one must always remember that companies will also prefer to go to a campus where they are likely to get a wider choice of applicants. A very small batch can be counter-productive at times.
3) There is also a case of lesser load on the infrastructure of a campus when there are lesser people and to that extent the campus experience is likely to be better than at a campus which has too many people. There will be queues/waiting everywhere - Mess, Cafes, Library, any work with the admin etc.
Benefits of a larger batch size :
1) Advantages of scale - So many things are possible when there are more people - right from clubs and committees and events that one can do to bulk deals when buying something or setting something up.
2) Alumni base is bigger and faster. This is a very under rated aspect. When more people graduate out of a quality place (quality in terms of pedigree of students) the school will have more alumni who will rise faster across industries. This can have great returns in the medium term. For a fresh graduate reaching out to alums in good positions can be a big boost in the career.
3) Placements can become every messy especially in a bad year. However, more choice could attract more recruiters. It just depends on how well your school is rated. Most old IIMs will never struggle to attract recruiters even if they increase their batch size further (which is already about 400+ everywhere). Unless its 2009 (after Lehman shock) things should be fine in most of the highly rated top business schools even with a bigger batch.
Schools like TISS have done well with 60 students and JBIMS with 120. However, TISS only caters to HR professionals and JBIMS cannot invite a diverse set of companies beyond a point because there just aren't enough people left to hire!