MDI Gurgaon withdraws PGDM IB admission offers leaving dozens in the lurch

Management Development Institute Gurgaon made 132 more offers than it has seats for in PGDM IB; students left IIM offers, quit jobs, took loans for MDI.

MDI Gurgaon cancels PGDM IB admissions. (Image: Official website)MDI Gurgaon cancels PGDM IB admissions. (Image: Official website)

Team Careers360 | June 18, 2024 | 02:36 PM IST

NEW DELHI: Premier private business school Management Development Institute (MDI) Gurgaon has rescinded offer letters made to at least 132 candidates for its PGDM in International Business (IB) programme, one week before classes start. According to sources, it has also rescinded offers made to the flagship PGDM programme but at the time of publication, it wasn’t clear how many were affected. Students and even some parents gathered at the B-school’s Gurugram campus on Tuesday to protest against the moves.

Candidates left offers from second generation Indian Institutes of Management such as IIM Udaipur, IIM Kashipur and others, confident they would be able to study in MDI Gurgaon, ranked at 13 on the National Institutional Ranking Framework’s (NIRF) ranking of B-schools. Not only did applicants reject offers from IIMs, many have quit jobs and taken loans to cover the fees. Classes are set to begin on June 21.

An applicant had picked MDI Gurgaon over 10 IIMs. “They have given 132 people excess offers and are now offering deferred admission, but that will waste a whole year,” he said. “People have left jobs and taken loans. They will have to pay the interest on the loan, have a gap year on their record…We are asking them to put us in another branch but they are not agreeing to even that.”

A response was sought from MDI Gurgaon. They sent the June 18 public notice which was also emailed to the candidates.

MDI Gurgaon: Excess offers

MDI Gurgaon has 120 seats in its PGDM IB programme. These are sanctioned by the central regulator All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). Around late May and the beginning of June, the institute sent offer letters to applicants and according to its own correspondence with students, it made more offers than seats.

On June 14, exactly a week before the session was set to start, MDI Gurugram sent an email to these applicants, “as a word of caution”, informing them that their admission might not happen after all.

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"Following standard industry practices and based on the dropout rates observed over the past two years, we had issued provisional admission letters to candidates,” the email said. “However, due to the current market demand and changes in the scenario, the dropout rate this year is lower than anticipated. Consequently, in line with regulatory guidelines, it may not be possible to accommodate all the candidates who have been issued provisional admission letters… We are sending this letter as a word of caution to ensure that you are fully informed and can make your decisions accordingly."

Except there were few decisions left to make and students are now looking at an unplanned gap year.

MDI Gurgaon: Waitlist, deferred admissions

Candidates had communicated their concerns to MDI after the June 14 letter but on June 18, MDI wrote back again. This time, it made some suggestions. Candidates were told they were being put on a waitlist and that by September 15, when admissions officially close, if there are dropouts, waitlisted candidates will be accommodated according to their places on the merit list.

Ashutosh Das, admissions in-charge at MDI, also repeated this to candidates who arrived at MDI’s Gurugram campus on Tuesday. In the video taken of his exchange with students, Das appeared to suggest that dropouts are still a possibility.

The other alternative proposed is deferred admissions. “You may also consider the possibility of deferring your admissions to the next 2025-27 batch should you wish to explore the same and we will offer you a guaranteed seat in the next 2025-27 batch with the current fee of the 2024-26 batch, subject to the approval of AICTE,” says the letter to candidates. Das also said the same although students pointed out that if they have 120 AICTE-approved seats, then next year too, there will be excess offers from the 2024 batch alone.

Those who had paid deposits and wished to withdraw were promised a full refund.

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MDI Gurgaon: On excess offers

Gautam Puri, who founded the exam preparation company Career Launcher, pointed out that making offers so much in excess of the actual number of seats is “not at all standard industry practice”.

He said that different management institutes have different approaches to dealing with the problem of dropouts. Some will make only a few excess offers, say, 105 offers against 100 seats; some don’t make excess offers at all but keep a waiting list; still others will make excess offers but find ways to accommodate all in case there aren’t enough withdrawals. He also pointed out that some B-schools “make more offers to show the waitlist movement is slow” as this implies that few candidates opt for other opportunities. “But whatever the institute gains out of this, students should not be made to pay the price,” he said. “The batch starts on June 21 and students are looking at the waste of a year.”

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