Self-study will help improve quality
One of the key factors for revamping the administration procedure for a large university is the accreditation process.
The National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) has made several modifications to the process in order to give a push to the quality of education offered by institutions.
Recently, at a NAAC award ceremony in the city, University Grants Commission (UGC) chairperson Prof Ved Prakash remarked that often colleges stop adhering to the parameters for quality education as soon as they receive certificates. He said colleges need to change this attitude and should go in for self-assessment.
With the 12th Five Year Plan aiming at improving enrolment in higher education, there is a need to improve the quality of education, too. Many academicians also feel that the accreditation process needs a different approach in some aspects. In its attempt to encourage active participation of institutions applying for accreditation, one of the practices NAAC has adopted is self-assessment, placing an equal onus on the institution.
Upload on website
As part of the accreditation process, institutions are required to make a Self-Study Report and upload it on their website before submitting it to the Council for accreditation. This way, the Council attempts to ensure that colleges internally monitor their standards, instead of bucking up only during inspection.
Though this means that the college staff have to invest more time in preparing a detailed report of their annual performance, it has helped in increasing the participation of colleges in self-assessment.
The assessment of an institution is done considering its curriculum, teaching, research, infrastructure, governance, leadership and innovation, among other criteria. Despite the detailed procedure, many colleges are yet to meet the set parameters.
The NAAC assesses thousands of colleges each year. It has assessed 172 universities and more than 4,000 colleges since it came into being in 1994. But the time given for each institution for assessment is not sufficient, feel the officials.
Speaking to Deccan Herald, Prof N R Shetty, former vice-chancellor of Bangalore University and a founder-member of NAAC, said that these days, the accreditation process could be defined as “something better than nothing.”
Several academicians have pointed out that a university in its entirety cannot be assessed and graded.
“Universities in the West are graded by each department, which is more effective,” he said. This will not only place equal responsibility on every department to exert themselves for better performance, it will also help students to choose courses in their areas of interest, based on the grades given to each department.