Colleges to self-evaluate quality soon

Colleges to self-evaluate quality soon

Continuous Evaluation of Quality Education launched in 60 institutions

Colleges to self-evaluate quality soon

To help colleges across Karnataka improve the quality of their education, the Department of Collegiate Education will start a self-evaluation programme at colleges in the State from the next academic (2013-14) year.

Called the Continuous Evaluation of Quality Education (CEQE), the programme has been introduced as a pilot project in about 60 colleges.

B L Bhagyalakshmi, the Director of Department of Collegiate Education, speaking to reporters on Friday, said the idea was to ensure that colleges evaluate themselves on a regular basis and prepare for the assessment by National Assessment and Accreditation Council  instead of scrambling to put together the infrastructure at the last minute.

The procedure

As part of the programme, colleges will be given a self-assessment manual containing questions about teaching, student feedback and support, administration and infrastructure. Colleges are required to submit a half-yearly report and an annual report to the Department of Collegiate Education. To handle the task of inspections, the department has trained some 60 facilitators who will visit colleges to verify the self-assessment reports. “As the number of colleges following the programme increases, more facilitators will be trained,” Bhagyalakshmi explained.

She said the programme will not be mandatory as colleges themselves were keen to participate in the process. “Even before we announced the programme, colleges kept asking us for it. I am sure every college principal would be keen to do this on their own without us having to tell them,” she added.

Colleges currently following the pilot programme are spread across six regions in the State. Ten colleges have been selected from each region. The department has a total of about 350 first grade colleges under its jurisdiction.

Benchmarks needed

Speaking at a national conference organised on ‘Benchmarking — A quality initiative in Higher Education’, Bhagyalakshmi said  the country had prioritised the accessability of higher education at the cost of quality.

“Emphasis should be laid on equity and equality without which higher education will lose its purpose,” she said. According to the data from the University Grants Commission (UGC), the country has seen a massive growth in the number of universities.

The number of varsities has gone up to 700 in 2011 from a mere 16 in 1950.
“The total number of colleges in the country now stands at 38,000. As per a report on the ‘Restructuring and Rejuvenation of Higher Education’ conducted by Professor Yashpal, the country needs another 1,500 universities to achieve the 30 per cent enrolment by 2020,” Bhagyalakshmi explained.

She said the quality of higher education can be mapped, measured and sustained only through benchmarking.

“Self-evaluation, in comparison with the processes followed by other institutions, will not only help an institution function more efficiently, but also help parents and students to make informed choices,” she said.

Shakuntala Katre, an advisor at  Quality Assurance in Higher Education, spoke on the occasion. She stressed the importance of benchmarking colleges.

“Even today only a few states have made accreditation of colleges mandatory. Out of the 38,000 institutions across the country, only 4,000 are accredited by the NAAC,” she said.

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