Eyeing quality, Karnataka to rate degree colleges

Colleges offering under-graduate courses in the state will be rated on the lines of varsities from the 2020-21 academic year.

Colleges offering under-graduate courses in the state will be rated on the lines of varsities from the 2020-21 academic year, with the state looking at conducting the exercise though a third-party.

The issue was discussed in the recent review meeting of higher education and collegiate education department, which was chaired by higher education minister Dr C N Ashwath Narayan. According to official sources present in the meeting, the plan is to do it through third-party assessment.

The exercise, according to Narayan, will increase and ensure quality in higher education.

“The modalities of the assessment have not yet been finalised, but rating degree colleges was discussed at one of the recent meetings. Once we work out the modalities the same will be announced officially,” said the minister.

Officials said there is also a proposal pending before the department to set up a state-level assessment and accreditation council, which will be on par with the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), to assess and grade state higher education institutions.

“This proposal is pending for the last two years and there were also discussions about setting up a state-level council for rating colleges. But it has not yet been finalised,” said a senior official of the department.

There are over 430 government, 417 private-aided and 1803 private-unaided colleges offering undergraduate/degree programmes in the state. However, the department is thinking of making this rating mandatory for all degree colleges.

Controversy

The education department recently ran into controversy when it released the ratings for universities.

Some of the state-run universities did not apply as they had to pay for the private/third party for the assessment. Vice-Chancellors of a few universities also questioned the rating, which saw state-run universities faring poorly while private universities received good ratings.

Considering the controversy, the department is thinking of setting up a Karnataka Higher Education Quality Assurance Committee to do the rating. The committee would be headed by the higher education minister.

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