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Can India’s universities improve? NAAC Accreditation body ties up with US group to up standards

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Hindustan Times |  March 15, 2017 |  Gauri Kohli  |  New Delhi |

The National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), an assessment and accreditation body for higher education institutions in India, has signed a memorandum of affiliation with the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) International Quality Group (CIQG) of the US.  CHEA is a US-based organisation of colleges and universities serving as the national advocate for voluntary self-regulation through accreditation.  CIGQ is a forum for colleges, universities, accrediting and quality assurance organisations worldwide to address issues and challenges focused on quality and quality assurance in an international ­setting.  Under this agreement, the two bodies will share best practices in assessment and accreditation, exchange resources and expertise, case studies and will also engage in joint activities such as peer visits of experts to institutions from one country to the other. The group comprises experts from over 40 countries who will regularly share practices and assessment tools, among other things.  It is designed to engage quality assurance and accrediting organisations, higher education providers, organisations and governments in a shared effort to affirm and promote quality in higher education.  Prof DP Singh, director, NAAC, calls it a “step further in making Indian assessment and accreditation practices at par with global standards. The Council is also working with accreditation agencies from around the world to achieve this. Such initiatives will encourage more Indian institutions to go for NAAC accreditation, especially as the University Grants Commission has made it mandatory as it helps an institute get autonomous status. Consistent top grades by the Council will also help institutions improve their performance on the HRD ministry’s National Institutional Ranking Framework. This in turn will enable students make an informed choice about the university or college they wish to join. It will also help institutions improve their enrolment and placements.”

The agreement also states that both NAAC and CHEA will work along the lines of the core principles of the CHEA International Quality Group, a global network of quality assurance and accreditation bodies. This involves working with higher education providers and their leadership, staff and students for the implementation of processes, tools and benchmarks to improve quality.  CHEA and CIQG provide a forum for colleges and universities, accrediting and quality assurance organisations, higher education associations and governments to address issues and challenges for quality assurance in an international setting. At meetings, in webinars and through publications and presentations, CIQG members exchange information and ideas on common interests and concerns including student learning outcomes, new modes of educational delivery, international quality expectation, the role of government, etc.  “As a CIQG member, NAAC has played an active role in this conversation about quality assurance internationally. The memorandum of affiliation is designed to engage quality assurance and accrediting organisations in a shared effort to affirm and promote fundamental principles for higher education quality. The CIQG helps build principles that can be used internationally to advance quality assurance,” says a CHEA spokesperson. –  Courtesy

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