Year of Establishment: 2013
A number of measures of quality encompass the ratios of educational ‘inputs’ to the ‘outputs’ of (an institution of) higher education that qualify to be used as the ‘indicator’ ratios. Another set of measures of quality concentrates on the quality of inputs as well as that of outputs. It goes without saying that the institutions of higher education are multi-input and multi-output processing units. Some researchers on quality in higher education stress on the input side, the others on the output side while yet others argue in favour of concentrating upon the process.
It is argued by Harvey and Green that there could be five distinct but interconnected ways of thinking about quality. Harvey provides the following brief overview of the five categories: (I) Exceptional view of quality, (II) Quality as perfection, (III) Quality as fitness for purpose, (IV) Quality as value for money, and (V) Quality as transformation. Traditionally, quality refers to something distinctive and exclusive, and, in educational terms is linked to notions of excellence, of ‘high quality’ unattainable by most. Quality as perfection, in a sense, ‘democratizes’ the notion of quality and if consistency can be achieved then quality can be attained by all. Quality as fitness for purpose sees quality in terms of fulfilling a customer’s requirements, needs or desires. Theoretically, the customer specifies requirements. In education, fitness for purpose is usually based on the ability of an institution to fulfill its mission or a programme of study to fulfill its aims. “Quality as value for money sees quality in terms of return on Investment. If the same outcome can be achieved at a lower cost, or a better outcome can be achieved at the same cost, then the ‘customer’ has a quality product or service”. The growing tendency for governments to require accountability from higher education reflects a value-for-money approach. Increasingly students require value-for-money for the increasing cost to them of higher education. Quality as transformation: From educational standpoint, transformation refers to the improvement and empowerment of students or the development of understanding.
In pursuance of the National Action Plan of the National Assessment and Accreditation Council, Bangalore, for performance evaluation, assessment and accreditation and quality up-gradation of institutions of higher education, it has been proposed by NAAC that every institution either accredited institution or not will establish an Internal Quality Assurance Cell for pre and post-accreditation quality sustenance measure. Since quality enhancement is a continuous process, the IQAC will play an important role in an institution’s system and work towards realizing the goals of quality enhancement and sustenance. The prime task of the IQAC is to develop a system for conscious, steady and catalytic improvement in the performance of institutions. The IQAC will make a significant contribution and will channelize the efforts and of an institution towards academic excellence.