As soon as one is promoted to the 12th Grade in India, in addition to the upcoming Board Exams another life changing question that haunts one is “What Career should I Choose for myself?” People often think that once the career choice gets out of the way, the process simplifies but it is here that I attempt to dispel a common misconception. The choice of the University/ Institution is just as important as the opportunities one can avail at the University/ Institution that makes the difference.
So that brings us to the next question – what does help a candidate choose a University/ Institution?
Rankings done by various Private Organisations, though reliable, at times raise doubts in the minds of the prospective graduate or his/ her parents about the validity of the same. So the yardsticks that most follow are Accreditations and Rankings by Autonomous Organisations that are governed by the UGC/ MHRD.
So before we get deeper into this train of thought, let us first try to understand what is meant by an Accreditation.
What is an Accreditation?
Accreditation is a voluntary activity initiated by the institution that requires a rigorous self-evaluation and an independent, objective appraisal of the overall educational quality by peers. Accreditation emphasises quality assurance and a commitment to continuous quality enhancement.
Why is Accreditation Important?
Accreditation is important because it:
- Helps determine if an institution meets or exceeds minimum standards of quality.
- Helps students determine acceptable institutions for enrollment.
- Helps employers determine the validity of programs of study and whether a graduate is qualified. Employers often require evidence that applicants have received a degree from an accredited school or program.
- Helps employers determine eligibility for employee tuition reimbursement programs.
- Enables graduates to sit for certification examinations.
- Involves staff, faculty, students, graduates, and advisory boards in institutional evaluation and planning.
Accreditation in India
The National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) is an autonomous body established by the University Grants Commission (UGC) of India to assess and accredit institutions of higher education in the country. It is an outcome of the recommendations of the National Policy in Education (1986) which laid special emphasis on upholding the quality of higher education in India. To address the issues of quality, the National Policy on Education (1986) and the Plan of Action (POA-1992) advocated the establishment of an independent national accreditation body. Consequently, the NAAC was established in 1994 with its headquarters at Bangalore.
Benefits and Significance of Accreditation:
The process of accreditation helps in realising many benefits, such as:
- Helps the institution to know its strengths, weaknesses and opportunities.
- Initiates Institutions into innovative and modern methods of pedagogy
- Gives Institutions a new sense of direction and identity.
- Provides society with reliable information on the quality of education offered.
- Promotes intro and inter-Institutional interactions.
Accreditation signifies different things to different stakeholders. These are:
Benefits to Students:
Students studying in accredited Institutions can be assured that they will receive education which is a balance between high academic quality and professional relevance and that the needs of the corporate world are well integrated into programmes, activities and processes. It signifies that he has entered the portals of an Institution, which has the essential and desirable features of quality professional education.
Benefits to the Public:
Accredited status represents the commitment of the programme and the Institution to quality and continuous improvement.
Benefits to Industry and Infrastructure Providers:
It signifies identification of quality of Institutional capabilities, skills and knowledge.
Benefits to Parents:
It signifies that their ward goes through a teaching-learning environment as per accepted good practices.
Benefits to Alumni:
It reassures alumni that alumni are products of an institute with a higher standing in terms of learning.
HRD minister recently announced the determination of university autonomy status by NAAC & NIRF.
From now onwards, institutions with good Ranking will have 100 percent autonomy, while average institutes will have 50 percent autonomy and institutions with deficient performance rate will have 10 percent autonomy in their working.
The aim to give away this responsibility to NAAC and NIRF is to revisit the policy and develop a proper framework to bring autonomy will go through regular audits and constant scrutiny by regulators.
This article has been submitted by an alumni from Graphic Era University.
Graphic Era University, located in the Himalayan State of Uttarakhand, with a History of 25 years of Excellence in Higher Education, is distinguished for its academic rigour, global and experiential learning opportunities. The success of Graphic Era University in various aspects can be directly attributed to its eminent faculty resources as well as its various industry-aligned associations with various International and National Organisations of Repute.
Graphic Era University, with recognition from prestigious institutions, has set a new benchmark in education and is constantly stretching the boundaries in collaborative studies, innovative learning and creation of skills, across numerous disciplinary fronts. Which is why Graphic Era University is the ONLY University in the Region with NAAC Grade A with the Highest Grade Score and in the Top 150 Rank Bands of the NIRF.
You can read more about Graphic Era University at www.geu.ac.in