How Accreditation stimulates and appreciates the Quality and Excellence in Higher Education
In today’s globalised world, quality higher education is required to foster creativity, talent, innovation and research attitude in youth but under present dynamic situations, it is critical to guarantee that the educational institute accomplishes the learning outcomes and education meets the minimum criteria. Accreditation, a significant quality assurance instrument, is used to evaluate the national higher education system. Accreditation is regarded as a quality seal that certifies that an accredited institute or programme meets certain criteria. It serves two major purposes: quality assurance and quality improvement. Quality assurance is the process of determining a minimum acceptable standard of quality and performance in the public interest. Quality improvement is the process of providing a service that is designed to improve institutions and programmes through an external review process.
Quality and Excellence in Higher Education
Various people have different perspectives on quality. Nonetheless, everyone understands what “quality” means. The degree of satisfaction expressed by the consumer receiving the service can be used to rate the service’s quality. The definition of quality in the dictionary is “the degree of excellence.” It indicates that a product, organisation, or institution must have some key criteria, qualities, or distinguishing factor that provides satisfaction to the people who use the service. It has to do with people’s feelings of satisfaction and perceptions.
In different contexts, excellence in higher education can mean different things. It can be characterised as demonstrating an institution’s position and academic reputation from the standpoint of students. This, however, is contingent on the experiences of students and the purposes of the institutions. Accreditors have frequently used the phrase “excellence.” to determine the level of quality processes and services provided by institutions in order to ensure the satisfaction of stakeholders. Many accrediting authorities have described quality and excellence as a measurable parameter that include a mix of skills, knowledge, experience. as well as continuous improvement in outputs.
Need of Accreditation in Higher Education
Several events have occurred recently that have altered the perception of quality assurance standards in higher education. These include:
Growth and Development of Higher Education
The broadening of the foundations of elementary and secondary education has emerged from national initiatives to ensure education for all. As a result, demand for and availability of higher education has risen dramatically in recent decades. The fact that higher education is a visible component of society and contributes to national growth and well-being is now universally acknowledged by governments all over the world. Many institutions had to examine and vary not only their course offerings, but also many areas of their internal reorganisation and teaching-learning process as a result of the increased amount of activity and diversity of their student body. To ensure institutional responsibility to funding agencies and other stakeholders, the extent to which relevant institutional efforts adequately respond to changing societal and economic requirements must be examined.
Influence of Technology
Changes in study requirements, teaching and learning arrangements, and areas such as research organisation and university administrative practise have all been influenced by major advancements in information technology. There is a greater emphasis on multi-media tactics for boosting teaching and learning, which necessitates a rethinking of traditional quality assurance structures.
Alternative sources for Higher Education
The introduction of non-traditional higher education providers, such as open and virtual universities, private schools’ growth, multi-campus institutions’ growth, and franchising, has fractured the higher education market. As a result, quality assurance techniques that have shown to be effective for a system of essentially national, government-funded self-accrediting traditional and distant education institutions must be revisited.
Competitiveness on the global avenue
Most higher education institutions have proven to be quite effective and entrepreneurial in attracting students from both within and outside of their own country. Because there is a clear policy encouraging Indian students to pursue higher education overseas, it has become a significant contributor to India’s external accounts through fees paid by international students and the selling and promotion of services. Many other countries’ universities are likewise interested in enrolling students and delivering services. In a way, educational services are both imported and exported. India today finds itself in an international setting where the quality of tertiary education and research will determine its success.
Keeping all such parameters in consideration, it is believed that India would benefit from establishing a national system of external certification. The policies, attitudes, behaviours, and procedures required to ensure that quality is maintained and improved are referred to as Quality assurance. Accreditation is the process of determining whether or not a certain institution is eligible for a qualifying certificate. The status may have repercussions for the institution (e.g., permission to operate), its students (e.g., grant eligibility), and/or its graduates (e.g., qualifications for specific jobs).
Current Quality Assurance Practices in Higher Education
For the establishment and operationalization of higher education institutions, government organisations such as the University Grants Commission (UGC) and the All-India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) have developed regulations and recommendations. These bodies’ information can be utilised to make quality improvement and assurance decisions based on the data they collect and analyse. The credentials framework outlines the types of awards available in higher education, and apex authorities keep track of recognised programmes and providers.
Universities have internal mechanisms for evaluating new course ideas and promoting staff development, and most have established relationships with other universities to support staff exchanges, research collaboration, and course delivery benchmarking. A variety of mechanisms are in place for assessing and improving teaching, as well as reporting and scrutinising staff publishing and research records. The majority of promotion criteria centre on teaching excellence, research engagement, and community service initiatives.
For a variety of reasons, it has been standard practise to have external assessors conduct programme reviews in order to evaluate the quality of academic activities with that of other leading universities. External reviewers developed a quality assurance mechanism that relies on one or a combination of methodologies, the most important of which are self-studies or self-evaluation, peer review by expert panels, use of relevant statistical information and performance indicators, and service to key groups such as students, graduates, and employers.
Role of iCloudEMS to ensure quality and evaluating arrangements for the effective implementation of strategies for accomplishing specified goals in Higher Education Institutes.
With our innovative products and services, we at iCloudEMS are continually assisting Higher Education Institutes in improving their quality standards. Our Accreditation management system is a cloud-based programme with SIS and other modules that is designed for all sorts of technical and nontechnical Higher Education Institutes and delivers results in compliance with the Washington Accord, LIMA Accord, and Bologna Process.
• Accreditation bodies often demand and analyse data over a couple of years, but manually organizing and formatting such a vast volume of data is a time-consuming operation prone to redundancy and missing data. Our cloud-based technology makes data management and rule-compliant formatting a breeze.
• Accreditation journey starts with self-analysis reports formation only. Our system can generate a range of self-assessment and analysis reports for your institution, such as SER/SAR/AQAR/IQAC/AACSB, with just a few clicks.
• Uploading data to accreditation portals is a pre-requisite prior to a peer team’s visit; our unique features make this process easier, including the possibility to use prefilled data on the portal during the multi-year data collection process.
• There are pre-defined questionnaires in line with different criteria of accreditation bodies, and the answers are requested to be entered through responses to such pre-set questions based on certain parameters. We digitally support in making data and results uploading easier and in the required manner only.
• Self-evaluation is a crucial part of the accrediting process, and reports are more effective than words at communicating findings. Throughout accreditation assessments and qualification analysis, we assist faculty members by automating the preparation of the main self-assessment reports, as well as various supplementary reports.
• Our expert database verification team investigates the standards and criteria to be certified by compiling and managing data in chronological order.
• Using our tiered evaluation approach, institutes can swiftly analyse the benchmarking standards and obtain a fast reckoner on the current situation.
• With only a few clicks, our user-friendly system assists governing bodies in conducting a fair and complete audit of well-organized data and reports.
It can be stated that iCloudEMS provides a well-managed digital environment for automating and simplifying the time-consuming and repetitive accrediting processes. For quality monitoring and improvement, our complete Accreditation management system allows for an error-free mapping of learning outcomes with the institute’s objective and vision. In today’s competitive environment, it’s more important than ever for Higher Education Institutes to invest in a digital partner like iCloudEMS that can align workflow with the institute’s strategic plans to assure quality assurance and improvement on a regular basis.