Quality Assurance in Higher Education – All Statistics you Should know.

Higher Education

Higher education in the country is catered by more than 40000 colleges of affiliated or constituent or autonomous type with around 900 Universities of affiliating or non-affiliating or deemed type. Indian higher education providers are regulated under the umbrella framework of University Grants Commission (UGC).

The Universities and deemed to be Universities possess the statutory authority to impart education leading to the grant the degrees at the respective level.

The sovereignty of these Universities and deemed to be Universities in respect to deciding academic framework, teaching-learning processes, examination, evaluation, and associated roles is inevitably exercised by them, but the overall performance and commitment for delivering the best education have significant variations.

Start of an Era for Quality of Higher Education

Start of an Era for Quality of Higher Education

The quality of education imparted by the Higher Education Institutions (HEI) is always of concern among different stakeholders with varying connotations of quality with each of them.

In general, the quality of education is being assessed from the employability point of view, and the complete higher education system has always been under severe criticism due to poor employability statistics brought out by various agencies from time to time in past decades.

If we see, majorly, the quality of higher education depends on-

The efficacy of teaching, student learning outcome, research activities & output, extension services, and institutional support system for all elements involved in the education processes.

In spite of the subjectivity and dynamic nature of the attributes for measuring the quality of education, the UGC has created a certain framework with numerous criteria to assess the quality standard of HEI. Looking upon the concern regarding the quality of higher education in the colleges / Universities or alike institutions spread across the country.

READ MORE – Higher Education: A journey from 1.0 to 4.0 (PART 2)

Keeping all this mind a process of assessing the quality of the higher education institutions formally started in 1994 through the setting up of external quality assurance agency namely National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC).

Reality Check on Higher Education

Reality Check on College Accreditation

The quality assurance and accreditation through an external agency is the prevalent practice across the world, and this exercise of accreditation is believed to act as a stimulant for the HEI to improve itself on all accounts related to the education.

It should not be treated as a panacea for improving the quality of education, but it positively encourages the HEI for improving the accreditation outcome and maintain itself in the highest band of accreditation classification and thus be ready to impart high-quality education.

The awareness of the relevance of accreditation has been increasing fast among the students, society and the Institutions. Students and parents consider the accreditation status of any Institution as one of the key factors in choosing their Institution for studying further.

But the information available in respect to the number of accredited Institutions irrespective of its grade on the NAAC portal is not very promising. Considering the number  of HEIs as available on the web portal of All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) and the accreditation status on NAAC web portal

It is seen that 12181 colleges out of total 42024 colleges registered on AISHE portal are only accredited, while among Universities or alike Institutions only 588 are accredited out of total 993 registered on AISHE portal.

Quite likely these total number of Institutions may not be a true representation of the Institutions eligible for NAAC accreditation, but the intent and resolve for quality assurance is evinced from them.

State / Union territory wise data of first cycle accreditation Data of Colleges/ Universities by NAAC-

  • Maharashtra state has the highest number of 1611 Colleges
  • Tamilnadu has the highest number of 43 Universities

The state-wise tally of the accredited institutions with respect to the number of institutions registered on AISHE portal detailed ahead is indicative of the fact that many states have very less number of NAAC accredited institutions.

Thus, the NAAC accreditation of the less than one-third colleges and less than two-thirds of Universities and deemed Universities reveal the sensitivity and commitment of the HEIs towards their assessment in respect to the prescribed parameters for assessing the quality.

Demographic Benefits for Quality of Higher Education

Demographic Benefits for Quality of Education

It appears imperative for the country like ours which is blessed with the demographic dividend to get its all institutions assessed through the process of accreditation, which will recognize the well performing HEIs and motivate the rest to improve the quality of education holistically.

The presence of a large section of the population in the age bracket of seeking higher education offers the country with the rare opportunity of becoming the world’s most educated nation. Committed actions for delivering the best quality of higher education will make India as a hub of the highly educated human resource in the world which can move across the globe for carrying forward the civilization.

READ MORE – Higher Education: A journey from 1.0 to 4.0 (PART 2)

It is worth mentioning that the quality assurance in higher education is demonstrated by the performing capabilities of graduating students and the competencies possessed by them. So a person holding certain degree conferred upon him/her has to exhibit the capability and competencies expected from the respective degree holder.

Therefore, HEIs are under obligation to ensure that the core teaching-learning – evaluation and allied processes of education are conducted with ample rigor and contemporary creativity to roll out the worthy educated ones.

Introspection into the statistics of accreditation should nucleate the discussion among the regulators for initiating the exercise of assessment and accreditation with the perspective of sensitizing HEIs to improve the quality of education delivered by them. The pace for completing the self-assessment as well as external assessment and accreditation should be highly accelerated for maximizing the beneficiaries before it is too late with respect to the available demographic dividend.

Lethargy in context of maintaining quality standards and incessant efforts for raising them through innovations, creativity & commitment will create a pool of formally educated but inconsequential human resource inundated with frustration and dissatisfaction due to being unworthy of education possessed by them.

Ordaining HEIs to undertake assessment and accreditation for overall improvement in their processes and practices holds great hope from the country’s higher education system. The potentiality of quality assurance leading to quality improvement should be perceived by all stakeholders comprising of teachers, students, administrators, management, alumni, employers and the regulators of the education system.

NAAC Accredited Institutions on NAAC portal and No of institutions on AISHE portal

NAAC Accredited Institutions on NAAC portal and No of institutions on AISHE portal

State / Union Territory No. of Colleges Accredited in first cycle#  as per NAAC Total no of Colleges as per AISHE* No. of University Accredited in first cycle#  as per NAAC Total no of Universities  as per AISHE*
Andhra Pradesh 336 2701 14 41
Arunachal Pradesh 7 37 3 10
Assam 205 545 6 22
Bihar 150 883 7 33
Chhattisgarh 124 762 6 28
Goa 25 67 1 3
Gujarat 469 2536 20 72
Haryana 318 1100 14 48
Himachal Pradesh 65 344 7 26
Jammu and Kashmir 76 305 6 15
Jharkhand 101 315 6 25
Karnataka 815 3816 27 65
Kerala 251 1408 8 23
Madhya Pradesh 268 3011 17 65
Maharashtra 1611 4570 32 62
Manipur 25 92 1 6
Meghalaya 19 67 1 10
Mizoram 24 32 1 3
Nagaland 25 68 1 5
Odisha 280 1082 14 28
Punjab 267 1090 6 32
Rajasthan 252 3237 21 83
Sikkim 8 27 2 7
Tamil Nadu 768 2522 43 59
Telangana 213 1999 13 24
Tripura 13 53 2 4
Uttar Pradesh 573 7175 31 79
Uttarakhand 60 450 9 36
West Bengal 380 1398 12 45
Andaman and Nicobar Islands 2 9 0 0
Chandigarh 15 25 1 3
Dadar and Nagar Haveli 0 9 0 0
Daman and Diu 1 10 0 0
Delhi 86 191 16 27
Lakshadweep 0 3 0 0
Puducherry 23 85 2 4
Total First Cycle Accredited 7855   350  
Total Second Cycle Accredited 3419   165  
Total Third Cycle Accredited 887   71  
Total Fourth Cycle Accredited 20   2  
Total No. of Accredited Colleges – 12181 Total No. of Colleges – 42024 Total No. of Accredited Universities – 588 Total No. of Universities –  993

Source: * All India Survey on Higher Education Ministry of Human Resource Development, (April 23, 2019)

National Assessment and Accreditation Council, (April 1, 2019) http://www.naac.gov.in/menu/graphs

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