Understanding From Student’s Perspective

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 26 Jun 2018 12:46:32


 The National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) is an autonomous body which was established in 1994 by the University Grants Commission (UGC) of India to assess and accredit institutions that provide the Higher Education in India (HEI) with the basic motto to enhance the quality of this institution.Many amendments took place during last decades in accreditation process. Latest NAAC process is student centric rather than college centric i.e. more importance is given to students to crosscheck the information provided by college. Earlier, college is to provide various data like number of academic events, scholarship, placement of students to the NAAC committee which is usually verified by Committee through documents, but now it is all together a different story. Now, randomly some students will get a mail from NAAC office to crosscheck the claim made by college regarding events and other details.

By dr s b kishor & suhashini chaurasia

 Accreditation and Assessment (A&A) Criteria: The criteria to serve as basis for A&A of HEIs by NAAC are:

1. Curricular Aspects:
It checks the kind of curriculum offer to students and whether it has relevant to global and local trends. Apart from issues of diversity and academic flexibility, aspects on career orientation, multi-skill development, feedback system and involvement of stakeholders in curriculum updating are also gauged.
2. Teaching-Learning and Evaluation:
It pertains to the efforts of an institution to serve students of different backgrounds and abilities, through effective teaching-learning experiences through different mechanism and media like ICT. It also probes, the efficiency of the techniques used to evaluate the performance of teachers and students.
3. Research, Innovations and Extension:
Through these criteria, NAAC seeks the information on the policies, practices adopted by Institution with reference to
a) Research work taken by faculty members,
b) The kind of innovations in work via Awards, Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), Patent and other aspect achieved by college/faculty members
c) Collaboration with various agencies and Serving to the community via extension work.
Finally, analyse the overall outcomes of the institution in this regard.
4. Infrastructure and Learning Resources:
It pertains to check the Physical facilities provided by college like lab, sports, gym etc. are adequate and whether it has been optimally used or not. It also checks the facilities provided in library like reading room, journals, e-books, IT infrastructures and overall maintenance of campus and expansion of facilities to meet future development like solar system, water harvesting etc.
5. Student Support and Progression:
It deals with facilitating mechanisms like guidance cell, placement cell, grievance redressal cell and welfare measures to support students. The Institution’s concern for student progression to higher studies and gainful employment is a pertinent issue. Finally, how much institute either financial or nonfinancial nurtures the alumni association/chapters to facilitate them to contribute significantly to the development of the institution.
6. Governance, Leadership and Management:
Here, committee checks vision and mission of institution and observe whether it is progressing towards it or not. It also checks the practice adopted by institute regarding human resources, recruitment, training, performance appraisal, financial management and Internal Quality Assurance System (IQAS) adopted by institute.
7. Institutional Values and Best Practices:
The kind of values adopted by institution towards society by adopting various practices like energy conservation, rain water harvesting, waste recycling (solid/liquid waste management, e-waste management), carbon neutral, green practices etc. And over the period, “best practices”i.e. unique characteristics adopted by institute which becomes its recognizable attribute.
Online Student Satisfaction Survey (SSS): In the revised accreditation framework a new parameter named students satisfaction survey has been introduced, in which institute has to upload data of all currently enrolled students as per data template format of excel sheet given on website. The data required from students have the name of the students, gender, students’ id number, email id, programme name, enrollment id, Aadhar id, mobile number and year of joining. Students have to answer questionnaire containing 20 objective and 1 subjective question.
The link will be sent to the students via email and are also available on NAAC web site. Maximum of two survey attempts will be initiated to reach the desired level of response. For Colleges having undergraduate and postgraduate courses, responses should be received from at least 10% of the student population or 100, whichever is lesser. For Universities the NAAC survey expects10% of the student or 500, whichever is lesser. If the response rate is lower than the limits mentioned by NAAC, the metric will not be taken up for evaluation that is the institution will be losing 50 marks. Students have full liberty to give feedback about the institution as they desire. The institute can encourage students to participate in survey and guide them to make the SSS possible within the given time. SSS questionnaire is available in English as well as in Hindi. NAAC is trying to translate the form in regional language also. The questionnaire will be based on the Likert type scale, which means the responses are scaled on a scale of 0 to 4. The highest positive response is rated as 4 and the negative response is rated as 0. Score emerging out of the survey is part of the second criterion on Teaching Learning and Evaluation. Questionnaire consists of several facets of the teaching learning process. Questions are based on teacher skills and overall approach to the educational process. Skills include subject knowledge,communication skills, class preparation, and use of ICT tools. The second major component of the questionnaire is overall approach of the teacher and institution with respect to providing the right environment, interpersonal relation, motivation, feedback etc. Questionnaire is a means of observations and suggestions for improvements providing an opportunity to the student to give suggestions and criticisms in their own words. Once, online feedback survey form is submitted by the student analysis of the survey would be done using software which will aggregate the responses and generate the score. The score will range from a minimum of 0 to a maximum of 4 on a five point scale. Responses to the open ended question would also be aggregated to find out the most common suggestion and criticisms emerging out of the survey. Thus, in revising, several metrics to bring in enhanced participation of students and alumni in the assessment process of Institution.
Benefits of NAAC for Students: Before NAAC was introduced, student has hardly any role in college apart from learning and utilizing only those facilities that have been provided by Institution. In fact, students were not at all aware about the kind of infrastructure, teacher-students ratio, library details, teacher’s qualification, research activities and other details of college before taking admission. But now, scenario has changed a lot.
Implementation of Internal Quality Assessment Cell (IQAC) which is mandatory for every college to establish as a part of accreditation by NAAC also helps student to know the measures taken by the institution to improve quality education. The cell consists of industry experts, alumni, teachers and students.
Nelson Mandela said once that “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”. Today, Students are the brand ambassadors of our country. NAAC’s effort in giving hand to this young generation for a better tomorrow is worthwhile. Students are to play vital role within any HEI, and therefore they are the main stakeholders who have a much stronger voice than any other stakeholders that includes Government Institution (Management), Academic Teachers, Employers and Society at large. These are all the efforts of the NAAC to involve students in the quality assurance, quality sustenance and quality enhancement processes of HEI’s.
(The authors can be contacted at [email protected] and [email protected]) n