The NAAC has been carrying out the process of quality assessment and accreditation of HEIs over the past two decades. Several HEIs have gone through this process, and a sizeable number has also undergone subsequent cycles of accreditation. True to its commitment for promoting a quality culture in HEIs in consonance with the overall developments in the field of education as well as the outside world, NAAC has strived to be sensitive to these and adequately reflect these in its processes. The A&A process of NAAC continues to be an exercise in partnership of NAAC with the HEI being assessed.
As is known by now, the A&A process of NAAC is being revised, and this revision attempts to enhance such a partnership. Over the years, the feedback procured from the HEIs, other stakeholders, and the developments in the national scene – all have contributed to making appropriate revisions in the process so as to accelerate the process with greater quality rigor.
Revised Assessment and Accreditation (A&A) Framework
The Revised Assessment and Accreditation Framework were launched in July 2017. It represents an explicit Paradigm Shift making it ICT enabled, objective, transparent, scalable, and robust. The Shift is:
- from qualitative peer judgement to data-based quantitative indicator evaluation with increased objectivity and transparency
- towards extensive use of ICT confirming scalability and robustness
- in terms of simplification of the process drastic reduction in the number of questions, size of the report, visit days, and so on
- in terms of boosting benchmarking as a quality improvement tool. This has been attempted through the comparison of NAAC indicators with other international QA frameworks
- introducing Pre-qualifier for peer team visit, as 25% of system-generated score
- introducing System Generated Scores (SGS) with a combination of online evaluation of Quantitative metrics and peer judgement of Qualitative metrics.
- introducing the element of third-party validation of data
- providing appropriate differences in the metrics, weightages, and benchmarks to universities, autonomous colleges, and affiliated/constituent colleges
- revising several metrics to bring in enhanced participation of students and alumni in the assessment process
The Revised Assessment and Accreditation Framework were launched in July 2017. It represents an explicit Paradigm Shift making it ICT enabled, objective, transparent, scalable, and robust. After launching the same, several modifications and updates have been carried. Recently, an update of the manual is in line with the NEP-2020 recommendations.
Again in January 2022, metrics related to seven criteria including both QnM and QlM have been now reduced to ease the Assessment and Accreditation process of NAAC for Affiliated/Constituent Colleges without compromising the quality aspects in Higher Education. The stakeholders of Higher Education have given their feedback to reduce the degree and magnitude of predicament faced by them during the process of filling their Self Study Report. Accordingly, NAAC has constituted a specialized team to look into the methodology adapted in the Revised Accreditation Framework (RAF), to facilitate all the Higher Education Institutions in the country. The Ministry of Education and University Grants Commission have requested NAAC to go for the ease of doing Accreditation of Higher Education Institutions to reach the unreached, especially in far-flung regions from different parts of the country.
Focus of Assessment
The NAAC continues with its focus on the quality culture of the institution in terms of Quality Initiatives, Quality Sustenance, and Quality Enhancement, as reflected in its vision, organization, operations, and the processes. Experience has reiterated that these can be ascertained either by on-site observations and/or through the facts and figures about the various aspects of institutional functioning. The Revised Manual places greater confidence in the latter as reflective of internal institutional processes.
In line with NAAC’s conviction that quality concerns are institutional, Quality Assessment (QA) can better be done through self-evaluation. The self-evaluation process and the subsequent preparation of the Self Study Report (SSR) to be submitted to NAAC involves the participation of all the stakeholders – management, faculty members, administrative staff, students, parents, employers, community, and alumni. While the participation of internal stakeholders i.e. management, staff, and students provide credibility and ownership to the activity and could lead to newer initiatives, interaction with external stakeholders facilitates the development process of the institution and their educational services. Overall, the QA is expected to serve as a catalyst for institutional self-improvement, promote innovation, and strengthen the urge to excel.
It is attempted to enlarge the digital coverage of the entire process of A&A. This, it is believed, will not only accelerate the process but also bring in greater objectivity into the process. The possible differentiation required concerning HEIs going for subsequent cycles of A&A, appropriate scope has been provided in the process. This will allow the HEIs to appropriately represent the developments they have attempted after the previous A&A cycle.