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  • Writer's pictureThothathri Raman

Common threads in quality improvement processes

Updated: Oct 22, 2020

Like in every industry, product differentiation is a key to success even though the bottom-line description of a product may be same. Be it entertainment, consumer goods, services etc., it is not so much the product or content but it is about the utility value to the customer. The world of Accreditation, Ranking and Rating, quality endorsement systems like ISO 9000 etc., the scene is no different.

As an experienced global influencer for high quality accreditation processes with International Accreditation systems, we at SEAA Trust, New Delhi has been seeing quite a large amount of underlying quality threads which the institutions opting for International Accreditation could give credence to help them acquire their accreditation faster and also put the entire experience of going through accreditation a valuable institutional building process with lasting value.

The Most common issue  the aspirational  B-schools face when they take up any accreditation, Indian or international is lack of preparedness as to some of the tough challenges they may face while submitting their initial applications and even later when the process kicks in.  Despite the mentors being present  and trying to be helpful, lack of a systematic way of gathering and preserving  data, absence of periodic surveys, lack of student learning assessment  metrics and such other,  pose a huge challenge to the schools.

Spending some few precious working days to study the competing accreditation processes, quality improvement systems like ISO, Ranking like NIRF or any other media ranking would help the business school team big time when they start on their accreditation. Accreditation as a means of show casing the intrinsic quality and continuous improvement taking place in the Higher Education Campus is today an accepted fact.  Despite the ongoing debate about the efficacy or otherwise of  the utility of accreditation  for growth of  HE campus  the accreditation movement is not going away anytime soon.

When it comes to accreditation it comes with different hues and colours  even though broadly they are either programmatic or are institutional.  And by definition it is almost always “voluntary” and  are peer reviewed  to avoid any bias  brought in by self-regulation or by  government regulation. The Indian National Accreditation and Assessment Commission (NAAC) finds accreditation as an “act of granting credit or recognition (especially with respect to educational institutions that maintain suitable standards) This definition of what is accreditation by the official accrediting body of India belonging to the Government owned University Grants Commission   clearly establishes the need for  everyone understanding  accreditation in its proper perspective. 

A lot depends on Culture (particularly inner), expectations, perceptions, resources, change management. Convincing that we are regional, national, and global over period of  years- is team work by govt, colleges, accreditation markets.

At the forthcoming XIII International Accreditation Conference (online) for three days between November 5 -7, 2020 there would be attempt to involve the stakeholders to discuss the cutting edge quality strategy to turn on its head the practices that are no longer relevant at campuses in the rapidly changing times partly catalysed by the prevailing pandemic.

An exclusive session on A & Q Improvement Commons by experts would be held on November 7 between 5.30 p.m and 6.15 p.m. IST to focus on finding these common factors early for the institutions to find greater value in going in for expensive, time consuming and rigorous international accreditation processes.

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