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Indian Varsities To Get Common International Assessment Standards

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For the first time ever, higher educational institutions in India will be getting assessment and accreditation practices based on global standards. Key quality networks, the NAAC (National Assessment and Accreditation Council) and agencies from Asia, Europe, America, Australia, UK, Africa and other countries have come together to develop a common agenda for international quality assurance of Indian universities.

With this motion in process, information of all the higher educational institutions across the world will be soon available on one portal.

Some of the agencies according to Hindustan Times taking part in this motion are

  • Asia-Pacific Quality Network (APQN),
  • Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) from USA,
  • European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education, (ENQA),
  • European Consortium for Accreditation in Higher Education (ECA),
  • Arab Network for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ANQAHE),
  • ASEAN Quality Assurance Network (AQAN),
  • Asia Pacific Quality Register (APQR),
  • Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education UK (QAA - UK),
  • Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA), Australia,
  • Tertiary Education Commission, Mauritius (TEC),
  • Malaysian Qualifications Agency,
  • Accrediting Agency of Chartered Colleges and Universities in the Philippines (AACCUP),
  • Higher Education Evaluation and Accreditation Council of Taiwan (HEEACT) and
  • National Institution for Academic Degrees and Quality Enhancement for Higher Education (NIAD-QE) from Japan.

Common International Assessment Standards

While some regions like Europe have well-established information and recognition systems like the European Network of Information Centres in the European Region and National Academic Recognition Information Centres in the European Union (ENIC-NARIC ), many other regions lack such resources. To address this issue, APQN has initiated a global project on quality information portal, with the help of Unesco.

"We need to promote development of regional and global databases of recognised accreditation bodies and accredited higher education institutions. We are working on enhancing links among all existing quality registers such as CHEA, European Quality Assurance Registers and databases for Higher Education (EQAR) and Asia Pacific Quality Register (APQR) for accreditation agencies. Similarly, existing databases and information portals of accredited higher education institutions need to be strengthened and linked,"
says Prof DP Singh, director, NAAC.

Universities, quality assurance bodies, governments, inter-governmental agencies and international networks are under increased pressure from students and other stakeholders to play a proactive role in safeguarding their interests while promoting international student mobility.

The above list quality assurance agencies will share and promote good practices by using multiple platforms such as conferences, virtual and communication technologies, workshops, publications and staff exchanges as part of the Bengaluru Statement 2016 on Next Generation Quality Assurance of Higher Education.

This is for the first time in history of higher education quality assurance that the global quality networks and agenices of four continents have come together, marking a major landmark in nternational history of higher education quality assurance.

Syun Tutiya, professor, National Institution for Academic Degrees and Quality Enhancement of Higher Education (NIAD-QE), Japan, says, "We are working towards discussing the current situations in Japan's quality assurance of higher education focusing on its governmental moves including international collaborative programmes."

USA's CHEA seeks to work with the international quality community on tackling challenges facing quality assurance internationally. Judith Eaton, president, CHEA, says, "Internationalisation is now a powerful force throughout the academic community. We exchange information and ideas on common interests and concerns including public accountability, student learning outcomes, new modes of educational delivery, international quality expectation, the role of government, academic freedom, non-institutional education, a single set of quality standards, rankings, degree mills and more."

NAAC has also signed MoUs with accreditation bodies in Taiwan and Mauritius to achieve these goals.

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