Emergence of Institutional Quality Assurance Cell

Establishment of Quality Assurance (QA) system in higher education is a global phenomenon. There is a growing demand for Quality Assurance mechanisms at national, regional and global levels. Over the years, it is observed that there is an increase of Higher Education Institutions which increased involvement of external stakeholders through changes in governance structures. The higher education institutions around the world have been introduced to Quality Assurance system internally with formal institutional approach and documentation. This has been done with the establishment of Quality Assurance Agencies like Accreditation bodies at the national level. The integration of Quality Assurance principles into higher education became effective in Europe, the process of which started in 1999. In Africa, Middle East and Asia significance of quality assurance in higher education are also recognized. In South Asia India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka have well-structured quality assurance system in place. To support the increasing number of internal quality assurance systems many quality assurance agencies are functioning across the globe with standard practices.

Keeping all these in view UGC launched Institutional Quality Assurance programmes since 2009 under Higher Education Quality Enhancement Project (HEQEP) with the financial support of the World Bank. Meanwhile a good number of public and private universities completed their Self-Assessment programmes. As a Public University BUP cannot remain behind from such a pivotal pursuit of quality higher education. It is high time to act professionally to deal with Quality Assurance culture. Reasons for such rapid growth of QA practices and QA agencies worldwide are:

  • • Increase in number of students and diversity of study.
  • • Increasing interest of parents, students and funding agencies to ensure that the money is spent appropriately.
  • • Increasing mobility of students putting pressure on the Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to become globally acceptable for quality standard.
  • • Increasing competition among the HEIs to become the credible source of higher education.
  • • Governments increasingly want to hold HEIs accountable for performance in terms of quality graduates, national relevance, and ability to meet the need    of the society.

General Objectives of the IQAC

The general objective of the IQAC is to promote a quality assurance culture at BUP with the support and cooperation of all stakeholders.

Specific Objectives

  • • To institutionalize the quality assurance (QA) culture in accordance with national QA Guidelines and international practices.
  • • To ensure that the University's quality assurance procedures are designed following the UGC & BAC guidelines and national requirements.
  • • To develop, maintain and enhance quality of education and people's perception in favor of the university through consistent quality assurance practice   and performance.
  • • To build image of the university with confidence of the stakeholders ensuring transparency, accountability, and good practices in all aspects of management
  • • To prepare the university to meet the external quality assurance assessment and accreditation requirements.
  • • To equip the students with quality education along with ethical and moral values to transform as a good citizen.

Quality in Education: The Connotation

The graduates must come out of the university equipped with requisite qualifications and skills that the society and the country need for achieving higher economic growth and prosperity. Quality education includes:

  • • Quality of learners with commitment and interest to explore their potentials maximizing the learning opportunities.
  • • Environments that are healthy, safe, protective and gender-sensitive, and provide adequate resources and facilities.
  • • Content that is reflected in relevant curricula and materials for the acquisition of basic skills, attitude and knowledge referring for life.
  • • Processes through which effective and student-centered teaching learning and meaningful assessment to facilitate attainment of learning and reduce disparities; and
  • • Outcomes that encompass knowledge, skills and attitudes, and are linked to national goals for education and positive participation in society.

Quality Assurance Principles

Across the countries quality assurance system works under some principles. These principles are basically to guide the quality assurance drive toward greater accountability, transparency and credibility. The QA principles applicable for effective functioning of quality assurance (QA) system are as follows:

  • • Responsibility
  • • Focus on stakeholders
  • • Involvement
  • • Purpose
  • • Commitment
  • • Continuity
  • • Flexibility
  • • Organized effort
  • • Shared benefit
  • • Fairness
  • • Autonomy
  • • Transparency

Internal Quality Assurance

Internal quality assurance system is composed of the arrangements within the institution to provide assurance of learning with people's confidence. Internal QA is considered as the corner stone of QA in higher education. Everybody working in an institution must be responsible and accountable to develop the quality culture. The implementation of internal QA mechanisms would create a sense of responsibility and a new awareness of process approach throughout the institution.

External Quality Assurance

In case of external quality assurance, a credible body or agency external to a particular HEI will be assigned to certify the internal quality assurance system as an effective and competent means to ensure quality in higher education. In addition, external quality assurance agency provides feedback and technical supports to the HEIs through periodic assessment and validation of internal QA system. External quality assurance can play a very important role in strengthening internal quality assurance. External quality assurance system provides HEIs an opportunity to compare their academic programs and standards with equivalent national and international standards and to set benchmarks for further improvement.