ALERT TO STUDENTS: Check your college ‘NAAC Accreditation’, which is as important as you build your career

Why is NAAC Accreditations a serious deal? What should students search for when they want to join any institution? And how do institutions need to take the NAAC grading seriously? 

National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) is an autonomous institution established by the University Grants Commission (UGC), under Section 12-ccc of the UGC Act of 1956, for assessing and accrediting higher education institutions (HEIs) of the country. The NAAC has been set up to facilitate the volunteering institutions to assess their performance vis-a-vis set parameters through introspection and a process that provides space for participation of the institution.

NAAC Assessment/ Grading is the performance evaluation of an institution or its units based on specific established criteria. Presently, NAAC is undertaking a review of the overall functioning of the institution, which comprises the governance structure and all its academic units i.e., Schools, Departments and Centres, based on identified criteria. This is referred to as 2 institutional accreditation. Accreditation is the certification of quality for a fixed period, which in the case of NAAC is five years.

Students should choose the institutions, which would like to improve their accredited status, and may volunteer for Re-assessment, after completing at least one year but not after the completion of three years. The manual to be followed for re-assessment is the same as that for the Assessment and Accreditation.

However, the institution shall make specific responses based on the recommendations made by the peer team in the first assessment and accreditation report, as well as the specific quality improvements made by the institution. The fee structure would be the same as that for Assessment and Accreditation.

When an institution undergoes the accreditation process for the first time it is referred to as Cycle 1 and the consecutive five-year periods as Cycles 2, 3, etc.

 Check your college ‘NAAC Accreditation’, which is as important as you build your career
Image – Wikipedia

For Cycle 1, please refer Process of accreditation

For Cycles 2, 3, etc. the following are essential:

  • IQAC to be functional
  • Timely submission of AQARs annually
  • Institutions to submit IIQA, during the last 6 months of the validity period subject to the fulfilment of other conditions specified by NAAC from time to time for the purpose.
  • Other steps remain the same as the first cycle

Choosing a college for a student in particular. If an institute is supervised under NAAC, it has identified a set of seven criteria to serve as the basis of its assessment procedures. NAAC has categorized Higher Educational Institutions into three major types (University, Autonomous College, and Affiliated/Constituent College) and assigned different weights to these criteria under different key aspects based on the functioning and organizational focus of the three types of HEIs. 

The criterion-wise differential weights for the three types of HEIs are:

Curricular Aspects150 (U)150 (Au)100 (Aff UG)100 (Aff PG)
Teaching-learning & Evaluation200 (U)300 (Au)350 (Aff UG)350 (Aff PG)
Research, Innovations & Extension250 (U)150 (Au)110 (Aff UG)120 (Aff PG)
Infrastructure & Learning Resources100 (U)100 (Au)100 (Aff UG)100 (Aff PG)
Student Support & Progression100 (U)100 (Au)140 (Aff UG)130 (Aff PG)
Governance, Leadership & Management100 (U)100 (Au)100 (Aff UG)100 (Aff PG)
Institutional Values & Best Practices100 (U)100 (Au)100 (Aff UG)100 (Aff PG)

Institutions are graded for each Key Aspect under four categories, viz. A, B, C and D, denoting Very good, Good, Satisfactory and Unsatisfactory levels respectively. The summated score for all the Key Aspects under a Criterion is then calculated with the appropriate weighting applied to it and the GPA is worked out for the Criterion.

The Cumulative GPA (CGPA), which gives the final Assessment Outcome, is then calculated from the seven GPAs about the seven criteria, after applying the prescribed weightage to each Criterion. All the youngsters of our nation should remember these grading issues when they set up a milestone to start their careers.

  • Letter grades converted to Numerical Grade Points (overall score in Cumulative Grade Point Average)
  • Qualitative measurements converted to grade points
  • Wider scope for normalizing the scores
  • Extreme biases (if any) could be minimized
  • A one-point difference between two letter grades, with 50 or 100 points assigned between two successive letter grades results in appreciable finetuning of the process
  • Relative evaluation would be more exact, due to a reduction in variations and standard deviations
  • Inter-Peer Team variations are substantially reduced
  • With scarce scope for adjustment at any stage, the peer team judgment would be more accurate

Considering all the above things, students who study in NAAC-accredited universities can be assured that the university has essential and desirable features of quality professional education. Accreditation impacts the companies visiting the campus, thereby increasing the diversity of career opportunities available to students.

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