Internalizing Quality Culture: Professionalizing University Education

Internalizing Quality Culture: Professionalizing University Education

Ganesh A. Hegde
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2845-8.ch024
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The Indian higher education system is witnessing a myriad of changes and challenges through the years, i.e., from ancient Gurukul system to the modern technology based learning system. India is a land of diverse cultures, religions, and communities. It has a unique geography and the absorption of customs, traditions, and ideas. Every region of the country portrays different customs and traditions. ’Unity in Diversity’ has been the distinctive feature of Indian culture. Diversity in India can be seen in terms of religious practices, languages, society, family, customs, festivals, cuisine, clothing, literature, poetry, music and dance, paintings, sculptures, architecture, recreation and traditional sports, and plurality in terms of many religions, beliefs, and institutions. India has 122-languages and 234-mother tongues and numerous festivals come in every month for celebrations. From ancient period to modern times, higher education has always occupied a place of prominence in Indian history. Lord Macaulay, in 1835, advocated the need to train natives of the country thoroughly in good English language. Subsequently, the Universities of Calcutta, Bombay (now Mumbai), and Madras were set up in 1857, followed by the University of Allahabad in 1887 (Kuldeep Kaur, 2003). India has 634 University level institutions and 33,023 colleges (UGC, 2012). Higher Education Institutions demonstrate a high commitment to develop and embed quality through various programmes and activities.
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Quality begins on the inside... and then works its way out. -Bob Moawad

Many external environmental pressures such as competition, globalization, market forces and limited autonomy impose on the capacity and capabilities of the institutions. In many of the state funded universities limited autonomy, inadequate or decreased funding, intrusion in governance come in the way of ensuring quality. Despite these constraints, Higher Education Institutions aspire to improve their quality and try to establish and ensure their accountability. Responsibility of ensuring their accountability and quality primarily lies with the Institutions of higher education themselves, shouldered by the staff and the students. Therefore, it is imperative that each institution has to develop efficient Internal Quality Assurance (IQA) system to professionalise the education. There is no single model that fits all. It is up to the institution to decide what model fits it best. Some good practices could be borrowed and some could be adapted according to the situation. Experiences at other institutions may also be used in developing an IQA system. In order to assist the higher education institutes the government of India established an autonomous body called National assessment and accreditation council. Before discussing the IQA system, for the sake of clarity and understanding, we will briefly review the Assessment and Accreditation System in India.

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