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Choosing an Institution
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Choosing an institution

Quality in Technical Education is the results of an intensive investment of Human Resources and their effectiveness , infrastructure and the vision and mission of the management. Quality is not a destination but a continuous journey, which has to be ensured by proper choice. Any institution has to meet or exceed customer expectations and satisfy all stake holders namely students, parents, faculty, industry and society as a whole. A comparison between a quality institution and an ordinary institution is given here under:

  • Quality Institution
  • Customer focused needs
  • Focus on prevention problems.
  • Treats complaints as an opportunity to learn
  • Has a quality policy and plan
  • Senior management seen is leading quality
  • The improvement process involves everybody
  • Is clear about roles and responsiblites
  • Has clear evaluation strategies
  • Plans longterm
  • Quality is seen as another part of the culture
  • Has a distinctive mission
  • Treats colleagues as customer

Source: Accreditation Manual of NBA, AICTE

One can understand how some institutions have become quality institutions and why others have remained ordinary institutions based on various parameters mentioned above. The institutions which are serious have risen on the ladder of quality.

National Board of Accreditation

AICTE, the apex body for Technical Education in India have established National Board of Accreditation. This autonomous body examines each branch of any engineering college with regard to the following criteria. Weight ages are also given to each of this criteria, the total marks being 1000.

  • Organization and Governance
  • Financial Resources Allocation and their Utilization
  • Physical Resources: Faculty & Staff
  • Human Resources; Students
  • Teaching-Learning Process
  • Supplementary Processes
  • Research & Development Initiatives and Interaction Efforts.

Criteria and weight ages in Accreditation Process

One can observe that human resources i.e. faculty and staff are given a weight age of 200 marks and the teaching learning process 350 marks. Many other parameters such as supplementary processes(Personality Development, initiatives,etc.) R&D initiatives and interaction efforts which also depend upon human resources are given due importance. The financial and physical resources of the institution together aregivenonly 120 marks. Thus it is not the brick and mortar that make an institution, but the human resources. Any institution will blossom mainly based on the quality of human resources and the extent of motivation they have and learning qualities they possess.

Washington Accord: USA, UK, Canada , Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and South America are signatories of Washington accord. The important aspect of this Accord is that degrees awarded by any institution accredited in one country will be automatically accredited by other member countries of Washington Accord. National Board of Accreditation of AICTE id given an observer status so far by Washington Accord and its is likely to become full member in a short time to come. Thus the equivalence of the degrees and the mobility of the graduates will improve if the institution in which they study and the branch they study are accredited.

Advantages of studying in and Accredited Institution

The graduates from accredited institutions will have a definite advantage over others because of all round inputs they receive from the institution during their studies. Today multinational companies are looking for communication skills, team building skills and ability to work in a team to achieve desired objectives, besides technical skills. An accredited institution is expected to give attention to development of the above skills in their students. All students who are seeking admission to an institution and a branch are advised to look at the accreditation status of a branch in an institution. Accreditation is given branch-wise based on the excellence in quality of education offered by the faculty of the branch concerned.

The Sub-parameters of Accreditation Process

The sub-parameters in various criteria are now briefly stated here under.

Organization and Governance:

Planning and Monitoring, Recruitment Procedure and Effectiveness, Promotional Policies , Leadership, motivation, transparency , decentralization and delegation, constitution Governing council/ management committee.

Financial resources , allocation and utilization

Budget allocated to the institution , budget allocated to the department (Recurring budget & non-recurring budget).

Physical Resources (Central Facilities)

Hostel (Boys & Girls) , Power back-up provision at Institution , department and hostels , reprographic facilities , band , post-office, counseling and guidance, language lab, medical facility, internet facility, canteen , transport.

Human Resources(Faculty & Staff)

Numbers (AICTE norms, adequancy, quality & stability), Qualifications(AICTE norms and beyond, participation of faculty in institutional development / departments development / academic matters/ students development . Implementation and impact of faculty development initiatives, Analysis and follow-up of performance appraisal, service rules, pay package, incentives.

Human Resources (Support Staff (Tech./ Admn.)) Numbers (in programme labs, computer centre, library, maintenance, main offices),qualifications/skills (lab, office computer centre etc.),skill up gradation.

Human Resources-students

Student admissions , academic results, performance in competitive exams, placement.

Teaching –learning process

Deliver of syllabus, contents, any extra content taught to students, academic calendar, continuation evaluation procedures, utilization of lab equipment, information on internet, student cantered library , student feedback.

Supplementary processes

Extra & co-curricular activities, student publications/ award, professional society activities , entepreneurship development , ethics, alumini information , personality development.

R&D initiatives and interactions effort

Budget for in house R&D activities and its utilization academic/ sponsored/ industrial research and development, publications and patents, industry participation in dev. And student related activities, continuing education (organizing & attending), consultancy and student project work.

Dilemma in the choice of good institution or good branch

There are cases where the institution has got high ration and the branch in which the student is interested is not rated high. On the other hand, there can be an institution which is not rated well but a particular branch in which the student is interested is highly rated. No the choice has to be make whether to give importance to the institution or to the branch.

An institution is likely to make an impact on the overall development of the student. Preference may be given to the institution with a hope that the branch also will be improved over a period of time. In these days of IT boom a student may choose any branch but at the same time learn applications of IT. Domain knowledge is likely to be helpful in software development. The opinions expressed by executives of Multi National IT companies are that Non-IT recruits are doing better than IT graduates students in the projects stage. In the light of the above institutions may be given more weight age than the status of the branch concerned.

What to look for in an institution /branch?

  • Accreditation status of institution
  • dAccreditation status of branch concerne
  • No.of professors in the institution and n the branch concerned
  • Total no.of teachers in the branch concerned
  • Campus placements in the branch concerned
  • Infrastructure facilities
  • Lab facilities
  • Library facilities
  • Internet connectivity’
  • Results in the uUniversity exams
  • Discipline and
  • Overall Environment.

Concluding Remarks

It is essential that the students and parents are to thoroughly study the status of an the branch concerned before the choice is made. However, one can choose and institution if it is accredited. Other aspects such as discipline, faculty , infrastructure and campus placements status are to be given great importance.

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