Internal Quality Assurance Cell – Overview, Functions, and Benefits
National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) was set up to improve the quality of education in colleges or institutions. The committee later proposed the idea of the Internal Quality Assurance Cell (IQAC), a key quality sustenance measure. To support the continuous process of providing quality education, adopting and assessing creative teaching-learning methods, and more, IQAC will work with the HEIs throughout their academic journey.
Let’s know more about IQAC, its functions and its benefits.
What is IQAC?
To execute its action plan for quality education, student performance evaluation with accreditation , NAAC recommended establishing Internal Quality Assurance Cell for every accredited institution. IQAC NAAC was introduced as a post-accreditation quality assurance measure that will integrate with the college system to help them attain their goals of quality improvement and sustenance.
This is a comprehensive structure to guide educational institutions to enhance their work processes and attain desired learning outcomes efficiently. It is a system that ensures consistent, conscious, and catalytic improvement in the academic, non-academic, and overall performance of HEIs. For this, IQAC will divert all the efforts and measures of an accredited institute toward promoting holistic academic excellence.
More than a committee, IQAC is a facilitative and participative unit that works with faculty members to come up with the best teaching methods. If implemented right, it can drive quality enhancement through innovative strategies that eliminate discrepancies and improve the teaching-learning quality.
Functions of IQAC
- Setting up quality benchmarks and parameters for different academic, operational, and administrative activities of educational institutions
- Disseminating the information regarding developed benchmarks and parameters
- Creating a learner-centric culture conducive to quality education
- Helping faculty members adopt tech tools to promote a participatory teaching-learning process
- In colleges, it acts as a nodal agency, coordinating all quality-related tasks and areas, such as adhering to the best practices
- Encouraging feedback from students, parents, and other stakeholders regarding quality-related processes in institutions
- Documenting various quality improvement programs and activities
- Conducting inter and intra-institutional workshops and seminars to discuss quality education
- Developing a quality culture in colleges and educational institutions
- Maintaining an institutional database using MIS to enhance the overall performance and quality of HEIs
- Preparing the Annual Quality Assurance Report (AQAR) according to the NAAC guidelines and parameters and submitting it to the committee.
Benefits of IQAC
- Clear Education Practices
With IQAC, institutions get clarity of work strategies and stakeholders can rethink the current work techniques. The focus is on institutional functioning toward quality enhancement.
- Internalization of Quality Culture
Continuous performance evaluation and assessment align the quality of education with the global standards. It internationalizes the education culture in higher education institutions.
- Coordination Among Departments
Introducing IQAC guidelines for universities ensures seamless coordination between different departments of the colleges and institutions. Also, frequent assessment and feedback from stakeholders eliminate any communication gap that can hamper the education processes.
- Better Institutional Functioning
A greater level of performance assessment and workflow transparency provides a strong foundation for better decision-making and smooth institutional functioning.
- Organised Documentation
IQAC enables faculty members to create authentic documentation and maintain proper records in case they are required for future references during NAAC assessment.
- Focus on Research & Development
IQAC guidelines give a necessary motivation to higher education institutions to focus on research & development as well. This empowers the faculty members and makes them future-ready.
- Greater Transparency
The peer team of IQAC verifies all the evidence, documents, and records. Also, it addresses the challenges often encountered by colleges and institutions.
- Practical Knowledge
Another change that IQAC brings is introducing project-based and service-based learning in institutions that teach students the importance of practical knowledge.
- Professional Activities
To help students hone their academic and non-academic skills, the IQAC committee encourages institutions to conduct regular lectures and programs of professional leaders and experts from different fields.
- Global Platform for Students
Traditional teaching-learning culture was restricted with no credibility at a global level. IQAC helped evolved the system by offering a global platform to students and institutions and inculcating the “think locally- act globally” mindset.
Wrapping It Up!
IQAC surely plays a key role in ensuring quality and compliance in accredited higher education institutions. It checks the effectiveness of measures taken to offer quality education while assessing the degree to which every task is fulfilled.
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