A meeting of Quality Assurance Committee (QAC) in order to oversee the quality activities of the Institutional Quality Assurance Cell (IQAC) of Leading University, Sylhet, Bangladesh was held on 9 March 2017 in the Board at 2 :00pm. The QAC talked about effective self-assessment processes, critical review of the current state of the activities of […]Read More...
At a Glance
It is an accepted fact that higher education forms the basis of the knowledge society, a comprehensive system of creativity and innovation, which is crucially important for the sustainable socioeconomic development of a nation. Recently, higher education in Bangladesh has experienced a phenomenal growth at least in quantity, doubling in number of tertiary level students from 1.12 million to 2.61 million in last four years. But the quality of education and research could not match the horizontal increase. There is a popular saying that quantity without quality is a sure prescription for disaster, while quality without quantity can act like seeds and at least something to build on. So quality is very important in higher education. The present government headed by the Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is committed to change the landscape of higher education through enhancement of quality of higher education and research in the country. Her dream has been transformed into reality by her capable education minister Mr. Nurul Islam Nahid through establishment of universities, formation of accreditation council, opening up of channels of cross border higher education and upgrading the University Grants Commission into Higher Education Commission. For achieving the target of quality education the GOB and the World Bank has generously funded the project which is known as Higher Education Quality Enhancement Project (HEQEP). The project is being meticulously implemented by the University Grants Commission, with help of the project officials and that of by the World Bank. Establishment of Quality Assurance Mechanism is one of the major components of HEQEP. The launching ceremony of Quality Assurance Mechanism in Bangladesh through calling for the proposal of Quality Assurance (QAP) and establishing the Institutional Quality Assurance Cell (IQAC) in each of the universities has been already in place. Establishment of IQACs at the universities would create an enabling framework to provide quality education.
Bangladesh is a developing country and its economy is in transition from traditional agriculture to industry, manufacturing and service sectors. Bangladesh intends to avail the opportunities offered by globalization to build a knowledge society. Improving the quality of its tertiary education is vitally necessary to spur the country to a higher growth trajectory for attaining the middle income status by 2020. The tertiary education in Bangladesh, currently, has been facing many deeply rooted and intertwined challenges. These include, inadequate enabling environment for improving the quality of education and research, weak governance and accountability, poor planning and monitoring capacities, and insufficient funding. All these challenges are compounded by lack of robust academic culture. These drawbacks can only be mitigated by developing a quality culture and ensuring good practices in higher education institutions (HEIs).
The Bangladesh government (GoB) recognizes that the country is at risk of being marginalized in a highly competitive global economy because its tertiary education systems are not adequately prepared to capitalize on the creation and application of knowledge. It also realizes that the state has the responsibility to put in place an enabling framework that would encourage tertiary education institutions to be more innovative and responsive to the demanding needs for rapid economic growth, and to empower the graduates with right skills for successfully competing in the global knowledge economy.
Benefits of IQAC to Different Stakeholders:
Establishment of IQAC:
The IQAC will be established in each university under an administrative order of the university authority. It shall be organized in such a way as befits the size, existing structure and capacity of the university as delineated in the Act. For the initial period the IQAC shall be established with the financial assistance from HEQEP. However, the IQACs shall become a permanent organ of the universities and their operations will be sustained and maintained under the revenue budget of the institution. For thispurpose universities will prepare a succession plan during the project period with the objectives of its continuity. For the purpose of a dynamic and effective IQAC the concerned university must take initiative to increase the availability of experienced and competent academics.
Objectives of the IQAC :
The general objective of the IQAC is to promote a quality assurance culture within the university. The specific objectives are to:
- Institutionalize the quality assurance culture in accordance with national QA guidelines and international practices;
- Ensure that the university’s quality assurance procedures are designed following the QAU guidelines and national requirements;
- Develop, maintain and enhance quality of education and people’s perception in favor of the university through consistent quality assurance practice and performance;
- Build image of the university with confidence of the stakeholders ensuring transparency, accountability, and good practices in all aspects of management; and
- Prepare the university to meet the external quality assurance assessment and accreditation requirements.
Significance of IQAC:
Currently, the scope of higher education is expanding rapidly in Bangladesh both in public and private sector with wide diversity in programs and in some cases mode of education. Individual universities are managing study programs following their own systems and practices. But no evidence of institutional set up with defined mission and responsibility in accordance with generally accepted QA principles within the university is available. In the absence of effective quality assurance culture, the ongoing practices lacks transparency, accountability, consistency and evidence of good practice. Internal quality assurance infrastructure is indispensable for a quality assurance culture in a university. The setting up of IQACs at public and private universities would promote the QA culture to ensure quality in education.