Achieving Global quality is doable!
By Prof. Thothathri Raman*
The quest for achieving global quality in all aspets of academics is a goal much desired by every school but equally it is also the most elusive of all pursuits in academics. However, there is hope here as like everything, as with Peter Drucket and George Odiorne, so long as the objective is clear it is not difficult to achieve with some systematic processes and tools, chief among them International Accreditation.
Having influenced close to a 100 schools to get their international accreditation certification from one or the other five international accreditation agencies including AACSB, EFMD,AMBA, ACBSP and IACEB in the past over a decade in India, we know it is not altogether too difficult to achieve the goal of global quality for schools answering a range of size and vintage.
Our list includes schools that have been around for little more than a decade to schools that have been functioning for more than half a century. Cohort range also from around 200 to 1000. The basic approach is one should be careful to avoid aping the best in the business but rather benchmark with the best in your own class and keep moving towards the best in the community.
We used essentially international accreditation adoption and also widespread use of globally acclaimed empirical tools to measure the available quality in students, pedagogy, faculty and the institution.
We started our work on the basis of over a decade of ranking and rating business schools and used the learnings from the experience to figure out what ails a business school (which may as well apply to any other branch of academic study) and how we can steer the school towards global quality path.
Following brief points may help to understand how to choose a quality path
1. Know your own institution by preparing a knowledge map about various current processes and also understand about your team and their capabilities
2. Thoroughly assess and understand your select peers, not institutions placed much above you
3. Study and understand the regulatory, local accreditation and other processes that helps you assess your current quality
4. Understand which accreditation works for you from among the international accreditation choices
5. Train your faculty thoroughly in documenting their processes and preparing Rubrics
6. Deploy adequate resources in quality improvement on a sustainable basis that would not only help in getting the best accreditation for you but also empower your faculty to give out their best as they would be attending conferences and seminars of value as part of the accreditation process.
The most important thing, your vision or mission is yours only and you cannot realize by copying other peer institutions or institutions much above you as their mission may differ from yours as with their processes.
*chairman of SEAA Trust, New Delhi www.seaastandards.org email: firstname.lastname@example.org