Jagannath Patil, president , Asia Pacific Quality Network, and president- elect, International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE) talks about the importance of accreditation and how global agencies can help India. Excerpts from an interview.
How important is accreditation for Indian higher education institutions?
Accreditation is globally accepted as strategic tool to ensure and improve quality of higher education institutions (HEIs). Indian higher education has witnessed rapid expansion in recent decades. However, quality of higher education is concern and hence NAAC is working towards instilling quality culture by way of assessment and accreditation. The country needs more accreditation bodies to cover all HEIs and international accreditation bodies can also be welcomed here.
Does INQAAHE help in accrediting and assessing distance, regular and vocational courses offered by Indian government and private institutions?
INQAAHE is global association of accreditation bodies. Many member organisations of INQAAHE are engaged in quality assurance of diverse range of HEIs and programme worldwide. NAAC, which has mandate of accreditation of HEIs in India, is a member organisation of INQAAHE. As of now, NAAC undertakes accreditation all kind of HEIs excluding distance education and agricultural education.
Tell us about the 2015 scholarships offered by INQAAHE to applicants from India.
These are scholarships open to all INQAAHE members (from developing countries) worldwide to provide token support for qualified applicants to enroll for a Graduate Certificate in Quality Assurance at The University of Melbourne. More details can be seen at
Does INQAAHE play a role in helping bodies such as the University Grants Commission of India, All India Council for Technical Education, National University for Educational Planning and Administration, NAAC etc in assessment and accreditation practices?
INQAAHE is a membership-based organisation comprising over 250 organisations from all over the world . It offers members many services, including a journal, a bulletin, a query service, a good practice database, and a professional qualification in quality assessment. There are also conferences and fora organised across the globe. INQAAHE guidelines for good practices serve as the global standard or benchmark for all accreditation bodies in the world. Indian higher education stakeholders also benefit from these.
What are INQAAHE's plans as far as Indian higher education is concerned?
INQAAHE does not have country specific plans as it serves all members around the globe. However, India can play a greater role in global quality assurance scenario. My becoming the first Asian as INQAAHE president in 25 years is a symbol of rising importance of India and developing world in global higher education scenario. One of my key priorities will be to provide an alternative to global ranking systems by establishing a global education portal so that students can get access to reliable information about higher education. India is the second biggest home of internationality mobile students. Hence, having clout on global platform like INQAAHE and UNESCO is crucial for interest of our millions of students aspiring to get world class higher education.