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Article Published In Vol.1 (Nov-Dec-2013)

Accreditation – New Law and its impact

Author : Hemlata Vivek Gaikwad

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This vast gap in standards and facilities has been a cause of constant anxiety and concern to the policy planners of higher education in India. The issue of accessibility to quality higher education needs to be addressed in the light of the vast economic and social disparities, cultural and linguistic diversities, and extremely uneven opportunities of learning at the school level together with the aspirations and capacities of the potential students. Therefore, the question of access to higher education needs to be addressed at the local, regional, national and international levels from transdisciplinary ,inter-disciplinary and discipline-specific perspectives. The issue of accessibility of quality higher education arises in the context of the transition in the country from elitist to mass education in the post-independence period. The issue has significant implications in the sense that it demands a redefinition of the aims of higher education. Faced with similar situation, several countries have introduced accreditation to assure and enhance quality of higher education provision. Although, accreditation has been around for more than a century, and one can trace its roots to the end of the 19th century, when the first accreditation bodies were formed in the United States, however, its importance begun to be felt only when the size and variety of higher education institutions grew rapidly. A mass higher education system demanded a more formal management of quality than what was needed in small, homogeneous systems of higher education Globally, interest in quality of higher education centers on two basic questions : Are graduates getting the knowledge and skills necessary for a changing economy in the context of improved study programs to achieve more and better learning? Are higher education institutions spending public money in the right way? Thus, the quality debate is centered on effectiveness and efficiency measures. In India, however, accreditation is expected to do several other things such as address problem of inputs like staff shortage, infrastructure and facilities and tackle corrupt practices of private institutions, particularly in matters of admissions and fees. Such expectations are based on wrong understanding of accreditation goals and are misplaced.

Keywords: New law, Higher Education

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