Tuesday, September 17, 2013

ICAA and QS coming up with university rankings for India

Indian Centre for Assessment & Accreditation (ICAA), a private accreditation body, in association with rating agency Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) plans to launch 'Top 100 Indian University Rankings', a first-of-its-kind ranking of Indian universities. The rankings are slated to be rolled out by the next academic year, June-July 2014, according to Arun Nigavekar, Chief Mentor of ICAA.

The objective of the India-specific rankings is to benchmark against the best and to improve quality, and also to let students use data for decisions. "The internal Indian grades are aimed at creating a system which is globally accepted, yet locally grounded," says Nigavekar, former chairperson of UGC and founder director of the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC).

QS is also working closely with Indian institutions in a pilot ranking project for the BRICS nations, which is due to be launched later this year, says Ben Sowter, head of research at QS. For the past decade, Indian universities have not been ranking high in global ratings, says Nigavekar. The Indian higher education scene spans a huge social spectrum where institutes are at different levels.

"For instance, we have institutes like IITs which have a different scientific, financial and academic environment than say a university college. In between, there will be many levels of spectrum. The rankings will take all this into account," says Nigavekar.

The rankings will act as a one-stop referral for global universities intending to engage and partner with Indian universities, says Karthick Sridhar, one of the founder trustees of the non-profit accreditation initiative. Now that the government has allowed foreign universities to come into India on their own, a benchmark is required for foreign universities to engage in joint initiatives, he says. ICAA plans to work as a bridge between QS and IITs to help enable proper data submission globally.

Source: The Economic Times, September 17, 2013

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