NAAC has accredited more than 5,000 universities and colleges across the country. It has also accredited thousands of higher education institutions abroad. As per the UGC and MHRD, all universities must be NAAC accredited. It is "the only credible way of determining whether Indian institutions have the quality that the international community will respect." The National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) is an organisation that regulates and evaluates Higher Educational Institutes (HEIs) in India. It is a National Autonomous Agency under the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD). The NAAC accredits and rates higher educational institutions in India based on quality parameters. It was established in 1994 to assess and upgrade India's technical and professional education standards.
What is NAAC?
NAAC is a statutory body that accredits Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) to provide quality education in India and abroad. NAAC was established by the University Grants Commission (UGC) in 1994 as an autonomous body to assess and accredit institutions for higher national recognition and promote excellence in higher education. It provides a forum for institutions to reflect on their strengths and weaknesses, evaluates their progress, informs stakeholders about their achievements, and articulate ways forward for continuous improvement.
What is the objective of NAAC?
NAAC's role is to improve the quality of higher education in India continuously. It does this by conducting accreditation assessments, which provide authoritative and reliable feedback on the quality of an institution’s teaching and learning, research, knowledge transfer, and institutional management.
The NAAC Accreditation Scheme for Institutions offers three levels of accreditation- "Institution with Potential for Excellence,” "Institution with Eminence," and "Institution with Distinction.” NAAC also provides "Accredited Institution" status to institutions that meet all its standards laid out in 22 Criteria.
Significance of NAAC in India
Much importance is given to NAAC accreditation by students, parents, employers, media, and policymakers. In India, NAAC is one of the most important and popular accreditation agencies globally. It has been well implemented in India.
How does a higher education institution become accredited?
An institution can become accredited if it meets the 22 Criteria laid down by NAAC. To apply for accreditation to NAAC, first, you need to submit a self-assessment report (SAR). The SAR helps an institution know its strengths and weaknesses. After submission, an on-site visit is conducted where experts from outside evaluate the institution's progress in achieving the 22 Criteria laid down by NAAC.
An institution is also judged on its public relations activities, teaching and learning, research productivity, and management skills in the accreditation process.
Functions of NAAC
1) To provide a quality assurance function in the process of accreditation.
2) To provide an independent, statutory and impartial, self-regulatory, quality assurance system for Higher Education Institutions.
3) To promote the development of standards for higher education institutions linked to prevailing national needs.
4) To improve the quality of higher education in the country and make it accessible to all.
5) To promote international cooperation and collaboration between higher educational institutions.
6) To ensure that accreditation agencies are effective, accountable, and transparent in their operations.
7) To actively engage with accreditation processes outside India to enlarge its interface with international experts.
8) To carry out other related activities like inspection of institutions, redress grievances, conducting training for institution management, etc.
NAAC has played a very important role by providing accreditation and other services to the Indian educational system. It is a very important agency in the country. Works for the welfare of students and quality improvement in higher education institutions. The National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) also helps to promote "Empowerment through Education.”
How does NAAC work?
NAAC is managed by a committee that includes members of the Central Advisory Board of Education, secretary, director and registrar of UGC, director-general, the academic council of all state universities, secretaries of University Grants Commission, Science & Technology department secretaries, secretary of Higher Education Commission and other key officials from government departments or organizations.
The Council has four standing committees: the Council, Advisory Board, Accreditation Assessment Committee, and Research Planning and Oversight Committee. The secretary of MHRD chairs the Standing Committees of NAAC, and the Union government nominates two members.
Steps for accreditation of an HEI by NAAC
1) NAAC invites applications for accreditation from an institution.
2) NAAC evaluates the documents submitted by the institution and conducts a site visit to the institution.
3) If an institution is found satisfactory in all aspects, it will be accredited on a provision basis.
4) If it is not found satisfactory on some criteria, there has to be a reassessment of the institution.
5) Once an institute becomes accredited on a provision basis, it needs to work according to its requirement and get accredited on a full or provisional basis.
6) NAAC inspects the institution and evaluates its performance in the following three years.
7) Once an institution is found fully accredited by NAAC, it gets accreditation fully.
8) After five years of getting accreditation on a full basis, an HEI has to undergo a periodic accreditation called a reassessment.
9) If an institute does not undergo reassessment after five years, it will lose its accreditation (at least on a provision basis).
10) Accreditation status of an institution can be upgraded from provision to provisional or provisional to full based on the performance of the institution from year to year and the recommendation of NAAC during assessment visits.
"Institution with Potential for Excellence"
The institution will be accredited if it demonstrates "clarity of purpose in ensuring that the academic program endorsed by NAAC addresses its graduates’ national and international needs." An institutional proposal has to constitute "an academic program which is based on clear identifiable ideas about student learning outcomes, an identifiable rationale for the nature and quality of its educational offering, a consistent pattern of excellence across these areas, evidence that it has developed a system in place to evaluate student learning outcomes and program outcomes effectively, proof that it has developed mechanisms to deal with any identified problems effectively.
NAAC has a wide range of services to offer. It offers both accreditation and appraisal for higher education institutions. It helps provide a quality assurance function in accreditation, which is very important for higher education in India. It also helps in promoting "Empowerment through Education.”
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