Upgradation of Colleges to Universities in KP: Quality Issues

  • Vision, mission, and outcomes driven
  • Systems dependent
  • Leadership: creating a quality culture
  • Systematic individual development
  • Decisions based on fact
  • Delegation of decision making
  • Collaboration
  • Planning for change
  • Leadership; supporting a quality culture

Similarly, there are a number of processes and models available worldwide for quality assurance in higher education, like Accreditation Models, University Ranking Models, Educational Excellence Awards Models, Management Standards like ISO-9000, Total Quality Management and the Six Sigma Quality Management Models.

In UK, the prime responsibility of quality assurance lies with the HEIs themselves but as an external check an independent Quality Assurance Agency, established in 1997 exists which conducts reviews, publish reports, provide guidance, investigate causes of concern, advises Government on issuing of charters and coordinate with EU and other international organizations. In US it is the Accreditation model called the voluntary accreditation model for quality assurance is looking after the quality issues of HEIs. Although, the Accreditation organizations are private but to have access to public or private funds, an HEI must be accredited to one or many such organizations.

2.2     HEC Standards

For the assurance of quality parameters in the Higher Education of Pakistan, HEC has taken many successful steps as:

  1. Quality Assurance Committee: One of the major steps is the establishment of an advisory body: Quality Assurance Committee (QAC), with the objective to develop a Manual for quality assurance in higher education institutions and oversee all the steps taken for quality assurance.
  2. Quality Assurance Agency (QAA): Established on January 18, 2005 with the mission “to integrate the concept of quality assurance in higher learning with enhanced levels of international compatibility through capacity building”(Higher Education Commission 2005) as a coordinating body between HEC and HEIs. Prime responsibilities of QAA are to:
    • Develop and improve standards of quality assurance in an organized manner with standardization throughout the country
    • Liaise with QA department of HEC, which oversee all the efforts for quality assurance in higher education sector (Batool and Qureshi 2008).
    • Monitor and provide strategic support to the QECs, which are established at university levels.
    • Develop practical guidelines of quality assurance in different segments of higher education.
    • Provide training to the persons related to quality assurance and other faculty members, awareness and capacity building is also one of the main tasks of QAA
  3. Self-Assessment Model: At the University levels Quality Enhancement Cells (QECs) are established to coordinate and initiate the Self-Assessment process. Following are the core objective of self-assessment as prescribed by the HEC.
    1. Purpose identification
    2. Outcomes identification
    3. Measurements and evaluation design
    4. Data collection
    5. Analysis and evaluation
    6. Decision-making regarding actions to be taken
    7. University Rankings[11]: Using QS Ranking Methodology, HEC has also developed its own ranking mechanisms by evaluating implementation, teaching quality and research variables. Although, the current ranking system is criticized for being purely based on input and research output without any link to quality assurance initiatives and that the ranking is “quantified rather than qualified” (Laghari, Ranking Universities 2012) still it is a step in the right direction.

Sample/Data Analysis

3.1     Physical Infrastructure

A visit to the three institutions showed that all the three samples are suffering from shortage of physical infrastructure. All the three Universities have been established in the existing facilities of the colleges. New construction was only done in case of AWKU. The office of the Vice Chancellor of ICP is established in the official residence of the Principal of the defunct college. All the three HEIs were complaining for shortage of classrooms and laboratory facilities. The faculty was also complaining for shortage of residential facilities for both staff and students. All the three universities have hired private accommodations in the city as students’ hostels. All the Universities have planned for construction of additional facilities but it will take some time if resources permitted.

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