Colleges and Universities in Karnataka have always been at the forefront of excellence and innovation, with many of them making a mark all over the country. Today, higher education institutions in India are undergoing a true renaissance, one of which QS I∙GAUGE is privileged to be a part of.
QS I∙GAUGE conducted an awards ceremony to formally announce, in the presence of dignitaries, the audit results of the first set of COMEDK (Consortium of Medical, Engineering and Dental Colleges of Karnataka) member institutions. The four institutions that received the awards were GSSS Institute of Engineering and Technology for Women, Nitte Meenakshi Institute of Technology, S J C Institute of Technology & Vidyavardhaka College of Engineering. These 4 institutions have entered the unique list of QS I∙GAUGE rated institutions. Institutions that undergo the QS I∙GAUGE rating send a strong signal to their audiences: that they take performance seriously and are open and transparent about their data.
This exclusive event, organised to manifest the success of the COMEDK institutions, was graced by leaders and pioneers from the field of higher education in the country. The Chief Guest of the event was Prof H K Ananth Subba Rao, Academic-Consultant - NAAC. The exclusive list of dignitaries included Dr M R Jayaram, Chairman - COMEDK, Dr S Kumar, Executive Secretary - COMEDK, Dr L M Patnaik, Former VC - DIAT, amongst others. All the eminent dignitaries shared unique insights on how QS I∙GAUGE rating can shape the future course of higher education in the country by acting as an independent and transparent rating system that is not confined/restricted to one region or state, but is India’s first nationwide higher education rating system. The rating is customised to reflect the diversities & complexities of India’s higher education institutes and is grounded in the realities of India’s dynamic higher education.
This event was also used as a platform to highlight the grant awarded by COMEDK to its affiliated institutions who have undergone the QS I∙GAUGE audit process. As per the MOU signed between COMEDK & QS I∙GAUGE, COMEDK will fund 80% of the audit cost for all its member institutions, who are undertaking the QS I∙GAUGE audit. Hence, the member institutions will only have to bear 20% of the total audit cost. This will provide the necessary impetus to the member institutions to take up the audit with the goal of institutional development and further advancement.
Dr S Kumar, Executive Secretary, COMEDK, said “COMEDK is committed to ensuring the growth and progress of every member institution. After much deliberation on how to enhance the quality of our members, we decided to target that one thing which has the potential to propel our members to undertake initiatives that focus on excellence – “Self Determination”. We wanted to do something that will boost their confidence. Hence, with this grant, we hope that our members will avail QS I∙GAUGE rating and understand where their strengths and weaknesses lie and work towards improving areas that require attention.”
Ashwin Fernandes, Regional Director - QS and CEO - QS I∙GAUGE, spoke on the partnership with COMEDK and remarked: “We are proud to partner with COMEDK to further the mission of quality amongst the member institutions and to promote excellence and world-class status for members in the state of Karnataka.”
The awards ceremony witnessed the presence of several delegates from the participating institutions and their students. It was truly encouraging to see the participation of 200+ students, some of whom had travelled from as far as Mysore to be a part of this glorious moment. Analysts of QS I∙GAUGE organised a special session where they focused on bringing to fore the extensive work that goes behind an institution’s audit, the various indicators that are considered and what exactly does a rating mean for the institutes as well as students.
The key highlight of the event was the unique panel discussion, moderated by Santhosh Karnananda, Head - Client Relations, QS I∙GAUGE, on “Higher Education Institutions as Catalysts for Successful Careers”. The unique panel comprised of the principals of the 4 audited institutions and their respective students. QS I∙GAUGE has always believed that any discussion on education and careers is incomplete without the insights of the biggest stakeholder – the students! The discussion observed a healthy and stimulating exchange of thoughts from both sides and brought out their unique perspectives.
When asked about the role that QS I∙GAUGE can play in changing India’s Higher Education landscape,
Prof H K Ananth Subba Rao, Academic-Consultant, NAAC said, “India has 40,000 colleges and about 900 universities. As of now NAAC has accredited about 11,000 institutions. This job is vast, time-consuming, and challenging. At the current rate, it will take a substantial amount of time to cover all the institutions in the country. That’s where professional organisations like QS I∙GAUGE can make a difference and help in quality assurance. Such interventions can help institutions analyse where they are and what their standards are, at the national and international level. Only then can improvement happen. So, in this context, I would say, that organisations like QS I∙GAUGE are welcome to India. With more rigorous work, the rating will be received by private institutions, in general, and, eventually, act as an eye opener for public and private institutions.”