After establishment of HEC, there has been a strong desire to improve the quality of higher education in Pakistan, matchable with best international standards. National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) was one the ten first phase universities, which volunteered to establish such a Cell in 2005. Being top university of the country NUST remains committed to excellence. In the same spirit it has now volunteered for international accreditation in line with Outcome Based Education (OBE) system, under Washington Accord.
Quality Assurance (QA) comprises of administrative and procedural activities implemented through a quality management system. Studies published indicate, quality implementation drive suffer because of the considerably different perceptions of faculty and management. Serious setbacks are observed when faculty is viewed as a “commodity”, and lacks ownership. Faculty forms the institute’s true competitive edge, if its participation is curtailed; it becomes passive contributor with little or no initiative.
Critiques opine that Quality in higher education institutions (HEIs) is “what exactly the students are able to do (that they were not able to do before) as a result of their education”. But I see it more complex and diversified, because unlike industrial product; students in itself are neither absolute product nor their employers absolute customer. Parent of the students and society need to be considered as serious stakeholder in addition to the employers.
In line with guidance from HEC and accreditation bodies, NUST administration and faculty have prepared goals, roles, and mission for Quality management and assessment. Its true implementation and desired results can be achieved through team work only. Whole hearted support from all tiers is thus solicited.