International accreditation `essential'

Students `prefer quality institutions'

Staff Reporter

VELLORE: Engineering colleges and universities must seek international accreditation to enable aspiring students to choose quality institutions and ensure that employers value the degrees they get, said M. Anandakrishnan, Chairman of the Madras Institute of Development Studies (MIDS) and former Vice-Chancellor of Anna University.

He was speaking at a function organised by the Alumni Association of Voorhees College, Vellore, to felicitate G. Viswanathan, Chancellor of the Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT) and president of the association, for having got accreditation from the Institution of Electrical Engineers (IEE), London, up to 2009, for seven Bachelor's and 16 Master's degree programmes of the VIT (a Deemed University).

Growing numbers

Dr. Anandakrishnan said the number of universities in India, which was only about 140 four to five years ago, had gone up to 360. Therefore, accreditation had become very important for the universities to enable the students to know their quality. The National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), Bangalore, established by the University Grants Commission, and the National Board of Accreditation carried out relative assessment by grading the universities and colleges based on the infrastructure and the views of students, teachers and parents, that enabled the public to know which university or college was among the top group. But, the international accrediting bodies carried out absolute assessment and their accreditation brought international recognition for the universities. International accreditation gained significance today in the light of the fact that many corporate clients chose to place orders from companies based on the international status of the colleges where the employees studied.

The MIDS chairman said that out of the four lakh engineering graduates produced every year in India, only two lakhs got first class. Of them, only about 30,000 who studied in the highly-accredited institutions were recruited by big companies.

Mr. Viswanathan said that from this month, the VIT had fixed new pay scales for teachers, which were slightly higher than the UGC scales.

The Bishop of the Vellore CSI Diocese and patron of the alumni association, Rev.Y.William, presided.

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