About the project
Indian partners have identified ‘benchmarking’ as the most effective means of directly addressing major problems within their HE system and its quality management, at national and institutional levels. European HE has extensive, though diverse, experiences of ‘benchmarking’ and, in particular, its role(s) within QA management. The European partners have a proven record in supporting and ‘solving’ QA management issues through EC funded projects. Whilst the Indian partners will gain from expertise and experiences of the European partners, the European partners will also gain, through working with new partners across one of the World’s largest and fastest developing HE systems. It is anticipated that the Project will both help ‘solve’ its target problems in India but also result in a series of ‘spin off’ innovative collaborations at institutional and individual levels
Coordinated by the University of Barcelona with the indian coordination of the NAAC, the project aims at coordinating efforts in developing an understanding of the concepts and introducing a culture of benchmarking in India as a mean of encouraging institutional reform and as a tool for measuring how effectively universities are governed. The aim is to set a cluster of quantitative and qualitative indicators as a means of identifying targets for achievement to benchmark progress aim at improving the quality management and hence quality of education, research, innovation, and internationalisation in Indian universities in general and comparing best practices with European Universities.
A set of benchmarking tools will be discussed in order to contribute to improvements in governance and leadership management, to accelerate institutional reform and to support policy makers and university leaders in taking strategic decisions, monitor progress, and use data to develop policies that encourage the use of good governance practices. The project will also encourage leaders to professionalize higher education management, establish networks of academic leaders, share best-practices, and develop strong partnership with EU partners. The project will also discuss the creation of HE community for improved regional cooperation between universities and governments of both India and EU.
Aims & Objectives
The Indian HE system recognises the essential need to align its national and institutional QA systems with latest international expectations, focussing on ‘outcomes’ and ‘enhancement’ (of achievements, experiences and the processes to them). It has identified that an efficient and effective means of meeting this aim of improving the quality of HE, and in particular in the governance and management of that quality, would be through peer learning focussed on the benchmarking of processes and international good practice. The Project seeks to provide this and, as a concrete outcome, a new (practical and sustainable) approach to benchmarking that can support India’s HE aspirations through the development of a context-specific ‘benchmarking toolkit’.
Creating benchmarks through comparison and identification of good practice is not a new notion in higher education and the Indian partners recognise the experience and expertise that the European partners can bring to their assistance through this Project. In particular the Indian partners seek to:
O1 develop an understanding of the concepts and practices of benchmarking in order to accelerate quality improvement and its management in HE in India,
O2 improve the capacities of Indian universities to use and develop different tools that will allow them to benchmark and focus their quality management against relevant national and international expectations,
O3 improve the capacities of Indian university and their partners, including improving/enhancing internal QA mechanisms, supported by clear (new) guidelines and standards,
O4 improve the capacities of Indian universities to collect, process and analyse data,
O5 establish network(s) of academic leaders, informed by international expectations of HE, as a unique decision-makers’ forum to promote the modernisation of HE management. Such a body would support future leaders and encourage the professionalization of HE management at all levels.
O6 the creation of new frameworks for ensuring successful and sustainable partnerships between Indian and European HEIs and organisations, to enhance quality and promote the application of internationally recognised good practice.
The Project does not aim at a ‘one-off’ ranking exercise through comparison of data sets between Indian and European HEIs but will explore in depth the importance of (differing) ‘contexts’ relevant to Indian HE and develop a ‘benchmarking toolkit’ (including parameters, procedures and supporting guidelines) to provide better support for consistent, evidence-based decision making in the governance and management of its quality.