Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Higher ed: Rating (aka accreditation)

Today's Econmic Times reports that, as a part of the Comprehensive Economic Co-operation Agreement, India and Singapore "have agreed to ease visa restrictions for professionals in a wide range of areas". This paragraph is interesting (with emphasis added by me):

Under the pact on the unrestricted visa regime , which is to be signed tomorrow, both Singapore and India would recognise the degrees issued by specified universities and technical education boards of each other for the purpose of issuing multi-entry/job or stay visas.

Clearly, either the Singapore government or an organization authorized by it will have to get into the business of rating (let me emphasize rating, not ranking) our institutions. I would say it is a good thing!

In this excellent post, Satya has argued for delinking of the regulatory, funding and accreditation (rating) functions of agencies such as UGC, AICTE, ICMR, etc. In particular, he has argued that the rating function should be 'outsourced' to a few independent agencies such as CRISIL, ICRA, etc. Satya even points to how this 'rating agency' model is already being practiced by the maaritime training institutions in India. Let me just say that I support these reforms.