Affiliations and Accreditations – Are they important??
As I sit before my laptop and gaze through the pages of my notebook used to maintain the records of the candidates whom I am supposed to call and ask them whether they are interested in taking up higher education, a thought just struck my mind.
How important is an affiliation and an accreditation?
Before delving into this aspect, let us first understand what these terms mean. According to the oxford dictionary, to affiliate means to Officially attach or connect (a subsidiary group or a person) to an organization. While the meaning of accrediting is to give authority or sanction to (Of an official body) or (someone or something) when recognized standards have been met. While affiliations are associations an official body has with a group, accreditations are the visas to run in accordance to the standards of a Governing body.
So the basic question is “How do these certifications change the perceptions of people towards an institute?”
Sometimes I ponder over this question and find it so funny that an institute actually has to explain to its students that they provide valid certifications. It has to essentially take the pain of approaching all these governing bodies and get a seal on their certificates in order to ensure they have a healthy pool of candidates in the next batch. But when it comes to a Government institution, the game changes totally. They neither have to take any permissions (because they come with all these approvals), nor do they have to worry about the future batch strengths (apparently they are funded equally every year no matter how many seats get filled or not). So the contrast starts at this particular fact when an institution is coined either public or private.
The basic mentality in the Indian masses is to ensure that their career is safe and secured. In order to do that, they run behind jobs in the Public Sector because they do not have to fear of being removed from the job. And as we can imagine, because the pool of candidates reaching out for very less Public sector jobs is immensely large (Second largest population, what else can we do???), as a differentiating factor, these Public sector companies ask for certifications which have decent if not good affiliations or accreditations. So the obvious remains that Government Institutions never run out of vacant seats and Private institutions will always keep running to grab as many candidates as possible and hence starts the market for cheap teaching and money minting rather than quality and practical learning.
So my second question is “Are the institutions which do not have these certifications, not providing quality education?”
Well not all private institutions fall in this huge set of “pay and play” kind of institutions. There are few autonomous bodies who do not have these certifications, yet have embarked a mark as a quality education provider. Every year many many students aspire to get a seat in these institutions. So what makes these institutes different from the others? Well the obvious answer is the teaching practices and the course materials provided to the students, which are in tandem with the latest industry trends. They prepare the candidates to face the competition of the world through real life examples, or through the vast experiences the professors bring to the table.
Well coming back to the original question, “How important is an affiliation or an accreditation?”
I think, I have come up with an answer to this question. It’s up to the student to decide how important it is for him. If a student aspires to learn, discover and invent new things, then he would certainly not look whether an institute’s certificate has some value in the market or not. While, on the other hand, if a student wishes to lead a life, that which is non-exciting, routine and unchallenging, then probably he would look for ways to make his life easier.
Therefore, the solution to all this hue and cry over certifications and validations, I think people should realize that its the learning you derive which is important. You do not need a piece of paper to say that you are a learned person. Make the full out of the course you are taking up and try to research through the concepts and gather as much learning as you can in order to be successful in life.