The Higher Education Quality Assurance and Accreditation Council (HEQAAC) is a functionally autonomous agency of the UGC Nepal provisioned by the Educational Quality Assurance and Accreditation Regulations (EQAAR), 2018 (2074BS) of the Government of Nepal. The council formulates necessary policies and strategies to implement the Quality Assurance and Accreditation System in the country. Preparation of necessary criteria -setting benchmarks and indicators for the quality of higher education and the implementation of the National Quality Framework (NQF) to ensure that all the Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) are operating as guided by the framework, is the primary functions of the council. The Chairperson, who is also the Chairman of the UGC, chairs the eleven-member council. The member-secretary of the UGC, three prominent educationists/professors, four chairpersons of the related professional councils, and the joint-secretary of the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology (higher education) are the members of the council. The director of the QAA Division (QAAD), UGC plays the role of member-secretary of the council. The members of the council are nominated by the UGC generally for a period of four years.
UGC has issued the Higher Education Quality Assurance and Accreditation Directives (HEQAAD) in 2018 for smooth and fair implementation of the QAA System in Nepal. The directives have not only determined the organizational structure of the QAA System in the country but also spelled-out the role and responsibilities of each mechanism, units, and individuals involved in the process. This refers that the council is working only for the assessment for Institutional Quality Assurance and Accreditation of HEIs. The available policy and legal provisions made under these three statutory documents - UGC Act - 1993, EQAA Regulations - 2018, and HEQAAD - 2018, are guiding the QAA system in Nepal.
As the institutional accreditation is concerned, the council is assessing four types of HEIs – Central Departments of the University; Schools/Central Campuses of the Universities; Constituent Campuses; and the Affiliated Community and Private Campuses/Colleges. The assessment of the Universities and equivalent bodies for institutional accreditation is yet to be practiced in Nepal.
The members of Higher Education Quality Assurance and Accreditation Council (HEQAAC) are as mentioned below:
Functions, Duties, and Responsibilities of the HEQAAC
According to the EQAAR 2018, the major functions, duties, and responsibilities of the HEQAAC are as mentioned below:
- Determine the criteria, benchmark, and indicators for QAA of higher education,
- Assure the system, process, and methods of QAA of higher education and act accordingly,
- Ensure the operation of the HEIs based on the National Quality Framework,
- Recommend the eligible HEIs and their programs to UGC for the accreditation based on the set criteria, benchmark, and indicators,
- Integrate the entire development of higher education with QAA system,
- Coordinate among the universities, professional councils, and higher education institutions for quality assurance, quality assessment, quality promotion, accreditation, and continuous credibility, and
- Establish and develop networking with international agencies related to QAA.
Through the implementation of Quality Assurance and Accreditation (QAA) System, Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) of Nepal will comply with defined quality standards, be able to address the national need of qualified human resources, and approach towards meeting international standard in higher education.
Assure the operation of Nepali HEIs capable of producing competitive knowledge and human resources to respond to changing national and global demands.
Promote and nurture an enabling environment for producing knowledge and human resources through a dynamic QAA system that is compatible to international practices of accreditation, and applicable to different types of HEIs and academic programs in the country.
Goal 1: To enable higher education institutions of Nepal to offer quality programmes defined in exhibiting knowledge, skills and abilities.
Goal 2: To develop core competencies of Nepali HEIs in demand-driven niche areas, and prepare for continuous changes in capabilities, faculties, engagement, and outputs.
- Design a framework-guideline to implement systematic and authentic system for quality assurance and accreditation (G-1).
- Develop and implement quality assurance and accreditation criteria benchmarks and indicators to be applicable in reference to the nature of governance, and program offered by HEIs (G-1).
- Internalize the global QAA practices and insure the quality of Nepali higher education expected by concerned stakeholders (G-1).
- Sensitize HEIs to QAA system to improve their academic environment integrating innovative teaching-learning process (G-1).
- Expand and strengthen international network and cooperation with QAA Agencies (G-1).
- HEIs sustain the quality standard defined by QAA system (G-1).
- Make HEIs ethically responsible for quality services and encourage them to be morally and professionally bound by their code of conducts (G-2).
- Facilitate Nepali HEIs identify their specific expertise/capability and encourage them to exhibit scale-specific leadership and engagement (local/provincial/national/ international) (G-2).
- Facilitate universities and HEIs to strengthen IQAC, Quality Audits and EMIS through innovations and improvement in existing system (G-2).
- Enhance the quality of faculties and their outputs (e.g., research and publications, consultancy, graduates, and outreach) through mobility of students and faculties, both nationally and internationally (G-2).