By: Ambreeb Asif Qureshi


Registrar & Deputy Director QEC, Dadabhoy Institute of Higher Education , Karachi. Self-Assessment Reports (SAR) is the major tool being promoted by the Higher Education Commission to assess, improve and promote quality of learning, research, and education at universities and degree awarding institutions across Pakistan. Establishing Program Teams and undertaking development of SARs provide any higher education institution with a great opportunity of knowing itself better, to ‘x-ray’ its internal functioning and of building up a quality wake.
Management resources, training and educating processes, research, involvement of stakeholders and learners, positioning of the institution in the job market, staff and learners satisfaction measures, achievement rate of key processes, those are only a few of the many data an institution can capitalize after each self assessment report. However, it is a complex process involving time and resources, both human and material, and can be beneficial only if the institutions understand and internalize its objective i.e. to bring a paradigm shift in the way they can transform themselves into learning institutions where everybody at each level continuously improves his/her capacity to
produce results that really matter to him/her, to the students, and, above all, how it has an impact on the institution itself. “To be outstanding these days, institutions must more than ever bank on their knowledge, check their environment and sharpen their watch (strategically, technologically and competitively speaking). They must thus adapt continuously in order to bring efficient solutions to complex and unheard of situations. This study aims to explore the effectiveness of this tool as used by the Quality Enhancement Cell at Dadabhoy Institute of Higher Education(DIHE) and the slow, but steady, shift that is coming in the way quality is taking roots at DIHE. The study found that self-assessment process using non-prescriptive criteria is a knowledge production or learning cycle consisting of four core activities:
(a) criteria questions addressing the organization’s management systems

(b) understanding the systems

(c) evaluating the systems

(d) reflecting on the understanding and evaluation, which enables the organization to plan the appropriate changes to improve performance. 1., Bulletin n° 10, août 2000, article de fond