June 29, 2020, Monday: The noted global higher education rating, ranking and awarding standards organization, QS-Era has awarded Adamas University, Kolkata, West Bengal, with QS IGauge E-LEAD (E-Learning Excellence in Academic Digitization) certification on June 27, Saturday. This certification is a representation of the results following a verification and validation process to certify the preparedness of institutions to conduct online teaching and learning.
“The certification process involved rigorous data-collection, evaluation and assessment of performance metrics as set out in the methodology”, noted the QS India head Ashwin Fernandes.
Adamas University (AU) is the only university in West Bengal to be awarded, and three universities in East-Northeast India to be awarded so, apart from Bhuvaneswar based KIIT University and Royal Global University of Assam. Across India, a handful of other universities have been awarded the same for their e-preparedness and digital teaching-learning, such as OP Jindal University, Sharda University, Ashoka University, Alliance University, UPES University, Galgotias University, Reva University, GD Goenka University, et al.
QS IGAUGE is the Indian arm of global rankings and ratings agency QS, which established the E-LEAD: E-Learning Excellence for Academic Digitisation. QS IGAUGE deployed its outstanding global resources to create a global best practices document and methodology, with an aim to do a readiness check of institutions in India in adopting technology and technology-enabled services for online teaching.
“At a time when COVID-19 has thoroughly shaken up the education sector and forced institutions to devise ways and means of grappling with the pandemic, receiving the QS IGAUGE E-LEAD certificate demonstrates AU’s ability to adapt quickly and achieve academic continuity for students with online courses. Faced with the possibility that students may not be allowed on campus for an extended time, universities must re-imagine the entire student learning experience from a digital perspective, just as being done in the developed nations, and I know it first hand through the experiences of my sons studying abroad. We are now moving towards extended and integrated online learning encompassing videos, interactive content, flipped classes, Coursera courses, and many more,” noted the AU Chancellor, Prof Samit Ray.
Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Deependra K Jha expressed joy after receiving the certificate, and said in his acceptance speech, “This award has come to us at a time when online teaching-learning is no longer a choice, but a necessity. Our department of e-learning ensures that while imparting education, adaptability, flexibility and innovation are key components. Blended learning is the future irrespective of COVID. I am happy that QS has validated our capability and processes in imparting quality education.”
It can be noted here that AU has come out with a 24-pages document a month ago titled AU Combats COVID in which it has listed all initiatives taken to ensure no lockdown on education since mid March, all social initiatives taken to combat the impact of COVID, all research and writing initiatives in this regard, and all preparedness for online examinations, physical distancing, safety and sanitization of campus et al for the near future when campus opens up for use by mentors and learners.