Assessment Report On

Institutional Accreditation Of

Loyola College (Autonomous), Chennai

 

Section 1 : Introduction

The Loyola College, Chennai was established in July 1925 with only 75 students on the rolls in the undergraduate courses in Mathematics, History and Economics.It is affiliated to the University of Madras.Over the past 74 years, the College has grown into a large institution.It is a government aided minority College located in the heart of Chennai city.It has its own campus of about 79 acres with all essential infrastructure facilities.The College was conferred autonomy in July 1978.

 

Today, the College has 18 departments offering 13 undergraduate courses and 9 post-graduate courses in the faculties of Arts, Science and Social Science.Research programmes leading to M.Phil and Ph.D. degrees are offered in 8 disciplines.In addition, 4 undergraduate courses, 4 post-graduate courses, 7 post-graduate diploma courses, one diploma course and 4 certificate courses are offered on a self-financing basis. The Entomology Research Institute (ERI) established in 1963, the Ignatius Institute for Career Development (LICD) set up in 1973, the Loyola Institute for Competitive Examinations (LICEX) opened in 1993,the Loyola Institute for Frontier Energy (LIFE) established in 1995, the Loyola Institute of Vocational Education (LIVE) started in 1996, and the Loyola Institute for Industrial and Social Science Research (LISOR) set up in 1997 are all integral parts of the College.The College restricts admissions in undergraduate courses to the Chennai city and to the northern districts of Tamil Nadu.

 

While all regular courses are offered in the forenoon, self-financing courses are offered in the afternoon and part-time self-financing courses in the evening.The College has at present 143 teachers and 3018 students on its rolls for the regular courses, the strength of non-teaching staff being 55 (21 technical and 34 administrative). Women are not admitted to undergraduate courses.Admission of Women to post-graduate courses is restricted to Catholics. The current strength of Women students is 83 spread over eight post-graduate departments.There are at present 28 overseas students (most of them from African countries) on the rolls of the College.The motto of the College is:"Let Your Light Shine" implying that the students passing out of the College should become beacon-lights of hope and liberation to others.

 

The Peer Team consisting of Dr. K. Gopalan (Chairman), Dr. Hamida Ahmad and Dr. Nina S. Dodd visited the College between the 27th and the 29th of July 1999 for assessing the institution for accreditation.The Team was accompanied by Dr. Latha Pillai (Deputy Adviser, NAAC) and Dr. M.S. Shyamasundar (Assistant Adviser, NAAC).The Team had extensive interaction with the Management, the representative of Madras University, the Joint Director of Collegiate education, the Principal, the Controller of Examinations, faculty, staff, students, representatives of various associations & unions and others concerned. The Team also examined a whole lot of relevant documents.

 

Section 2 : Parameter-wise Analysis

Parameter I:Goals and Objectives

The Loyola College was established with the primary objective of providing university education in a Christian atmosphere to deserving students, especially those who belong to the Catholic Christian Community.Although the College is meant primarily for Catholics, it does admit other students irrespective of caste and creed.

 

The goals and objectives are reported to have been reviewed and revised since autonomy was conferred on the College in 1978.The College now aims at training young men and women of quality to be leaders in all walks of life and to serve their fellowmen with justice, truth and love.The College fosters an atmosphere of intellectual vigour and moral rectitude and hopes to contribute to the betterment of the people of India, more particularly the Dalits and other poorer and marginalised sections of society.The College has a compassionate concern for the welfare of the weak and the underprivileged.The College is aspiring to become a Deemed-to-be-University.

 

While the College is certainly attempting to attain its goals and objectives through its curricular, co-curricular and extension programmes, it appears that the approach is a little tentative conventional and conservative.There is a case to make the approach more dynamic and liberal with sensitivity to today's fast-changing socio-economic situations and global expectations.

 

Parameter II:Curriculum Design and Review

After the attainment of autonomy in 1978, the College has attempted to redesign the curriculum by improving the syllabi of many o fits courses of study and by introducing changes in curriculum transaction.Several employment-oriented subjects/papers have been introduced in the relevant existing courses. The Loyola Institute of Vocational Education (LIVE)conducts vocational diploma and post-graduate diploma courses such as Travel & Tourism Management, Medical Laboratory Technology, Marketing Management, Industrial Micro-biology, Information Technology and Eco-Tourism Management.The LIVE also offers certificate courses of short duration in the above areas and also in spoken Hindi, French and German.The courses offered by the LIVE are self-financing and not affiliated to any university.

 

The academic activities of the College especially in respect of the regular aided courses and programmes affiliated to the University of Madras seem to be too internalised.The College needs to have comprehensive guidelines for initiating, reviewing, re-designing and monitoring its regular programmes.It should also have an improved mechanism to seek the views of R&D organisations, industry, business sector, service sector and such other employing agencies on curriculum design and syllabi. Representatives of R&D organisations, industry, business and commerce could perhaps be included in the administrative and academic bodies of the College.The mechanism for the use of feedback from various sources including academic peers has to be streamlined and further strengthened.

 

Parameter III:Teaching, Learning and Evaluation

Only in some undergraduate programmes are the knowledge and aptitude of students tested at the entry level.Admissions to all post-graduate programmes is made through entrance tests and/or interviews/group discussions. A few departments offer bridge/remedial courses to the educationally disadvantaged students.The College does not have any provision for inter-disciplinary registration.The College encourages the teachers to have a teaching plan.There is provision in the time-table for self-study by students in the library. The college has linkages and exchange programmes with Boston College (USA), South Bank University (London), Fordham University (New York) and Eidgenossiche Technische Schule (Zurich).More such linkages are foreseen. Some departments follow non-conventional methods such as seminars, discussions, case studies and field-based mini-projects in the teaching-learning process.The College has media facilities including charts, projectors, TV, VCR, computers and such other devices.However, no teacher from the College seems to have participated in the production of multi-media material, CAL packages and such other innovations in recent years.Many of the sophisticated facilities available in the College are under - utilised.

 

As an autonomous College, Loyola has adopted the semester-cum-credit system and follows for evaluation the methodology of continuous internal assessment and semester-end examination.Student evaluation is on the basis of internal assessment (50%) and external or end-of-semester examination (50%).Internal assessment is based on announced tests, snap tests, seminars, quizzes, assignments and group discussions.Most of the examination work has been computerised.

 

Teachers are recruited on the basis of the guidelines issued by the government of Tamil Nadu and the conditions laid down by the UGC.Teachers are encouraged to attend seminars, conferences and workshops for their professional development. Their performance is evaluated on the basis of the feedback received from students.But there is no self-appraisal.Casual leave, medical leave, duty leave, earned leave and private affairs leave are granted to teachers according to government regulations.There is provision for study leave for teachers, but there is no provision for sabbatical leave.Also there is no policy to reward successful teaching innovations.

 

It would be worth-while to have an appropriate mechanism for the annual self-appraisal of teachers.It is advisable to provide for sabbatical leave and to reward successful teaching innovations.There is a strong case to make all teachers computer-literate and train them in the use of multi-media materials.It is necessary to develop CAL packages and use them on a large scale.It is also suggested that a programme of action be drawn up to train all technical staff on a time-bound basis with a view to updating their skills in their respective fields.

 

Parameter IV:Research and Publications

There are at present a few major research projects going on in the departments of Entomology, Chemistry and Zoology.They are funded by external agencies such as DST, DAT, DBT and DOEN of the Government of India.The Peer Team was particularly impressed with the R & D activities of the Entomology Research Institute, which is a referal centre approved and recognised by the Department of Bio-technology, Government of India.During the past three years, two teachers have won recognition from the TNSCST for the research work done by them.The College is reportedly collaborating with IGCAR, IIT (Madras) and Anna University (Chennai)in research activities.As on date, the total number of part-time and full-time research scholars registered for M.Phil. and Ph.D. is 48 and 90 respectively.During the past three years, the college has produced about 17 Ph.D.s. During the same period, about 69 papers have been published by the teachers/students in national and international journals.The College has its own publications, which it exchanges with several other institutions.

 

The College has a lot more of potential to promote research further.Several of the 18 departments are rather passive in research.Of the 143 regular teachers on the rolls of the College spread over 18 departments, as many as 77 teachers are Ph.D. degree holders.Out of them only 29 are recognised as guides for Ph.D.Others also should try to get recognition for guiding research at the doctoral level. Eighteen teachers are at present registered for Ph.D. Teachers should be encouraged to submit research proposals in their respective fields to funding agencies such as UGC, DST, DOE, CSIR, ICSSR and ICAR.The College should evolve a suitable mechanism to scrutinise research proposals before they are submitted to funding agencies.Research can also be promoted at the under-graduate level by giving meaningful and relevant problems for project work.This will help to demystify research and enable all departments to inculcate the culture of research.

 

Parameter V:Consultancy and Extension Activities

The College does not seem to offer any consultancy and testing services in a formal sense.Hence, no funds are generated through consultancy and testing activities. There are a large number of highly qualified teachers in the College who are capable of giving consultancy services and thereby contributing to societal and national development. The College should consider adopting rules for individual as well as institutional consultancy with a view to encouraging its teachers to offer consultancy services in the areas of their expertise, without prejudice to their regular work in the College.A fertile area where the College can enter is development consultancy.

 

The College appears to be doing well in extension activities.Extension work forms part of the curriculum in some post-graduate courses.Extension services are rendered mainly through the National Service Scheme (NSS), which has a membership of about 200 students.With the motto "Not me, but you", NSS Loyola believes in community service and organises extension programmes such as health and hygiene awareness, adult education and literacy, and civic sense training.Extension activities are also done through the Loyola Extension and Awareness Programme (LEAP), AICUF, and Enviro Club.However, participation of teachers and staff in extension activities is insignificant.It is considered necessary to bring out a regular newsletter to co-ordinate and communicate the numerous extension and co-curricular activities of the various clubs and units.

 

The College has an active NCC (National Cadet Corps)unit.Many NCC cadets of the College have been privileged to take part in the Republic Day Parade at Delhi.

 

Parameter VI:Organisation and Management

The decision making bodies of the College include the Board of Management, Governing Body, Board of Administrative Senate, College Council, Academic Council and Boards of Studies.The 5-member Standing Committee of the Governing Body under the leadership of the Rector is reportedly in charge of planning. The College is reported to have mechanisms for consulting the teachers' association, staff association and students' union regarding the functioning of the College.There is no self-appraisal of the staff on their work satisfaction.

 

The academic calendar of the College is published regularly in the month of July every year and it is ensured that all activities take place according to schedule.All admissions are made on the basis of merit and according to the reservation policy of the Tamil Nadu government.Internet and e-mail facilities are said to be utilised to attract foreign students.During the past 2 years, the College has not lost any working days due to strike and such other disturbances.Several administrative works have been computerised.The College uses new technologies such as fax, internet and e-mail in communication.The College could consider instituting some rewards and incentives for successful teaching innovations.

 

The data bases in respect of admissions, enrolments, courses, projects and various other operations and activities of the College appear to be weak.They need considerable strengthening.

 

The college appears to be burdened with the Tamil Nadu Private Colleges (Regulation) Act of 1976 and its rules, which do not seem to cater for the needs and concerns of an autonomous college. This is a common problem affecting all autonomous colleges in Tamil Nadu. This problem needs to be sorted out by the authorities concerned at the appropriate level.

 

 

Parameter VII:Infrastructure Facilities

The College has a large campus of about 79 acres with buildings which accommodate among others administrative blocks, various departments, computer centre, library, hostel (with 19 blocks), auditorium, workshop and canteen.The classrooms and laboratories are spacious and well-furnished.However some of the laboratories need to be updated with more modern equipment.

 

The College has a fairly well-equipped estate office.People are permanently employed (and others are hired whenever necessary)to ensure proper maintenance of buildings, electrical installations, drainage, water supply, garden, furniture, security and such other facilities.The campus is very well maintained.

 

Parameter VIII:Support Services

The College has a central library housed in a separate building with well-ventilated cubicles.††† It has a holding of about 85,000 volumes and subscribes to 273 journals and periodicals.It has inter-library borrowing facilities at the local level.The library is being computerised and is provided with e-mail, internet, fax, Xerox and uninterrupted power supply.It maintains a book bank, which lends textbooks to deserving students.The library is kept open from 7.45 a.m. to 6.30 p.m.Many departments have their own departmental libraries.

 

The College has a good computer centre.In addition, many of the departments have their own computers.However, the computers in the departments are not linked to the computer centre through LAN.The computer facilities should be used to make all students, staff and faculty computer - literate. No computer aided learning (CAL)packages have been developed in the College.It appears that the computer facilities are not put to optimum use.The College workshop has facilities for welding,glass-blowing and carpentry.

 

The College has very good facilities for sports and games.It has play grounds for all major games including flood-lit basketball and volleyball courts, and a 400 m. track with and stadium.Well-experienced coaches are hired for coaching students in some games and sports.Students talented in sports are given incentives in the form of fee concessions, free boarding, free uniforms and prize money.The College has very strong sports teams.Many students of the College find a place in the university teams every year.However, the students seem to feel the absence of a gymnasium.

 

The two welfare programmes for students are the Students Aid Fund and the Noon Meals Scheme.About 160 students are given free midday meals on all working days.In addition, deserving and poor students irrespective of caste, creed and religion are given financial assistance to pay their fees.The College does not have a corpus fund.Nor is there provision to give various types of loans to teachers and staff.

 

There is a standing committee for grievance redressal of students.The standing committee is headed by the Principal with Dean of Students' Affairs and senior teachers nominated by the Principal as members.There is no formal grievance redressal mechanism for teachers and staff.The College has a recognised studentsí union, a teachersí association and a staff association, which give suggestions and make representations on issues concerning them.

 

The College has a large hostel (with 19 blocks), which accommodates about 680 students who come from outside the city of Chennai.Unmarried teachers from outside Chennai are accommodated in the hostel.The College has a canteen which is leased out on contract basis.

With several post-graduate and doctoral programmes going on in the College, there is a strong case for extending the library timings and for keeping it open even on Sundays and holidays.The library should also have access to INFLIBNET.It is advisable to have inter-library borrowing facilities at the state and national levels.

 

It would also be useful to set up an advanced instrumentation centre as a common facility to take care of the repairs and maintenance of sophisticated instruments in the various departments and to promote interdisciplinary research.It would be a good idea to establish a non-resident students' centre for the benefit of day-scholars.

 

Parameter IX:Student Feedback and Counselling

The College is reported to be collecting feedback from students and taking appropriate action on matters such as teaching methods, infrastructure facilities and student services.The prospectus of the College contains all relevant details and it is made available to students in the month of May every year.Financial aid is given to students in the form of scholarships of various kinds.Under the endowed category alone, the College offers 192 merit as well as merit-cum-means scholarships.Every year about 70 awards are given to meritorious students in the form of medals and prizes.

 

The Student Service Centre (SSC)of the College functions as its employment cell.In addition, the LIVE has an Employment Bureau.The Loyola Institute for Competitive Examinations (LICEX)helps students to prepare for UPSC Civil Service Examinations.The Young Managers' Forum (YMF)organises several talks and workshops to help students pick up special skills for commerce, economics and management.Every year, several companies such as Hindustan Lever, TELCO, MRF and Arthur Andersen recruit students through interviews arranged on the College campus.Feedback is also collected from these companies.It appears that last year as many as 120 students were recruited through campus interviews.

 

The College has a Student Counsellor who is available in his office during college hours and meets students usually by appointment.There is no professional counsellor among the faculty but successful counselling is offered informally.

 

Even though the College has an Alumni Association, which is 70 years old, it does not seem to have an efficient mechanism of its own to keep track of its old students.The Alumni Association of this 74 year old institution has only about 1800 life members.While it does have some interaction with the College, the Alumni Association cannot be said to be active enough.It would be useful to keep track of at least those students who have made a mark and thereby activate the Alumni Association to the advantage of the College.The Alumni Association could be involved more deeply in various academicand developmental programmes of the College including establishment of endowments, chairs, professorships, research fellowships and visiting fellowships.

 

Parameter X:Generation and Management of Financial Resources

The main sources of income of the College are government grants, UGC grants, various types of fees, management contribution, donations and of course funds generated through self-financing courses.The statements of income and expenditure for the year 1997-98 indicate that the total income of the College during the year was Rs.686.45 lakh and expenditure Rs.660.88 lakh.There is internal as well as government audit of accounts.The finances are well-managed.

 

It should be possible for the College to raise more resources.The College could go in a big way to offer consultancy and testing services on a commercial basis.Funds can also be generated by submitting meaningful research proposals to various funding agencies to which reference has already been made.The computer centre could be put to work in 3 shifts, as is being done by many institutions. Some of the existing facilities could be hired out.More overseas students could be admitted to the various programmes offered by the College as part of resource mobilisation.

 

Section 3 : Overall Analysis

The Loyola College, Chennai is a well established institution of very good standing and high reputation.It is a government aided minority institution with autonomous status.It has put its autonomy to very good use by redesigning several of its courses and introducing positive changes in curriculum transaction.Action is on to restructure courses and programmes further.During the past 74 years of its existence, it has done yeomen service in promoting higher education and contributing to national development.Through its various curricular, co-curricular and extension activities, it has carved out for itself a pride of place in the academic world.

 

The College has a very positive approach to assurance of quality and standards. The College amply deserves to be commended on the following aspects:-

      The very well maintained campus

      The atmosphere of intellectual vigour and moral rectitude

      The compassionate concern for the welfare of the weak and the under-privileged

      Redesigning of curriculum and syllabus, and changes brought about in curriculum transaction

      Introduction of several employment oriented subjects and courses

      Adoption of non-conventional methods in the teaching-learning process

      Very good extension activities and services

      Computerisation of several administrative and academic items of work

      Provision of very good infrastructure facilities and support services

      Functioning of an efficient employment cell

 

The Peer Team would like to make the following suggestions for the future growth and further development of the College:-

 

      While the College is undoubtedly an excellent institution, its approach appears to be a little conventional and conservative.There is a case to make the approach more dynamic and liberal with sensitivity to today's fast-changing socio-economic situations and global expectations.

      The College should have a suitable and improved mechanism to seek the views of industry, business and service sectors on curriculum design and syllabus particularly in respect of its regular courses.Representatives of R & D organisations, industry, business and service sectors could perhaps be included in the administration and academic bodies of the College. The inbuilt mechanism for the use of feedback from various sources including peers could be further strengthened.

      It is advisable to evolve an appropriate mechanism for the annual self-appraisal of teachers.A lot more needs to be done to motivate, encourage and support faculty development.It would be worth-while to make provision for sabbatical leave and some welfare measures.

      There is ample scope for more wide-spread use of educational technology and multi-media facilities including CAL packages in the teaching learning process.

      It is necessary to devise a programme of action to train all technical staff on a time-bound basis with a view to updating them.

      The College has a lot of potential to promote research further. Teachers should be encouraged to submit relevant research proposals in their respective fields to funding agencies such as UGC, DST, DOE, CSIR, ICSSR and ICAR.Research can also be promoted at the under-graduate level by giving meaningful problems for project work.

      There is a strong case for the College to go in a big way to offer consultancy and testing services on a commercial basis, without prejudice to its own academic and research activities.

      It would be worthwhile to extend the library timings and to keep it open even on Sundays and holidays.The library needs to have access to INFLIBNET.

      Setting up a sophisticated instrumentation centre as a common facility will be a progressive step.

      It would be a good idea to establish a well - equipped non-resident students centre for the benefit of day scholars.It would be nice to have a gymnasium on the campus.

      It would be very helpful if the College could bring out a regular newsletter to co-ordinate and communicate the numerous extension and co-curricular activities done by the various clubs and units.

      The Alumni Association of this 74 year old College could be activated with a view to involving it more deeply in the various academic and developmental programmes of the College.

      The College would do well to chalk out a perspective plan for its further development in the next ten years.The College should also consider undertaking more effective measures to mobilise additional resources.

      The College appears to be burdened with the Tamil Nadu Private Colleges (Regulation) Act of 1976 and its rules, which do not seem to cater for the needs and concerns of an autonomous college. This problem needs to be sorted out by the authorities concerned at the appropriate level.

 

The Peer Team places on record its appreciation of the enormous amount of good will and co-operation extended to it by the management, principal, faculty, staff, students and others concerned.

--- f f f ---