The Quality Assurance Council (QAC) serves to strengthen and enhance the quality of education offered by the state universities and institutes under the University Grants Commission.
The Council was first set up (as the Quality Assurance & Accreditation Council) in September 2005, to support fledgling efforts towards a quality assurance system in the state higher education system. Since then, with strong support from the University Grants Commission, the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Directors, and the UGC’s Standing Committee on Quality Assurance, considerable progress has been made towards establishing a strong culture of quality assurance within all the universities and institutes that function under the UGC.
The QAC is primarily responsible for implementation of external reviews as set out in the Manual for Institutional Review in Sri Lankan Universities and Higher Education Institutions (published by the UGC in April 2015), and the Manual for Review of Undergraduate Study Programme of Sri Lankan Universities and Higher Education Institutions (published in December 2015). The present cycle of external reviews in the state higher education system which is conducted according to these two manuals, has seen the conduct of 7 Institutional Reviews and over 100 Programme Reviews during the period 2016 – 2018. It is expected that this review cycle will be completed in 2021.
The QAC also works directly with universities and institutes to strengthen internal quality assurance mechanisms, and to improve the quality of awards through implementation of the Sri Lanka Qualifications Framework, which was published by the UGC in 2015. During the next two years, the QAC will work with teams of academics from across all universities and academic disciplines to update the existing Subject Benchmark Statements, and draw up new statements where necessary. Together, the Sri Lanka Qualifications Framework and the Subject Benchmark Statements will provide points of reference that facilitate enhancement of the quality of higher education in Sri Lanka, and provide a clear system to develop links with higher education institutions in other countries.