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Six Sigma Enabled Service Quality Assessment
– An Engineering College Case Study

Dr M Shanmugaraja
Abstract - In an environment of global competitiveness, it is important that the products of engineering institutions are as competent as graduates of any other country, not only in their scholastic attainments, but also in terms of the value system and richness of their personality. To compete in the World scene, the quality and standard of engineering institutions is to be enhanced and sustained at a high level through innovation, creativity and regular monitoring. To bring excellence in engineering education in India, several management tools, models and approaches are adopted in recent researches. Six Sigma is one of such quality management tools, which is used to achieve quality in product and service. The purpose of this paper is to exhibit the application of Six Sigma approach in an engineering college to appraise the quality of academic performance and to appreciate the ways for educational quality improvement. Keywords - Competitiveness, engineering institution, quality, management tools, Six Sigma, performance appraisal

1. Introduction
In India, service sector has experienced significant augmentation over the past several decades to account a sizeable share in nation’s economy [14]. Among the service industries, education sector is emerging as a major commercial activity in India [13]. As depicted in figure 1, in a report released by University Grand Commission (UGC), India, the total number of universities in India has become 659 on 05.02.2014 that included 312 state owned universities; 129 deemed state universities; 45 central universities; and 173 private universities (www.ugc.ac.in).

Figure 1 Universities in Indian States (Source www.ugc.ac.in) Professor, Department of Aeronautical Engineering,
Park College of Technology, Karumathampatti,
Coimbatore – 641659, Tamilnadu, India
[email protected]; [email protected]
Besides UGC, All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) was established in India as a statutory body in 1987, to achieve the planned growth and to nurture quality in technical education system. AICTE has spared no effort to inculcate competitiveness to face the globalization and in generating competence and quality in technically qualified human resources to make it globally acceptable. In the year 2012, Indian engineering education system has found with nearly 3344 institutions in the country with approved student intake of 14,70,000 (from AICTE annual report 2011-2012 available at http:// www. aicte-india.org/ downloads / Annual _ report_11_12.pdf). During last few years, in engineering education sector, the number of self financed colleges has increased in India at an alarming rate with commercial motives and less emphasis is being given to quality of the education being imparted [3]. Raised expectations by academicians, educationists, policy planners and the society have threatened the sustainability of these institutions in the present competitive life [9]. There are many stakeholders like students, managements, government, industries, parents etc. in engineering education sector, and this makes the system very complex [10]. Since students are the primary stakeholders in the system and their primary objective is passing the final examinations to vie for gainful employment, so passing rate of students is being accepted as a parameter to evaluate the privately managed engineering institutions [7]. Moreover, there exists a feeling in the society at large that most of these private Institutions are not up to the mark in terms of delivering the quality education that makes the students market-worthy [12]. The “fitness for purpose” or “value for money” as goes the definition of “quality” [14] may lack significantly. Therefore, the situation can be hypothesized like this. Even though cost of engineering education has gone up due to the entry of private...
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