Quality assurance in post‐secondary education Some common approaches

Quality assurance in post‐secondary education Some common approaches Purpose – The common approaches to quality assurance (QA), as practiced by most post‐secondary education institutions for internal quality monitoring and most QA authorities for external quality monitoring (EQM), have been considered by many researchers as having largely failed to address the essence of educational quality. The purpose of this paper, although not meant to be exhaustive, is to review some of these approaches. Design/methodology/approach – The paper reviews the relevant issues concerning total quality management, performance indicators and EQM, the three common approaches to the QA of post‐secondary education have been reviewed. Findings – While from a pragmatic perspective these approaches have their respective reasons for existence, they can all be criticized as lacking rigorous theoretical foundations and being mainly driven by demands of satisfying external agendas (e.g. to enforce institutional accountability or compliance) instead of academic considerations (e.g. to facilitate student learning). As a result, a mismatch between the rhetoric and reality of educational quality has become a common experience of most practitioners, not only in western contexts from which these approaches were originated, but also in other cultural contexts that have adopted them uncritically. It is undeniable that the overall quality culture within most post‐secondary education systems worldwide, as currently manifested, tends to favor the institutional aspects rather than the student aspects of the quality issues, and tends to lean more on the accountability‐led view rather than the improvement‐led view of quality assurance. Originality/value – The paper sheds some light on the quality debate in post‐secondary education. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Quality Assurance in Education Emerald Publishing

Quality assurance in post‐secondary education Some common approaches

Quality Assurance in Education, Volume 18 (1): 14 – Feb 2, 2010

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2010 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0968-4883
D.O.I.
10.1108/09684881011016007
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The common approaches to quality assurance (QA), as practiced by most post‐secondary education institutions for internal quality monitoring and most QA authorities for external quality monitoring (EQM), have been considered by many researchers as having largely failed to address the essence of educational quality. The purpose of this paper, although not meant to be exhaustive, is to review some of these approaches. Design/methodology/approach – The paper reviews the relevant issues concerning total quality management, performance indicators and EQM, the three common approaches to the QA of post‐secondary education have been reviewed. Findings – While from a pragmatic perspective these approaches have their respective reasons for existence, they can all be criticized as lacking rigorous theoretical foundations and being mainly driven by demands of satisfying external agendas (e.g. to enforce institutional accountability or compliance) instead of academic considerations (e.g. to facilitate student learning). As a result, a mismatch between the rhetoric and reality of educational quality has become a common experience of most practitioners, not only in western contexts from which these approaches were originated, but also in other cultural contexts that have adopted them uncritically. It is undeniable that the overall quality culture within most post‐secondary education systems worldwide, as currently manifested, tends to favor the institutional aspects rather than the student aspects of the quality issues, and tends to lean more on the accountability‐led view rather than the improvement‐led view of quality assurance. Originality/value – The paper sheds some light on the quality debate in post‐secondary education.

Journal

Quality Assurance in EducationEmerald Publishing

Published: Feb 2, 2010

Keywords: Quality assurance; Total quality management; Higher education; Quality assessment; Quality culture; Hong Kong

References

  • Quality assurance in higher education: the evolution of systems and design ideals
    Bogue, E.G.
  • Multi‐models of quality in education
    Cheng, Y.C.; Tam, W.M.
  • TQM: an act of balance between contradictions
    Harnesk, R.; Abrahamsson, L.
  • Evaluation for what?
    Harvey, L.
  • The end of quality?
    Harvey, L.
  • Defining quality
    Harvey, L.; Green, D.
  • Transforming Higher Education
    Harvey, L.; Knight, P.T.
  • Quality assurance in UK higher education: issues of trust, control, professional autonomy and accountability
    Hoecht, A.
  • Rethinking quality and improvement in higher education
    Houston, D.
  • TQM: why is its impact in higher education so small?
    Koch, J.V.
  • The phases and paradoxes of educational quality assurance: the case of the Singapore education system
    Ng, P.T.
  • Learning communities and the quest for quality
    Smith, B.L.; MacGregor, J.
  • Total quality management practices in Turkish primary schools
    Töremem, F.; Karakuş, M.; Yasan, T.
  • Enhancement‐led higher education?
    Yorke, M.

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