Rethinking quality and improvement in higher education

Rethinking quality and improvement in higher education Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to critically review dominant conceptions of and approaches to quality in higher education. It suggests an alternative approach with potential to shift the focus of quality activities from accountability and control to improvement. Design/methodology/approach – The applicability and limits of quality concepts and models are critically reviewed against key systems concepts of purpose, boundaries and environments. The limited transferability and utility of such models and the tensions between control and improvement are discussed. Findings – The language and tools of industry‐born quality models are an imperfect fit to higher education. Authentic quality improvement is more likely to result from approaches to systemic intervention that encourage exploration of questions of purpose and of the meaning of improvement in context than from the imposition of definitions and methodologies from elsewhere. Research limitations/implications – Evidence to support the utility of systems approaches in higher education is limited. Research into their use is needed. Practical implications – Systemic approaches are complex but likely to be beneficial. Originality/value – The paper takes a systemic perspective on quality likely to be of value in encouraging debate and different interventions for improvement. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Quality Assurance in Education Emerald Publishing

Rethinking quality and improvement in higher education

Quality Assurance in Education, Volume 16 (1): 19 – Feb 1, 2008

Loading next page...
 
/lp/emerald-publishing/rethinking-quality-and-improvement-in-higher-education-ub3TEC8luL
Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0968-4883
D.O.I.
10.1108/09684880810848413
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to critically review dominant conceptions of and approaches to quality in higher education. It suggests an alternative approach with potential to shift the focus of quality activities from accountability and control to improvement. Design/methodology/approach – The applicability and limits of quality concepts and models are critically reviewed against key systems concepts of purpose, boundaries and environments. The limited transferability and utility of such models and the tensions between control and improvement are discussed. Findings – The language and tools of industry‐born quality models are an imperfect fit to higher education. Authentic quality improvement is more likely to result from approaches to systemic intervention that encourage exploration of questions of purpose and of the meaning of improvement in context than from the imposition of definitions and methodologies from elsewhere. Research limitations/implications – Evidence to support the utility of systems approaches in higher education is limited. Research into their use is needed. Practical implications – Systemic approaches are complex but likely to be beneficial. Originality/value – The paper takes a systemic perspective on quality likely to be of value in encouraging debate and different interventions for improvement.

Journal

Quality Assurance in EducationEmerald Publishing

Published: Feb 1, 2008

Keywords: Quality improvement; Critical thinking; Higher education; Learning

References

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create folders to
organize your research

Export folders, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off