Building Internal Quality Assurance System Andy Gibbs Beirut 2013
Presentation Outline Quality and Higher Education Quality and European HE Reforms Quality Assurance and Quality Culture? Steps in building a Internal Quality Assurance System
Four Trends in Global HE Expanding enrolments (accompanied by shifts in student needs and expectations); The growth of new competitors, virtual education and consortia within the operating spheres of traditional higher education providers and provision; The global activity of many institutions; and The tendency for policy makers to use market forces as levers for change in higher education. The Observatory on Borderless Higher Education, August 2003
A need for Quality Assurance As the learning landscape changes and becomes more complex, participants and purchasers of higher education depend on quality assurance arrangements to provide information and guidance about their educational choices. Quality assurance arrangements must also act as insurance, if not a guarantee, of the present and continuing value of educational investments. Borderless Higher Education and Quality Assurance 2003
What is Quality Assurance? The term, quality assurance may include: All the arrangements made at any of several levels (national, international, supranational, regional) to assure the reliability and quality of institutions, consortia, other providers, programmes, qualifications and other educational services. Thus recognition, accreditation and validation may be parts of a national, regional, or state-level quality assurance system. A narrower definition that refers to the monitoring and review of institutional activity from an internal or external perspective (or both) and refers to similar arrangements at the level of disciplines, programmes and awards.
European HE Reforms The objectives of the EHEA are to achieve more comparable, compatible and coherent systems of higher education, more easily comparable degrees and credit systems, greater student and staff mobility, and more participation by international students and scholars. The1999 Declaration led to the establishment of a comparable, compatible and coherent framework in the three cycles (bachelor, master, doctorate) as well as a European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System. In 2000, the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA) was established to promote cooperation in QA in higher education in all of the Bologna signatory countries.
QA and European Higher Education Reforms Standards and guidelines for quality assurance underpin the development of QA in the EHEA (47 countries) The internal evaluation is the cornerstone of quality assurance in Higher Education The external evaluation is a condition of the credibility of the results of the internal evaluation.
Quality Culture vs. Quality control or Quality management To indicate: The importance of a change in attitude and behaviour within the institutions The importance of a grass-root development of quality rather than a top- down approach EUA Quality Culture Project
One Approach to QA Quality assurance refers to a range of review procedures designed to safeguard academic standards and promote learning opportunities for students of acceptable quality There are various interpretations of what exactly constitutes acceptable quality: e.g., an institution's provision should be "fit for purpose"; should make effective use of resources; should offer its stakeholders value for money; etc… but it is increasingly agreed that it is important to promote improvement of quality, not just to ensure that quality is maintained. This shifts the emphasis from quality assurance to quality enhancement. Quality enhancement is taking deliberate steps to bring about continual improvement in the effectiveness of the learning experience of students. Continuous Improvement means Continuous Change BUT Change is Resisted in any Organization.
Three models for organising QA in universities : Centralised, in which QA is managed by designated offices in accord with national and / or institutional policies, procedures and criteria Collective, in which various boards, councils and committees have responsibility for the different levels, stages and aspects of QA Dispersed, in which responsibility for the various aspects of QA is delegated to different units Jung (2005)
Five Key Structures Quality unit for teaching and learning Office of institutional research and information An international office Research management office Integrated and comprehensive students support services According to EUA QCP
Key Actors The rectoral team quality champions Financial officers Human resource officers Students External stakeholders And Engage the whole community
Success factors The success of the first steps in introducing a quality culture is essential for an effective development along that path The importance of institutional governance and community building (vs. management) for an effective quality culture The importance of strategic thinking, based on an appropriate institutional analysis (SWOT or similar analytical instruments)
Establishing Quality is a challenging undertaking for any organization. It is even more challenging to maintain it over time. Maintain an awareness of Quality as a key cultural issue. Make sure that there is plenty of evidence of Managements leadership. Empower Employees and encourage self-development and self- initiative. Recognize and reward the behaviors that tend to nurture and maintain Quality Culture.