Building Internal Quality Assurance System

Building Internal Quality Assurance
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
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
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
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
The importance of a grass-root development of quality rather than a topdown 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
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
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.
Pay Attention to
• Structures
• Processes
• People
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
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 Management’s leadership.
• Empower Employees and encourage self-development and selfinitiative.
• Recognize and reward the behaviors that tend to nurture and maintain
Quality Culture.
• Thank You ……any questions?

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