(Im)possible Executions of Higher Education Quality Assurance Practices: Imposing Quality Model
AbstractThis paper reports on the research undertaken at Universities of Technology concentrating on institutionalising the academic quality assurance model for Higher Education Institutions. The paper draw significantly from the impact of quality cycles and its impact on institutions, evolution of quality assurance as well as the preferences in choosing the quality assurance phenomenon. The researcher made use of the descriptive survey as it fits perfectly in this kind of study. Questionnaires and structured interviews were utilised. The purpose of using the qualitative research method is to understand the current quality assurance philosophy exercised by institutions, hence the researcher have decided to use idiographic strategy, in which a single case and its structural coherence with a larger context are examined. The population of this study consists of all six Universities of Technology. Deans of faculties, heads of academic department and programme coordinators the researcher selected only 135 from institutions, as they were able to participate in the study. For the purpose of this study, questionnaire was developed to measure various aspects of quality assurance. From the analysis and interpretation of the empirical findings of this study, it is clear that academics have different perceptions about how the HEQC is conducting its re-accreditation process that flows from internal self-evaluation. It is also proposed that the findings of the self-evaluation process be used to benchmark faculties, and departments at HEIs, but also that HE be benchmarked with other quality models worldwide to share best practices. The study concludes that instead of proposing a quality assurance model academics should, rather apply certain principles. Historically, role-players steeped in modern culture have to make it a general practice to build relationships by entering into a dialogue of renegotiating quality principles within the UoT community. Solving problems or contributing positively requires cooperation, and cooperation requires a relationship. The study reveals that quality assurance unit did not have adequate staffing to support academic departments and faculties. These weaken the oversight role played by the quality assurance unit.
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