The Quality of University Education: Harmonizing Purposes, Processes and Outcomes
In the context of diversification of higher education systems and their sustainability, and the development of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA), quality assurance, quality enhancement and the evaluation of university teaching and learning has been on the higher education policy agendas in Europe for the past twenty or so years. European transnational organizations, including the European Association of Institutions in Higher Education (EURASHE), the European University Association (EUA), the European Association for International Education (EAIE) and others have put quality high in their agendas and produced several handbooks, guidelines and policy papers, such as OECDs Enhancing Higher Education System Performance, Benchmarking higher education system performance: Conceptual framework and data, or the publications of EUA in cooperation with ENQA (European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education), ESU (the European Students’ Union) and EURASHE.
With the aim to promote institutional quality cultures, the European policy actors encourage higher education institutions to participate in European and national-level policy discussions on internal and external quality assurance systems, and support universities to develop internal quality assurance and enhancement mechanisms. Quality of university education is also considered to be one of the most important indicators of the development of any given national higher education system.
This Summer University course intends to help universities develop their own internal quality assurance and enhancement processes – including institutional self-studies, program-reviews, faculty and course evaluations, quality of management and student services – and coordinate their efforts to ensure that the outcomes and processes of university teaching meet local and international standards simultaneously.
The course will discuss the challenges of and best practices in fulfilling the many purposes of quality assurance at university level, such as accountability, efficiency, control, evaluation, accreditation, measurement and quality improvement.
This one-week course will cover the following topics:
Day 1: Overview of quality in higher education
Definitions of quality from various points of view: as excellence, as perfection or consistency, as fitness for purpose, as value for money, as value-added and transformation and empowerment of a student
Purposes of quality assurance, processes, related concepts: accountability, control, evaluation, measurement and quality improvement
Internal and external quality assurance (differences, similarities, mechanisms)
Enhancement-led quality assurance
Day 2: National and European policies and international standards and guidelines of quality assurance and enhancement
Quality assurance in the European Higher Education Area
European frameworks, European transnational organizations and agencies of quality assurance
Quality assurance standard and guidelines for universities
Rankings and benchmarking in higher education
National quality assurance policies, bodies, and processes of institutional accreditation
Day 3: Institutional approaches to quality assurance
Types of institutional procedures of quality assurance and quality enhancement: outcomes-based self-studies, internal and external program reviews, enhancement-led peer-reviews
Discussion of existing case studies: best practices, challenges, experiences
Day 4: Quality of research and teaching
Faculty evaluation: productivity, quality of publications, services
Evaluation of learning spaces
Course evaluation (peer-reviews, student questionnaires)
Evaluation of teaching, classroom practices (classroom observations, feedback mechanisms)
Evaluation and students’ assessment
Day 5: Quality of university management, governance, services, student support
Quality cultures, hidden values of universities
Aligning management practices to the quality assurance culture
Quality management systems, strategies of quality enhancement, transparency, integrity
By the end of the summer course, participants will become familiar with European and international best practices of quality assurance and enhancement at university level, and be able to design tailor-made quality assurance mechanisms for their own institutions.
The course intends to bring together university leaders, managers, administrators, faculty members and international offices staff. We envisage that the course could be of interest for:
University leaders and managers involved in institutional quality assurance, members of review and promotion committees
Faculty members interested in ways of evaluating their research and teaching performances
Students involved in university governance
Education think tanks
As prerequisite for the course, participants need to demonstrate their direct involvement and interest in the topic of quality assurance and enhancement at university level.
For more information click "LINK TO ORIGINAL" below.