Summary of the discussion sessions at the Sixth Quality in Higher Education Seminar. The End of Quality? 25–26 May 2001 Birmingham. The End of Quality?. Three discussion themes:. Has external quality review had its day?
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The End of Quality?
25–26 May 2001
Three discussion themes:
EQM includes :
Has external quality review had
leads to bureaucratisation and inflexibility?
leads to ‘game playing’ and ‘performance’?
short-term response not cultural changes?
has a superficial impact on standards?
has no real impact on student learning?
is obsessed with accountability?
Three main roles:
Without periodic change, there is the danger of ending up with a British-style, QAA-type, system: a rolling ‘juggernaut’, that is not sure what it is looking for, but which ensures compliance and minimizes innovation and risk-taking. British institutions continue to comply, even if the return on the investment is derisory, because of the fear of loss of income.
Has control of quality been usurped by the market and by information technology?
HE business: infinite Internet providers?
boundaried location for learning is obsolete?
the market will arbitrate on quality?
monitoring procedures stifle creativity?
EQM is about restricting the number of providers?
Does the development of mass education necessarily mean the end of quality?
standards threatened by resource cuts and students doing more paid work?
student outcomes are different not worse?
employer demands have changed?
grade inflation (especially at the bottom end)?
external pressures to increase pass rates?
EQM is concealing the drop in standards and the reduction in the unit of resource?
It is unfortunate that so little advance has been made in developing value-added approaches or measures. Although it might be difficult to measure student progress in any quantifiable way one suspects that there was no political will to develop value-added, not least because it might turn conventional league tables upside-down.
Academics and students of the world unite and reclaim the quality agenda…..