• Author(s): Dr Jane Hughes
  • Title: Quality in Higher Education
  • Subject: HE - Education
  • Keywords: UKOER, UKPSF, OMAC, CPD4HE, teaching quality, quality management, quality assurance, quality enhancement, student learning experience, e-learning, peer observation of teaching, interdisciplinary teaching
  • Language(s): English
  • Material type(s): Text
  • File format(s): ZIP, HTML, PDF, DOC
  • File size: Various
  • Publish Date: 31st October 2011
  • Licence: CC-BY-SA


Perspectives on Quality in Higher Education

This is an exploratory activity that considers different perspectives on the ‘Quality’ of HE teaching and learning.

When originally conceived, the resources were designed to generate questions that course participants would put to two senior members of staff with quality responsibilities in the institution. This was probably the most successful use of the activities.

They have also been used as pre-workshop activities, to prepare learners for a discussion in a face-to-face session. Questions and comments arising from the activity were either posted to a forum or added to a wiki before the session.

A. National quality assurance in HE


1. What is the purpose/function of the Quality Assurance Agency?

2. What mechanisms does it employ in order to fulfil its function?

3. Any other points of interest?


Use these websites as starting points:

B. Quality from the student perspective


1. Scope: what is 'quality' from the student perspective?

2. What measures of quality and what evaluation methods are used to judge quality from the student perspective?

3. Other points of interest?


C. Institutional approaches to quality management and enhancement


1. Scope: what does the word 'Quality' encompass in HE institutions?

2. What mechanisms do universities use for enhancing quality?

3. What mechanisms do universities use for monitoring and managing quality?

4. Any other points of interest?


There are four links to relevant university web pages as starting points. You should also look at relevant documents from your own institution. Try to investigate additional institutions in and outside the UK.

D. Other perspectives on quality in teaching and learning


1. What is meant by 'Quality' in the education press?

2. What is meant by 'Quality' in the popular press? It might be useful to consider what would constitute “poor quality” from this perspective.

3. What is meant by 'Quality' in the view of employers and/or professional bodies?

4. Is there a scholarly or research-based view of 'quality'

5. What is the trade union perspective on quality management?

Remember that our context is teaching and learning but if you think it is relevant, by all means include reference to research quality.


These are starting points. You should look for others; perhaps you could compare newspapers from different countries.


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Quality in Higher Education by Dr Jane Hughes is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.
Based on a work at www.ucl.ac.uk.

Contact us: cpd4he@ucl.ac.uk

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