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ERIC Number: EJ1023588
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1353-8322
Knowledge, Power and Meanings Shaping Quality Assurance in Higher Education: A Systemic Critique
Houston, Don; Paewai, Shelley
Quality in Higher Education, v19 n3 p261-282 2013
Internationally, quality assurance schemes persist despite long-standing dissatisfaction and critique of their impact and outcomes. Adopting a critical systems perspective, the article explores the relationships between the knowledge, power and meanings that stakeholder groups bring to the design and implementation of quality assurance systems. The analysis shows that such systems are designed to serve the external accountability purposes of government and agencies outside the university who are responsible for designing the systems. Academics inside the university are affected by quality assurance systems but uninvolved in their design. The knowledge and power distance and differences of meaning between the system designers and academics result in quality assurance systems that are unable to contribute to the improvement of teaching and research in the university. The article proposes interconnected but clearly differentiated definitions of quality assurance and quality improvement that can inform systems design aimed at more than meeting external accountability demands.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A