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ERIC Number: EJ1227135
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1814-6627
EISSN: N/A
Unravelling Quality in Higher Education: What Say the Students?
Nabaho, Lazarus; Aguti, Jessica N.; Oonyu, Joseph
Africa Education Review, v16 n5 p102-119 2019
The extant literature on quality assurance in higher education points to a dearth of empirical studies on students' conceptions of quality in higher education. This interpretivist article reports on a study that explored the conceptions of quality in higher education by final year undergraduate students in six academic disciplines at Makerere University, Uganda. Data for the article was collected from 50 final year students in eight discipline-specific focus group discussions and was analysed using thematic analysis. Four conceptions of quality in higher education were evident from the participants' responses, namely: quality as transformation (value-added); quality as fitness for purpose; quality as excellence; and quality as consistency/perfection (zero-errors). Nevertheless, transformation and fitness for purpose featured as the dominant conceptions of quality in higher education and these conceptions of quality did not take place in a vacuum. The students rationalised transformation and fitness for purpose by what they perceived the purpose of higher education to be. The multiple and yet competing purposes of higher education occasioned the two definitions of quality in higher education. Therefore, consensus on the meaning of quality can be hastened by arriving at a common purpose of higher education in a given society rather than engaging with the notions of quality themselves. This thinking presupposes the idea that the purpose of higher education varies across time and space and the definition of quality in higher education should be responsive to the prevailing purpose(s) of higher education in a given society.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Uganda
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A