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Re-moralising Quality Assurance in Private Tertiary Education

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Re-moralising Quality Assurance in Private Tertiary Education Mahsood Shah Presentation at Glance Rationale of the topic Brief about private tertiary education QA ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Re-moralising Quality Assurance in Private Tertiary Education


1
Re-moralising Quality Assurance in Private
Tertiary Education
  • Mahsood Shah

2
Presentation at Glance
  • Rationale of the topic
  • Brief about private tertiary education
  • QA practices in private tertiary education
  • Current dilemma
  • Multiple QA frameworks and challenges
  • Does QA matter?
  • Summary
  • Research on private tertiary education what is
    known?
  • Questions and discussion

3
Rationale of the topic
  • What is the moral purpose of tertiary education?
  • Help build a fairer, more just society
  • Fulfilling the social responsibility of education
  • Economic responsibility and productivity
  • Tackling contemporary issues facing society
  • Graduates are able to do their job effectively
  • Knowledge is used to improve the human condition
    e.t.c.

4
Rationale of the topic.
  • Defining quality excellence (high standards)
    perfection (zero defects) value for money
    (return on investment) transformation (process
    of change), (Harvey and Green, 1993)
  • Is quality a moral purpose of tertiary providers?
  • Social responsibility
  • Economic responsibility
  • Tertiary education productivity
  • Stakeholder needs and expectations
  • Guarding against declined standards
    intellectual, ethical and moral McWilliam (2004)

5
Brief about private tertiary education
  • Ongoing growth e.g. private higher education
    (20)
  • Significant investment in online learning
  • Innovative marketing strategies
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Competitive
  • Engagement with industry
  • Collaboration with public universities
  • Student choice is clearly informed
  • Different student experience
  • Unclear future government policy directions

6
QA practices in private tertiary education
  • Internal QA driven by external requirements
  • In some cases compliance driven QA inherited by
    AQTF and move from VET gt HE
  • Compliance vs improvement led approach
  • Conflict between Academic Quality and
    Growth/Profit
  • Growth has in some cases compromised Quality
  • Concerns raised in AUQA audit reports
    (Winchester, 2010 Shah and Lewis, 2010 and Shah
    and Nair, 2011)
  • QA concerns in international literature

7
Questioning QA in Tertiary Education gt Public and
Private
  • Student assessments, soft marking and grading
  • Student complaints about the quality of education
  • Declining student experience
  • Closure of various providers without notifying
    students
  • Employer complaints about the quality of
    graduates
  • Quality assurance practices in offshore
    international education
  • Academic and non-academic support for students
  • Staff engagement with quality and improvement
  • How about social inclusion agenda and issues
    around access and participation of disadvantaged
    student???

8
Current dilemma
  • Use of different framework
  • TEQSA (provider standards, AQF, ESOS, CRICOS,
    other???)
  • ASQA (VET quality framework)
  • NEAS
  • ISO
  • Mostly driven by compliance culture
  • Process driven gt good processes are easy to
    achieve then good outcomes
  • Absence of a single framework in institutions to
    meet VET, HE and English language requirement
  • Excessive focus on paperwork and documentation

9
Current dilemma..
  • Reactive to government policy changes rather then
    building internal capacity
  • Compliance driven QA raises important questions
    on the extent to which quality is tracked and
    improved in a systematic manner in important
    areas such as
  • course design
  • course reviews
  • teaching quality
  • quality and standard of student assessments
  • student attainment of learning outcomes
  • comparability in academic outcomes and the
    student experience with courses taught at
    different locations and modes of delivery. 

10
Current dilemma..
Note the data used in figure 1 is from JAS-ANZ
online database http//cab.jas-anz.org/CABPublic/P
ages/PublicSearch.aspx as of August 2012.
11
Current dilemma..
  • Cost of managing quality and accreditations

12
Recurring themes gt AUQA and others
  • Academic governance
  • Compliance led QA
  • Academic leadership
  • Huge reliance on sessional teachers
    coordination of courses
  • Research culture
  • Access for disadvantaged students
  • Reliance on international student income
  • Staff professional development
  • Academic support structures
  • Alignment between growth and resourcing (e.g.
    library)
  • Data and performance monitoring

13
Multiple QA frameworks and challenges
  • Higher Education
  • Problem identified in Bradley review
    inconsistent implementation of National Protocols
  • Performance monitoring and reporting
  • AUQAs failure to monitor standards and
    compliance with external reference points.

14
Multiple QA frameworks and challenges..
  • AQTF
  • Lack of consistent implementation
  • Lack of compliance to AQTF standards by providers
    (Abola and Lambert, 2010 Gallagher and Anderson,
    2005 Myer and Blom, 2004)
  • AQTF quality indicators compliance and national
    findings?
  • Lack of risk based audits resulted in the
    collapse of more than 10 private VET colleges

15
Multiple QA frameworks and challenges..
  • ISO 9000
  • Marketing tool use to improve brand/image - used
    in education institutions who subscribe to the
    image of university as business (Houston, 2007)
  • Less than 25 US Colleges used ISO in Learning
    and Teaching (Vazzana et al, 2000)
  • More focus on processes and documentation
    (Bevans-Gonzales and Nair, 2004 Waks and Moti,
    1999)
  • Confusion among staff on how ISO is applied in
    tertiary education(Bevans-Gonzales and Nair,
    2004)
  • A survey of 647 companies in UK shows only 15
    benefited from ISO (Vanguard consulting Ltd, 1994)

16
Multiple QA frameworks and challenges..
  • ISO 9000
  • According to Alderman (1999), quality in
    tertiary education is not about satisfying the
    customer (i.e. the student), but is rather about
    transforming learners, which is not the same
    thing at all ... an ISO 9000 approach will not
    and cannot lead, by itself, to the achievement of
    quality the most it can lead to is short-to
    medium, to mid-term bureaucratic procedural
    compliance (p.262).

17
Does QA matter?
  • Reputation of Australian tertiary education
  • Increased regulation of tertiary education
  • Use of ranking and leagues tables to assess
    institutional performance
  • Marketisation and student choice
  • Competition
  • Tertiary education productivity from success to
    excellence
  • MyPrivateCollege??
  • Governments political agenda social inclusion,
    performance funding, quality and productivity

18
Moral dilemma
  • Higher education institutions are losing sight of
    their ethical functions in their desire to turn a
    profit (Schwartz (2011)
  • Moral imperative on an institution to do most it
    can to facilitate the learning of its students
    and the external clients (York, 2000)
  • Failure of students and declined standards
    -intellectual, ethical and moral (McWilliams,
    2004)
  • Low access and participation of disadvantaged
    students raises questions on the moral purpose of
    tertiary education (Shah and Nair, forthcoming)

19
Summary
  • Growth of the sector
  • Student experiencegt
  • Student choice
  • Practical education
  • Size
  • Relationship with industry
  • Student experience
  • Industry based teaching staff
  • Ease of entry
  • Location
  • Profile of students
  • Flexibility (online, distance, part time, fast
    track)

20
Summary
  • Sustainable QA
  • Single framework to meet VET and HE
  • Internal QA and capacity building
  • AQF challenge
  • Growth should not compromise quality outcomes and
    the student experience
  • Time to revisit QA arrangements - shift from
    compliance to an improve led approach
  • High risk providers and TEQSA gt watch dog,
    sniffer dog or a guide dog??
  • Reputation of Australian tertiary education

21
Research on private tertiary education
  • Bennett, L., Nair, S., Shah, M. (2012). The
    Emergence of Private Higher Education in
    Australia The Silent Provider. European Journal
    of Higher Education, forthcoming
  • Shah, M., Nair, S., Bennett, L. (2012). Factors
    Influencing Student Choice to Study at Private
    for-profit Higher Education Institutions. Quality
    Assurance in Education, forthcoming
  • Nair, S., Bennett, L., and Shah, M. (2012).
    Student Experience A Private Provider
    Perspective. The ACPET Journal for Private Higher
    Education, forthcoming
  • Shah, M., Nair, S. (2012). A New Dynamic in
    Australian Higher Education The Emergence of
    Private for-profit Higher Education. European
    Journal of Higher Education, available in late
    2012
  • Shah, M., Nair, S. (2012). Private forprofit
    higher education in Australia Widening Access
    and Participation and Opportunities for
    Public-Private Collaboration. Higher Education
    Research and Development Society (HERDSA),
    available in late 2012 or early 2013
  • Shah, M., Nair, S. (2011). Building the plane
    while it's flying enhancing the missed
    opportunity for quality assurance and
    capacity-building in Australian private higher
    education. European Journal of Higher Education,
    1 (2-3), 261-273.
  • Shah, M., Nair, S. (2011). Engaging with
    Quality Quality Assurance and Capacity Building
    in Private Higher Education. Australian Quality
    Forum 2011, 138-144. Melbourne Australian
    University Quality Agency.
  • Shah, M., Lewis, l. (2010). Private Higher
    Education in Australia Growth, Quality and
    Standards. Journal of Institutional Research
    (South East Asia), 8 (2), 80-95.
  • Shah, M., Brown, G. (2009). The Rise of Private
    Higher Education in Australia Maintaining
    Quality Outcomes and Future Challenges.
    Proceedings of the Australian Universities
    Quality Forum (AUQF), 138-143. Melbourne
    Australian Universities Quality Agency.

22
shah_mahsood_at_hotmail.com
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