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Quality and the Role of the University

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Quality and the Role of the University Professor Robin Smith robinarethusa_at_btinternet.com www.arethusaprojects.co.uk What we are going to do? Methodology ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Quality and the Role of the University


1
Quality and the Role of the University
  • Professor Robin Smith
  • robinarethusa_at_btinternet.com
  • www.arethusaprojects.co.uk

2
What we are going to do?
  • Methodology - participation
  • Warm up exercise!
  • The QA System in Saudi Arabia - Robin
  • The organisation and mission of King Saud
    University - You
  • Defining Quality, Defining Standards
  • Approaches
  • Central and Devolved systems
  • National and Local strategies

3
What we are going to do?
  • Typology of Quality Processes
  • Where does Saudi Arabia fit in?
  • Where does King Saud University fit in?
  • What do External Agencies expect?
  • What should Universities aim for and why?
  • Is the Culture right?
  • How do we change cultures?

4
Standards and Quality
  • Standards are not about quality per se
  • We need to link standards to a quality mission or
    policy
  • We choose these standards/measures to describe
    what we believe to be a quality product (quality
    assurance)
  • We measure ourselves against these standards in
    order to improve (quality enhancement)

5
Broad Standards
  • Standards can be broad descriptors
  • We expect to achieve
  • initiative-based education that promotes the
    highest intellectual and academic standards
  • confident and ambitious graduates, well-equipped
    to advance the welfare of the society
  • an accommodating environment for skilful,
    professional, and serious faculty
  • the reputation and recognition of being a valued
    teaching and research institution
  • the well-being of society, its unity, and social
    and cultural values
  • becoming the choice for businesses, industries
    and professions seeking cooperation that serves
    the economical prosperity of the nation
  • a productive academic environment that cultivates
    excellence, diversity, respect, and willingness
    to change.

6
Minimum Acceptable Standards
  • Often translates broad standards into specific
    targets
  • E.g. To provide initiative-based education that
    promotes the highest intellectual and academic
    standards
  • Performance Indicator In high salary careers
    within 3 months
  • Target 95
  • Benchmark National average 80

7
Specificity
  • sometimes allows
  • quantification
  • comparison
  • Over time
  • With others

8
Standards and Quality
  • Thus Academic Standards
  • Linked to academic provision and process
  • Known to the academic community
  • Agreed in advance
  • Stated in advance
  • Enable a description of the quality of the
    academic offering at the University

9
The Universitys Strategic Plan
  • How should we chose our standards?
  • Standards allow measurement of fitness against
    purpose
  • Purpose is embedded within our Strategic Plan
  • Our strategic plan specifies
  • where we are now,
  • where we need/want to be in X years time
  • How we will get there

10
Strengths
Weaknesses
Strategic Plan
Threats
Opportunities
External influences
Internal characteristics
COMPROMISE
11
COMPROMISE
  • Standards of the University are a compromise
  • They reflect externally derived requirements
  • Internally determined specifications
  • WHERE IS THE BALANCE?

12
How autonomous is your University?
  • How much freedom?

Internal Initiatives
External constraints
13
Externality
Quality Assurance Agency
Government
Society
Professional Bodies
The University
Media
The College/Department
14
Degrees of Autonomy in Quality Assurance
  • National
  • Institutional
  • Local (College/Department)

15
Part 2
  • Autonomy and Quality Procedures

16
Approaches to QA
Internal Process
Judgemental Evaluation
Supportive Evaluation
External Process
17
Approaches to QA
Internal Process
Internal Judgemental
  • Strong central management
  • Top down adversarial
  • Problem focussed - random and un-systematic
  • Often related to financial imperatives
  • Impacts on course provision
  • Not collegiate

Supportive Evaluation
Judgemental Evaluation
External Process
18
Approaches to QA
Internal Process
Internal Supportive
  • Collegiate, Peer based, professional trust
  • Sensitively recognises external requirements
  • Developmental and Remedial
  • Usually systematic and planned
  • Parallel to financial imperatives
  • Impacts on course enhancement

Judgemental Evaluation
Supportive Evaluation
External Process
19
Approaches to QA
Internal Process
Supportive Evaluation
Judgemental Evaluation
External Judgemental
  • Often linked to funding or accreditation
  • No trust and imposed
  • Adversarial/combative
  • Sometime political and reputation based
  • Reward and punishment system (closure)
  • Non developmental

External Process
20
Approaches to QA
Internal Process
Supportive Evaluation
Judgemental Evaluation
External Supportive
  • Provides a mirror for University/department
  • Often peers but not internally collegiate
  • Usually systematic and planned
  • Not explicitly related to financial imperatives
  • Impacts on institutional enhancement
  • Brings in good practice from outside

External Process
21
WORKSHOP
  • Where does the Saudi national system sit in terms
    of the QA regime? Is the notion of University
    self responsibility recognised sufficiently?

22
Mature QA
  • Requires an external stimulus which
  • Facilitates accountability
  • Reflects and encourages best practice
  • Remains expert and objective
  • Is detached from funding organisations
  • There is a tendency over time for Agencies to
  • Place too much emphasise on conventional wisdoms
    and rigid core standards
  • Over regulate (guidelines)
  • Become bureaucratic and administratively driven

23
Mature QA
  • Needs an internal University process which
  • Is non threatening
  • Encourages genuine self appraisal
  • Facilitates professional development
  • Reflects and encourages best practice
  • Uses available expertise
  • There is a danger for University QA systems to
  • Respond cynically over time to external agencies
  • Become over professionalised, bureaucratic and
    administratively driven
  • Fail to develop in response to a changing
    strategic plan

24
Summary Universitys should recognise
  • Standards need to be explicit and linked to QA
    processes
  • There is a balance between externally derived
    standards and internally defined standards
  • Mature QA processes need both internal and
    external evaluation

25
Summary Universitys should recognise
  • Diversity of College/department missions and
    contexts
  • the importance of self responsibility
  • QA processes embedded in Strategic planning

26
Part 3
  • Internalising the QA process
  • Changing Cultures

27
Developing the QA Culture
QA is Low priority
Management approach is diverse and unsystematic
Management approach is unified and systematic
QA is High Priority
28
Developing the QA Culture
QA is Low priority
  • Poor QA Framework
  • Reactive to external requirements
  • Staff not committed/understanding
  • Rules and processes limited
  • Under developed PIs and Targets
  • Poor MIS
  • No focus in managerial responsibilities
  • Not embedded in Strategic Plan

Management approach is diverse and unsystematic
Management approach is unified and systematic
QA is High Priority
29
Developing the QA Culture
QA is Low priority
  • Developing clear QA Framework
  • External requirements balanced with internal
  • Staff accepting of QA framework
  • Focussed on a few key QA areas
  • Small number of PIs and Targets
  • Limited but effective MIS
  • Clear managerial responsibilities

Management approach is diverse and unsystematic
Management approach is unified and systematic
QA is High Priority
30
Developing the QA Culture
QA is Low priority
Management approach is unified and systematic
Management approach is diverse and unsystematic
  • Confused motives and goals
  • Lots of evaluation proactive and reactive
  • Diversity of practices by staff
  • QA responsibility distributed
  • Proliferation of PIs, Targets
  • MIS poorly coordinated
  • Poor pay off for high costs
  • Not integrated into Strategic Plan

QA is High Priority
31
Developing the QA Culture
QA is Low priority
Management approach is unified and systematic
Management approach is diverse and unsystematic
  • Clear conceptualisation
  • Process for institutional change
  • Culture of a Learning Organisation
  • Planned internal/external programme
  • Monitoring of process effectiveness
  • Clear rationale for PIs and targets based on
    strategic Plan
  • Clear organisational responsibilities
  • Managers/administrators
  • Committees

QA is High Priority
32
Developing the QA Culture
QA is Low priority
Management approach is diverse and unsystematic
Management approach is unified and systematic
Where we need to be
QA is High Priority
33
WORKSHOP
  • Where does King Saud University sit in terms of
    its QA regime? What does it need to do to
    improve?

34
Developing the QA Culture
  • Rector must promulgate QA vision leadership
  • QA must grow out of Strategic Plan
  • Heads of Colleges/departments must sign up
  • Create unified and systematic management
    responsibilities who is responsible for what
  • Allow academic community to shape QA processes
    through collegiate debate.
  • Avoid managerialism, promote collegiate
    engagement through QA committees

35
Developing the QA Culture
  • Identify QA Champions and QA opinion leaders at
    strategic points to reinforce QA values
  • Invest in staff and student development
  • Ensure relevance of QA standards to everyday
    activity and not a bolt-on
  • Do not marginalise QA Units and administration
  • Develop transparent, clear and simple
    requirements
  • Do not over bureaucratise processes, discourage
    mere compliance and tick boxes

36
Developing the QA Culture
  • Ensure effective communications feedback loops
    so staff see the point
  • Involve committed external subject experts
  • Broaden staff QA horizons visits
  • Ensure effective MIS - ease of response
  • Ensure outcomes influence Strategic Planning
    become a Learning Organisation

37
Professor Robin Smith robinarethusa_at_btinternet.com
www.arethusaprojects.co.uk
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