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Quality Assurance in Higher Education - Controversies of Language, Power and Change by Dr Cecilia Tsui
 

Quality Assurance in Higher Education - Controversies of Language, Power and Change by Dr Cecilia Tsui

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Quality Assurance in Higher Education - Controversies of Language, Power and Change by Dr Cecilia Tsui.

Quality Assurance in Higher Education - Controversies of Language, Power and Change by Dr Cecilia Tsui.

Keywords: Quality Assurance, Higher Education, Language, Power, Change

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    Quality Assurance in Higher Education - Controversies of Language, Power and Change by Dr Cecilia Tsui Quality Assurance in Higher Education - Controversies of Language, Power and Change by Dr Cecilia Tsui Presentation Transcript

    • Quality Assurance in Higher Education Controversies of … Language, Power and Change HKCAAVQ Presentation 29 May 2009 Cecilia Tsui
    • Outline
      • A highlight about my inquiry …
      • into Quality Assurance in Higher Education
      • (Focus: government-funded HE)
      • Introduction
      • QA – controversy of language
      • QA – controversy of power
      • QA – controversy of change
      • Concluding remarks
      • 1
      • Introduction
      • My Journey of Inquiry
      • When and Why Quality?
      • Since late 1995, I have been tracing the development of Quality Assurance in Higher Education.
      • High on policy agendas in global contexts
      • Concerns of the academia
      • Concerns of stakeholders
      • Interesting, complex issues
      • for my academic / professional development
      • Personal curiosity
      • What did I do?
      • M.Ed. (1994-1996)
      • Hong Kong as a case
      • Exploratory study
      • Basics of QA
      • Local institutional models
      • Key informant interviews
      • Literature reviews
      • Ph.D. (2002-2008)
      • Evaluated QA
      • Global contexts
      • Complexities of QA
      • Key informant interviews
      • In-depth literature reviews
      • What answers did I get?
      • Quality Assurance in Higher Education
      • Controversies of …
        • Language
        • Power
        • Change
      • 2
      • Quality Assurance in Higher Education
      • Controversy of Language
    • QA - Higher Education Old Wine in New Bottles
      • Concepts, practice, and language
        • originated from business and industry
      • Neave (2004)
      • “… when we talk about quality, the language is new . But what we are making sure that the certificates issued by universities are up to a minimal standard – that function has always been there… - except the vocabulary, and the new procedures , which we have to be sensitive because the world is changing so fast”.
    • Concepts of Quality Pirsig (1974)
      • Pirsig (1974) Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
      • – An Inquiry into Values
        • “ Quality… you know what it is, yet you don’t know what it is… But when you try to say what the quality is, apart from the things that you have it, it all goes poof!”
      • Well cited
      • Complexities of defining quality
    • Concepts of Quality Complexities…
      • Intrinsic
      • Elusive
      • Relative
      • Multidimensional
      • Dictionary definitions inadequate
      • Early stage of QA development
        • “… defining quality…
        • a waste of time…”
    • Concepts of Quality Ball (1985) Vs. Elton (1986 )
      • Ball (1985)
      • Contrary to Pirsig,
      • Ball has a simple answer
      • Fitness for purpose
        • Conforming to standards /
        • Levels of achievement for the purpose
      • Elton (1986)
      • Fitness for purpose
        • - Tool for policymakers
          • Establish priorities
          • Allocate resources
          • Open, close courses / departments
      • Concerns
        • Meanings of quality in HE
        • Assessment of academic work
    • Concepts of Quality: Harvey & Green (1993) and Other Contributors Birnbaum (1994) – Personal growth of students Frazer (1994) – What students have learnt? Kember (1997) – Empowerment Transformation Cameron & Sine (1999) – Best for price Harman & Meek (2000), Cooper (2002) Value for money Middlehurst (1992) Brennan (1991) – Relating to set goals van Damme (2004) Fitness for purpose Perfection / consistency Middlehurst (1992) – High level of performance Kember (1997) – Expertise / excellence van Damme (2004) Exceptional Other Contributors Harvey & Green (1993)
    • Concepts of Quality Newton (1999, 2002)
      • Dominant Meanings
      • Early 1990s
      • Perfection / consistency
      • Value for money
      • Total quality
      • Cultural change
      • Peer review
      • Transforming the learners
      • Fitness for purpose
      • Excellence
      • Customer satisfaction
      • Front-line Academics
      • Mid-1990s
      • Failure to close the loop
      • Burden
      • Lack of mutual trust
      • Culture of getting by
      • Impression management
      • Constraints on teamwork
      • Discipline and technology
      • Ritualism and tokenism
      • Front-line resistance
    • Concepts of Quality Responses from Interviewees Educational Perspective
      • Diverse views within framework of HE
        • Fulfilling educational aims
        • Academic standards
        • Academic cohesion and integration
        • Quality for teaching, learning and research
        • Learning support
        • Learning outcomes
        • Appropriate forms of assessment
        • Efficiency
        • Social values and contexts
    • Concepts of Quality Responses from Interviewees Business Perspective
      • Responses linked to business concept
        • Customers’ perceptions / wants
      • Concerns
        • Danger of over-generalization
        • No single set of quality standard
        • Quality in business / manufacturing / education
          • – different
      • However, the mindset is the same
    • Concepts of Quality Development During 1980s – 2000s (1) (Tsui 2009)
      • Benchmark
      • Process-based
      • Product-based
      • Service-based
      • Customers’ perceptions / wants /
      • satisfaction
      • Resource-oriented
      • Output-, outcome-based
      • Efficiency
      • Value for money
      • Return on investment
      • Vocational
      • orientation
      • Political
      • Multidimensional
      • Goals & objectives
      • Conformance
      • Context-specific
      • Stakeholder-specific
      • Fitness for purpose
      • Contemporary ethos
      • Social values and contexts
      • Intrinsic
      • Elusive
      • Slippery
      • Cannot be defined
      • Exceptional
      • Excellence
      • Perfection
      Business Relative Traditional
    • Concepts of Quality Development During 1980s – 2000s (2) (Tsui 2009)
      • Academic values
      • Discipline-based
      • Fulfilling educational aims
      • Academic standards
      • Academic cohesion and integration
      • Quality for teaching, learning and research
      • Learning support
      • Learning outputs / outcomes
      • Appropriate forms of assessment
      • Students’ contributions
      • Transformation
      Educational
      • Mission-oriented
      • Institutional culture
      • Strategies
      • Marketing
      • Institutional
      • competencies / capacities
      • Organizational learning
      • Reputation
      Institutional
    • QA - Controversy of Language Some Observations (1)
      • Terminology
        • Inconsistent, loose
          • Different meanings for Accreditation
      • Concepts of quality (ies)
        • Numerous perceptions / interpretations
        • Corby / Deming / Juran: different views
      • Quality dilemmas
        • Absolute Vs. relative criteria
        • – Conflicting structural / procedural requirements
          • Teaching Vs. Research
    • QA - Controversy of Language Some Observations (2)
      • Dominant views (Harvey & Green 1993)
        • Fitness for purpose
        • Value for money
        • Transformation
      • Fitness for purpose = Flexibility
        • Pragmatic and open solution
        • Quality can be related to numerous problems
      • Quality label: diverse systems, routines
        • Difficult to argue for a distinguished quality concept
        • QA - Controversy of Language Some Observations (3)
      • Conceptual shifts
        • Influenced by changing elements
          • Marketisation
          • Consumerism
          • Globalisation
        • Change with time, places, contexts and stakeholders’ needs (Tsui 2002)
        • Vary between countries and regions, and
        • the styles of the regional quality assurance networks will reflect these differences (Daniel et al 2009)
    • QA - Controversy of Language Some Observations (4)
      • Calling for further development on concepts of quality
      • Harvey (INQAAHE Conference 2009)
        • “… ‘ fitness for purpose’ has been with us for too long a time … “
        • Quality(ies) in higher education
        • Unfinished… open concept(s)
      • 3
      • Quality Assurance in Higher Education
      • Controversy of Power
    • Transforming Societies Transforming Higher Education
      • Major functions of HE
        • Ideological apparatuses
        • Selection and socialisation
        • Generation of knowledge
        • Training of skilled labour
      • Knowledge economy /
        • conceptual economy
        • – human capital
      • Level of education / skills
        • Social cohesion
        • Prosperity
        • Sustainability
    • The Rise of Accountability in HE
      • Changing socio-economic contexts
      • Managerialism
      • Accountability movement
      • Expansion and diversification of HE
      • Funding
      • Steering of HE
      • Scrutiny of HEIs
        • To demonstrate results
        • To account for share of resources
    • Accountability Evocative Power
      • A wide range of philosophies / mechanisms
        • Relationship between public institutions,
          • governing bodies and the society
      • A critical process
        • How public money is spent?
        • Better understanding of mutual responsibilities
        • Building respect between HEIs and the state
      • Political discourse
        • Transparency
        • Trustworthiness
    • Accountability Constraint on Arbitrary Power
      • Accountability
      • Discouraging fraud and manipulation
      • Strengthening legitimacy of HEIs
        • Obliged to report
      • Raising quality of performance
        • Forcing those involved to examine their operations critically
        • Subjecting them to critical reviews from outside
      • Regulatory device
        • Various reports
        • Explicit / implicit criteria
    • Accountability Demands
      • Accountability imposes demands
        • Officials
        • Agents
        • Public service organisations, i.e. HEIs
      • Six Demands
        • To achieve mission, priorities set
        • To use powers properly
        • To report performance
          • Power is opaque
          • Accountability is public
        • To show public stewardship
          • Accounting for resources, outcomes
          • Efficiency
          • Effectiveness
        • To ensure quality of programmes / services
        • To serve public needs
    • QA Policy Tool Ensuring Accountability
      • QA – multiple roles
        • National / regional Systems
        • HE community
      • QA
        • Defining HE
        • Reforming HE
        • Future planning
        • Structuring educational improvement
        • Communicating across education
        • Better decision-making
    • QA Roles / Uses (Lenn 2004)
      • Assure
      • qualified
      • employees
      • Determine
      • eligible
      • institutions
      • Select
      • institution for
      • study
      • Transfer
      • between
      • accredited
      • institutions
      • Ensure
      • admission for
      • further study
      • Assist in
      • employment
      • i.e. civil service,
      • other professions
      • Provide
      • institutional
      • information
      • Planning
      • Assure qualified
      • student body
      • Determine
      • membership
      • Facilitate
      • transfer schemes
      • Demonstrate
      • results
      • Accountable to
      • public / academic
      • community
      • Define HE
      • Assure quality
      • HE
      • Assure quality of
      • labour force
      • Funding
      • machinery
      • Benchmark
      • quality of
      • graduates for
      • employment
      • Consumer
      • protection
      Employers Funding Organisations Students HEIs Governments
    • QA Coercive Power
      • Managerialism and Accountability
        • Affecting ways of HE governance and
          • culture of high autonomy
      • Audit culture
        • Neo-liberal techniques of governance
        • Characteristics
          • Measurement
          • Quantification
          • Benchmarking
          • Creation of new vocabulary
          • Explosion of league table
          • Actively constructs the contexts
    • HEIs Referent / Expert Power
      • Normative organisations - HEIs
        • Referent and expert power
        • Principles of academic freedom
        • Ethical behaviour
        • Colleagues sharing values
        • Professional authority
        • Different from business firms (utilitarian power)
      • HE systems vary in different countries
        • Decision-making processes
          • State, External Stakeholders
          • HEIs, Faculties, Departments, Individuals, Students
        • Variation in the power of seniority / professional status
        • Different sources of power
    • QA Managerial Culture Vs. Collegial Culture
      • Autonomy
      • Shared governance
      • Merit
      • Faculty prerogative
      • Peer leadership
      • Qualitative judgments
      • Culture of unexamined assumptions
      • (High trust)
      • Accountability
      • Productivity
      • Efficiency
      • Hierarchical organizational
      • structures
      • Technical leadership
      • Customer orientation
      • "bottom-line" results
      • Culture of evidence
      Collegial Culture HEIs Managerial Culture Based on Market Economy
    • QA – Controversy of Power Some Observations (1)
      • Accountability - HEIs subject to controls
      • Some have accepted, and institutionalised accountability
      • For some others, accountability is a recent phenomenon
      • Some view accountability as a contested issue
        • “… Governments and stakeholders do not have the right to make academics formally accountable for their performance”.
      • Exercise of power
        • alienation / tensions
      • A decline of trust
        • Institutions
        • Professionals
    • QA - Controversy of Power Some Observations (2)
      • Several phases of QA
      • Adjustments of power / ownership
        • State
        • Academic staff
        • Market
      • Balance / Alignment / Congruence
        • Accountability
        • Autonomy
        • Improvement
      • Changing mindsets and finding practical solutions
      • Intelligent accountability
      • New forms of staff development
      • New breed of professional and institutional culture
    • QA - Controversy of Power Some Observations (3)
      • New breed of HEI leaders
        • To wade the waves of accountability
        • “ Triple-threat” leaders
          • Mission centred
          • Politically savvy
          • Market smart
        • Other talents
          • Bureaucratically wily
          • Academically devoted
          • Collegially committed
          • Managerially keen
      • New forms of governance
        • To promote new values and demands of “economy, efficiency, utility, public accountability, enterprise, and various definitions of quality”.
      • 4
      • Quality Assurance in Higher Education
      • Controversy of Change
    • The World is Changing Fast!
      • Globalisation
      • ICTs
      • Knowledge Economy
      • Conceptual Economy
    • QA Change Agent
      • The rise of QA
        • Forces mainly from outside HEIs
      • International / regional levels
        • QA agencies, networks and supra-national organisations
      • National level
        • QA mechanisms
      • Institutional level
        • Institutional QA / enhancement mechanisms
      • QA: an agent (a bridge)
        • Private micro world of HEIs
        • Public macro world of society and politics
      • Significant role in transforming HE
    • The Evolution of QA Mechanisms – UK During 1990s - Early 2000s (1)
      • Before 1990s
        • HE: “self-governing community
        • … completely independent
        • of external jurisdiction”
      • Four different systems in 10 turbulent years
        • (Lewis 2002)
        • 1991 CNAA and HMI (Polytechnics) / AAU (Universities)
        • 1991 – 1997 HEQC and the Funding Councils
        • 1997 – 2001 QAA mark 1, programme review / academic audit
        • 2001 onwards QAA mark 2, academic audit
    • The Evolution of QA Mechanisms – UK During 1990s - Early 2000s (2) Academic Responses: Great tensions Process of resistance to and negotiation with state powers Use Coping Strategies Sinking Discontent Policy Reconstruction Swimming Content Work Around or Change Policy Accept Status Quo Academic Responses (Trowler 1997)
    • The Evolution of QA Mechanisms – UK During 1990s - Early 2000s (3)
      • Controversies
        • Enthusiasm: benefits to HEIs, academic staff and students
        • Cynicism: serious damage to the academic enterprise
      • Waves of QA policy changes
        • Market policy and interventionist approach
        • Firstly, hard manageralism (withdrawal of trust)
        • Then, softer approaches
        • Shifting decisively among autonomy, accountability and enhancement
    • The Evolution of QA Mechanisms – HK During 1990s - Early 2000s (1)
      • Late 1989 - Expansion of HE
      • 1989 to 1995 – Transitional period
        • Upgrading HEIs to degree-granting institutions
      • 1995 Teaching and Learning Quality Process Reviews
        • To redress the culture
        • To find a right balance between research and teaching
      • 1995 to 1997 – 1 st TLQPRs (a signal for improvement)
      • 2000 to 2003 – 2 nd TLQPRs
        • Education Quality Work / Capability Maturity Models
        • Quality Oversight
    • The Evolution of QA Mechanism – HK During 1990s - Early 2000s (2)
      • Characteristics of TLQPRs
        • Tailor-made for HK UGC-funded HEIs
        • Establishing ownership
        • Focusing on substance
          • Active involvement of academic staff and students
          • Understanding, engagement
        • Balancing accountability and improvement
        • Empowering CQI
        • Discharging oversight responsibilities without micro-management
    • The Evolution of QA Mechanism – HK During 1990s - Early 2000s (3)
      • Responses
        • Positive views
          • Students: QA - once a year!
          • Academic staff: a good thing to promote teaching and learning
        • Negative views
          • Formality, cosmetic enhancement
          • Marginal impact
        • Without open controversies
    • QA Mechanisms Comparing UK and HK During 1990s - Early 2000s (1)
      • Very small, but diverse system
      • Relatively young
      • Large and diverse system
      • Long history
      • High-level of academic freedom
      Systems
      • Started late: in mid-1990s
        • booming economy
      • Change of sovereignty
      • Fear of brain drain
      • Doing more with more
      • Since 2000, reviews of HE
      • Later on, proposed funding cuts
      • Started debates in 1980s
        • economic crisis and oil shocks
      • Thatcher Government
        • hard managerialism
      • Doing more with less
      • Since 1980s, reviews of HE and
      • QA alongside funding cuts
      Contexts Hong Kong United Kingdom Factors
    • QA Mechanisms Comparing UK and HK During 1990s - Early 2000s (2)
      • Formative with summative
      • arrangements
      • Improvement orientation
      • Summative with formative
      • arrangements
      • Accountability orientation
      QA Objectives
      • Evolutionary / experimenting
      • Initially soft with developmental
      • approach
      • Building consensus and
      • ownership
      • Raising expectations
      • Progressively towards hard
      • approach
      • Imposed change
      • Revolutionary first
      • Initially hard and strong
      • approach
      • From debating to negotiation
      • Negotiating consensus and
      • ownership for renewal
      Implementation Approaches Hong Kong United Kingdom Factors
    • QA - Controversy of Change Some Observations (1)
      • QA – Journey of Change
      • Policy approaches
        • Revolutionary Vs. evolutionary
        • Hard Vs. Soft
        • Accountability Vs. Improvement
        • Convergent Vs. Divergent
        • Global Vs. National
      • QA agencies - changing names / hands
      • Several phases of QA
      • Different focuses of review
    • QA - Controversy of Change Some Observations (2)
      • HE transformed
      • Increasing value of HE
        • Economic value
        • Social value (massive participation)
      • Risk of diploma disease
      • Growing diversification of HE
        • – Diverse student profiles
        • New modes of delivery
        • New providers
        • Consortia and partnerships
          • HEIs: research / teaching
          • Industry-HE collaboration
    • QA - Controversy of Change Some Observations (3)
      • Increasing difficulty for forecasting
        • Tendencies
        • Institutional strategies
      • Increasing flexibility … responding to changing contexts
        • Global level
        • National level
        • Institutional level
        • Better stakeholders’ engagement
      • Change is constant
        • TQM: a tool of New Public Management
        • A doctrine of continuous, incremental improvement
      • 5
      • Concluding Remarks
    • Concluding Remarks (1)
      • QA is controversial
      • Challenges
        • Existing academic values
        • Conceptions about what constitute quality(ies) in HE
      • Distribution of power
        • Ownership and control over QA are often disputed
        • Allocation of resources
          • Status as much as funding
      • Debates
        • Shifting policy approaches
        • Improving and maintaining quality
          • Management techniques
        • Assessing quality systems
          • Methods / procedures
        • Assessing teaching and research
    • Concluding Remarks (2)
      • QA is dynamic
      • Policy implementation
        • Highly complex
        • Paradoxical and contradictory processes
      • Co-existence of interesting interpretations
      • and confused claims of key actors
        • HE to find new ways of mastering
        • changing conditions
      • HEIs will continue to change
      • HEIs should uphold core values
      • QA – collaborative approach
    • Concluding Remarks (3)
      • More questions! To further develop QA … QE
      • Concepts
      • Terminology
      • QA results / impacts
      • Outcome-based approach
      • Embedding quality culture
      • QA issues – vocational education
      • QA issues – transnational education
      • QA issues - open and distance learning
      • Professionalisation of QA personnel
      • Changing teaching / learning methods
      • Theorising QA - specific characteristics of HE
      • Exploring how QA contributes to enhancement of HE
      • ……
      • My thanks for your attention.
      • Cecilia Tsui
      • [email_address]