A (never-ending, world-wide) quest for indicators of a Quality Ethos in Higher Education Institution

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Author(s)Gerrie Jacobs, Karina de Bruin, Melanie Jacobs
This workshop aims to deliberate on the third phase of an ongoing research project (initiated in 1998 at the University of Johannesburg) that strives to identify, categorise, define and put-into-action possible indicators of an institutional quality ethos. Findings stemming from: (a) a 2008 survey, involving quality managers from all 22 South African Higher Education institutions ; (b) three workshops, presented to: (i) the annual convention of the National Consortium for Continuous Improvement (NCCI) in Chicago, USA [July 2008]; (ii) the South African Higher Education Quality Committee (HEQC) in Pretoria [August 2008] and (iii) academic and support staff from the Edge Hill University, Ormskirk, UK [September 2008] ; and (c) a number of faculty specific in-house seminars at the University of Johannesburg [March – June 2009] will set the scene for further exploration and identification of possible indicators. These indicators are diverse, with (subtle and prominent) differences detected between countries, institutions and faculties, mostly stemming from the prevailing quality culture. The real question relates to how identified indicators might be (creatively) applied in or introduced to a HE institution. The project focuses on an international search for the elusive, context-specific, yet significant
indicators of an institutional quality ethos. The planned workshop will surely add a most valuable additional international (mostly European) dimension to the project. The views, beliefs, knowledge and success stories of quality practitioners, that have been collected, analysed and consolidated over the past nearly 18 months of the project, will present the participants with a set of diverse and challenging findings from other HE sectors. Lessons learned and experiences drawn from
participants in this workshop, combined with a stimulating and interactive methodology, should hopefully contribute to:
(a) a shared (international) conceptualisation of the term “institutional quality ethos” ;
(b) the identification and prioritisation of possible indicators of an institutional quality ethos; and
(c) guidelines and creative strategies to put these indicators “into action” in a Higher Education institution.
CategoriesQuality of HE » 2009 4th EQAF