EVALUATING QUALITY MANAGEMENT IN UNIVERSITY DEPARTMENTS Abstract
Purpose Despite the abundance of research on quality management there is no universal consensus on how best to measure quality in higher education. This paper undertakes a critical evaluation of the different methods used to assess the quality of provision in higher education departments in the UK.
Methodology Drawing on relevant literature, the authors develop a quality audit tool that incorporates all key components of effective quality management programmes and apply it to a single UK case study department.
Findings The findings suggest that the potential for quality enhancement is determined by the manner in which the evaluation is
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In addition, they require quality enhancement initiatives to be firmly embedded into any quality management programme in order to support continual efforts to enhance the quality of provision. However, despite the progress that has been made through research and debate, there is still no universal consensus on how best to manage quality within higher education. Furthermore, these environmental forces have a significant impact on meanings and perceptions of quality and as such, quality can be considered to be a socially constructed phenomenon. This paper therefore seeks to provide a critical evaluation of current approaches used to assess quality within higher education in the UK. The authors adopt an interpretivist and qualitative approach in order to take account of the various forces and perspectives that impact upon quality and how these interrelate when conducting