2.2 Connection QA to the unique circumstances of the institution

The first one links quality to the context and looks at specific elements of the process, such as quality of assessment, student intake, academic programs, teaching and learning or student experience. This way of looking at quality in higher education typically emphasizes quality-related problems such as outdated teaching methods or curricula, too big classes and too high student teacher ratios or lack of sufficient academic resources (Santiago et al., 2008 and SEAMEO RIHED, 2012). The second angle in understanding quality here examines it from the stakeholders’ perspective. It focuses on the premise that there is a diversity of perceptions regarding what quality of higher education is among different stakeholders such as policy makers, academics, students or employers. For example, students are likely to attach quality to study conditions and student-centered teaching & learning. Employers, on the other hand, typically look for specific skills and knowledge in university graduates and judge quality based on that. Academics are likely to be more concerned about the level of interaction between teaching and research, as a defining characteristic of quality. (Santiago, et al., 2008). Following the stakeholders’ perceptions approach, some experts suggested that taking into account various stakeholders’ views should be key to defining quality in higher education (Kahsay, 2012 after Vroeijenstijn, 2006). But this may prove difficult to achieve in reality as the expectations and perceptions of the stakeholders often diverge and sometimes even contradict each other (Kahsay, 2012). This is the case, for example, with the well-known tension between the focus on academic excellence and theoretical knowledge (promoted by academics) and more practical skills (desired by the employers).

Study from Qatar shows that image and culture/values have significant impacts on student expectations and perceptions of service quality. The study also shows that there is a significant positive association between the provided services quality and student loyalty: the higher the perceived quality level, the more loyal students
the institution will end up having.

Stakeholder Analysis
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Read article how to do : Stakeholder Analysis (15 minutes reading)


1) Use Power Grid (template below) for one key action in your QA system (20 minutes work)

2) Set of questions which you can consider. Write your first ideas to your notepad and consider how you find answer on your question. (20 min excercise)
How is quality perceived by different stakeholders in your context ? By Students? Employers? Policy makers? Academics? What is the biggest chalenge of you HEI and how can QC can help to solve it?