Interaction between internal and external quality assurance : an institutional case study

Mkuzangwe, Alice Sefora (2020-03)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2020.

Thesis

ENGLISH SUMMARY : Quality and quality assurance present serious and noteworthy challenges for higher education institutions and governments across the world. Not only is quality viewed as an elusive concept with varied interpretations, but quality assurance involves multiple stakeholders and role-players whose roles in the setting and regulation of standards are varied and require in-depth understanding. The current study explored the range and nature of interactions and engagements between internal institutional quality systems of the university concerned, University X, the relevant professional body, the South African Council for Social Service Professions (SACSSP) and the Council on Higher Education (CHE) with respect to internal and external quality assurance. The interactions and relationships were explored at program level through the internal and external instruments of program reviews and accreditation, using one program, the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW), as exemplar. An exploratory qualitative design was adopted in which a combination of document analysis procedures and in-depth individual interviews (n=9) were conducted to develop deep understanding of both internal and external quality assurance. The findings of the study revealed that national policies of the CHE and the policies of the institution, University X, are in alignment, but observed that there is misalignment between the CHE and professional bodies in general. Furthermore, findings revealed that there was fragmentation within University X at policy implementation levels and that the different units responsible for quality assurance operate in silos. Quality assurance should be viewed as a system of interconnectedness between various stakeholders and role-players, in other words, an all-encompassing process to promote collaboration towards higher levels of quality in higher education.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : Gehalte en gehalteversekering bied ernstige en noemenswaardige uitdagings vir hoër onderwysinstellings en regerings regoor die wêreld. Nie alleen word gehalte as ‘n ontwykende begrip met ‘n verskeidenheid van interpretasies gesien nie, maar gehalteversekering betrek meervoudige belanghebbers en rolspelers wie se rolle in die daarstel en regulering van standaarde wisselend is en in-diepte begrip vereis. Die huidige studie het die omvang en aard ondersoek van interaksies en verbintenisse tussen interne institusionele gehaltestelsels van die betrokke universiteit, Universiteit X, die toepaslike professionele liggaam, die Suid-Afrikaanse Raad vir Maatskaplike Diensberoepe (SARMD) en die Raad op Hoër Onderwys (RHO) met betrekking tot interne en eksterne gehalteversekering. Die interaksies en verhoudings is op programvlak ondersoek deur die interne en eksterne instrumente van programoorsig en -akkreditasie, deur een program, die Baccalaureus in Maatskaplike Werk, as voorbeeld te neem. ‘n Verkennende kwalitatiewe ontwerp is gebruik waarin ‘n kombinasie van dokumentanalise en in-diepte individuele onderhoude (n=9) gebruik is om ’n grondige begrip van sowel interne as eksterne gehalteversekering te ontwikkel. Die bevindinge van die studie toon dat nasionale beleid van die RHO en die beleide van die instelling, Universiteit X, belyn is, maar het ook bevind dat daar oor die algemeen ‘n gebrek aan belyning is tussen die RHO en professionele liggame. Verder wys die bevindinge dat daar fragmentasie binne Universiteit X is op die beleidsimplementeringsvlak en dat die verskillende eenhede wat vir gehalteversekering verantwoordelik is in silos funksioneer. Gehalteversekering behoort as ‘n sisteem van onderlinge verbindinge tussen verskillende belanghebbers en rolspelers gesien te word, met ander woorde, ‘n allesinsluitende proses om samewerking te bevorder in die belang van hoër vlakke van gehalte in hoër onderwys.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/108019
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