Systematically evaluating the effectiveness of quality assurance programmes in leading to improvements in institutional performance

Lillis, D. (2012) Systematically evaluating the effectiveness of quality assurance programmes in leading to improvements in institutional performance. Quality in Higher Education, 18 (1). pp. 59-73. ISSN 13538322 (ISSN)

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Higher education institutions worldwide invest significant resources in their quality assurance systems. Little empirical evidence exists that demonstrates the effectiveness (or otherwise) of these systems. Methodological approaches for determining effectiveness are also underdeveloped. Self-study-with-peer-review is a widely used model for ensuring the quality of the core teaching, research and engagement activities of higher education institutions. This article illustrates how an established social-programme evaluation methodology can be used to determine its effectiveness in leading to improvements in institutional performance. The concept of effectiveness and the particular challenges posed by the higher education organisational culture are considered. An example of the systematic evaluation of three self-study programmes is provided to illustrate the concept. It is concluded that social-programme evaluation has significant potential in evaluating the effectiveness of quality assurance initiatives in higher education. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Cited By :4; Export Date: 23 February 2015; Correspondence Address: Lillis, D.; Dublin Institute of Technology, Dublin, Ireland; email:; References: Birnbaum, R., The life cycle of academic management fads (2000) Journal of Higher Education, 71 (1), pp. 1-16; El-Khawas, E., Strong state action but limited results: Perspectives on university resistance (1998) European Journal of Education, 33 (3), pp. 317-320; Harvey, L., Newton, J., Transforming quality evaluation (2004) Quality in Higher Education, 10 (2), pp. 149-165; Henkel, M., The demise of a dominant culture? Higher education institutions in transition (2004) Learning and Teaching in the Social Sciences, 1 (1), pp. 21-32; House, E.R., (1993) Professional Evaluation, , London: Sage Publications; Kells, H.R., (1992) Self-regulation in Higher Education, , London: Jessica Kingsley; Linke, R.D., Some principles for the application of performance indicators in higher education (1992) Higher Education Management, 4 (2), pp. 194-203; Massey, W.F., (2003) Honouring the Trust: Quality and cost containment in higher education, , Bolton, MA, Anker Publishing; Mintzberg, H., Quinn, J., (1998) Readings in the Strategy Process, , Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall; (2003) Education Policy Analysis, , Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), (Paris, OECD); Pascarella, E.T., Terenzini, P., (2005) How College Affects Students: A third decade of research, , San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass; Patton, M.Q., (2002) Qualitative Research and Evaluation Methods, , London: Sage Publications; Pollitt, C., Bouckaert, G., (2004) Public Management Reform, , Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press; Rossi, P., Lipsey, M., Freeman, H., (2004) Evaluation: A systematic approach, , London: Sage Publications; Sallinen, A., Konttinen, R., Panhelainen, M., Interactive model of self evaluation quality assessment at the University of Jyvaskyla: A pilot study (1994) Higher Education Management, 6 (3), pp. 357-375; Scriven, M., Prose and cons about goal-free evaluation (1972) Evaluation Comment, 3 (1), pp. 1-7; Stensaker, B., (2006) Impact of quality processes, paper presented at the 1st European Forum for Quality Assurance, , Munich, Germany, 23-25 November; Thorn, R., (2003) Self study in an Institute of Technology: An evaluation, , Paper presented at the European Association of Institutional Researchers Forum 2003, Limerick, Ireland, 24-27 August; van Vught, F., Westerheijden, D.F., Quality measurement and quality assurance in European higher education (1995) Quality Improvement in European Public Services, , In: Bouckaert C., editors London: Sage Publications; van der Knaap, P., Policy evaluation and learning: Feedback, enlightenment or argumentation (1995) Evaluation, 1 (2), pp. 189-216
Uncontrolled Keywords: evaluation of effectiveness; higher education; quality assurance; self-study-with-peer-review; social-programme evaluation
Depositing User: National Forum
Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2015 07:26
Last Modified: 04 Dec 2015 07:46

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