Quality: Making a difference

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Research and Development in Higher Education: Quality Conversations Vol. 25

July, 2002, 794 pages
Published by
Tony Herrington
0 908557 54 X

When I was a child, and went shopping with my Mother, it was clear to me that she had a view of quality that related to desirable characteristics of the artefact she intended to buy, and that related also to cost. It would be nice to have a good quality coat or table, but we could rarely afford it, and so settled for utilitarian coats and sturdy tables at a lower cost. However, she would not have accepted a coat that wore too quickly or a table that was badly made. Hence, she had a sense of ‘fitness for purpose’ and that was what she was seeking. Over the years, the meaning of the word ‘quality’ has drifted, so it less frequently denotes something excellent or exceptional, and more often denotes something that meets our needs or fulfils the task intended - ie that exhibits fitness for its purpose.

Quality: Making a difference

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Woodhouse, D.