Quality and academic programmes

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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

This paper outlines the philosophical underpinnings, policy framework and practical realities of quality assurance and quality improvement of academic programmes at Monash University. Quality is identified as a professional responsibility and regarded as an opportunity for review and improvement and for questioning fitness for purpose. Quality is not a bureaucratic compliance exercise. The paper describes developing University policy, including identifying core values and principles about quality, designing acceptable processes, working with the diversity of Monash as an institution (large, devolved, multi campus, international, autonomous faculties etc) yet ensuring comparable treatment, building on existing activities, use of a Quality Cycle,Focus on feedback and review. Special quality research projects with faculties are described - “Getting Behind CEQ results in Law” and “The Teaching of Graduate Attributes” in Science, Engineering and Information Technologies. The paper concludes with the challenges of implementing these policies and processes, particularly the challenge of systematic data collection and using data to inform practice. The need for staff development and the potential for organisational learning are evident. The extent to which the quality system can acknowledge diversity yet ensure comparable treatment is a big challenge.

Keywords: Quality, academic review, graduate attributes

Quality and academic programmes

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Edwards, H.