Quality in Higher Education...beyond PDCA and further
Quality is almost always at the center of whatever we do. Whether you are developing products, systems or processes, work at a start-up or small medium enterprise or even at a big large fortune 500 company. The changing society and customer demands always involve quality. Quality of life, quality of work, quality of products, etc. People are always busy with quality. Due to the fact that quality is so incorporated in almost everything we do, we see a lot of different theories, definitions, formulas, models, techniques and a lot of books for so many different applications where quality plays a major role.
Besides the fact that there are worldwide quality standards such as ISO, NEN, DIN, etc. we tend to reinvent the wheel over and over again. This is true especially when you look at quality within higher education. I have always wondered why it seems to be so hard to design, develop and implement a sustainable, clear, simple and yet flexible, scale-able quality system. Somehow the huge amount of information available about quality and in many cases the endless list of variables and stakeholders makes it impossible to look at the big picture of what we are doing that is measurable and can be expressed as a KPI (Key Performance Indicator) and such becomes a quality indicator for success, profit, growth, etc.
Our vision on quality is based on Added Value!
Here we will try to step back and start from scratch to design a quality model and system (ICT support is absolutely necessary) for the higher education sector. We have done our homework (not on a scientific level but more on a applied level). We talked to different stakeholders, visited many universities, read hundreds of books on quality, went through different business cases. The result of all that research, time and energy will be presented here. As quality is an ongoing process we do fully understand that whatever we present here will change, mutate, deleted, added, evolve. That's a good thing because we really strive to come up with a dynamic model/system with a high quality!
Everybody is invited to join this quest for clarity and usability of quality.
"Price is what you pay, value is what you get" - Warren Buffett
First of all let's have a look at all the direct and in-direct stakeholders defining, delivering, measuring, experiencing and presenting quality. We recognize 6 major stakeholders. Let's start with these six.