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Managing for Quality in Higher Education - A Systems Perspective

Managing for Quality in Higher Education - A Systems Perspective

Higher education is capturing headlines across America, but not always for what some consider the right reasons. As tuition costs have out-paced the cost of living and student debt has soared, debates rage over whether a college degree provides a good return on the student’s investment of time and money. Within the context of the current unsettled educational environment, Professors Maguad and Krone’s work is a welcome resource. The authors, in the opening chapter, identify the principles that have guided the Quality Movement in industry and business and apply them to the world of higher education.

Introduction And Historical I Context

The world of higher education is undergoing profound and rapid changes which force educational systems to respond to ensure that the quality of life in these communities is maintained. These changes emanate from a number of factors like the explosive growth in knowledge and information, shift towards more information-based services, move towards more global interdependence, greater participation in decision making, and call for greater educational accountability and transparency. Academic and administrative challenges confronting institutions of higher education are real. The standard response in the past has been to cut non-basic services and lay off personnel. Unfortunately, administrators have become experts in providing quick fixes to problems that don’t seem to go away. Chapter 1 explains why managing for quality is vital in higher education and why current responses to challenges may not be adequate to meet the needs of a rapidly changing world. A new model for quality improvement with proven success is needed that examines each and every process and promotes comprehensive, continued and permanent reform. Chapter 2 examines the origins of the quality improvement movement, its development, and future trends. It is interesting to note that the quest for quality has always been a part of every human endeavor ever since civilization began. Such quest has provided a safeguard against anything that threatens human health and safety as well as the environment.

Why Quality For Higher Education? 

The world in which institutions of higher learning operate is changing dramatically. The social, cultural, economic, political, technological and other systems that are at work in these communities have been challenged to the very core by these changes. Consequently, educational systems have been compelled to respond to these changes in order to ensure a future in which the quality of life in each community can be maintained and developed. A number of these changes are described below.

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