Assessing quality of academic programmes: comparing different sets of standards

Date02 July 2018
DOIhttps://doi.org/10.1108/QAE-09-2016-0051
Pages318-332
Publication Date02 July 2018
AuthorSedig Ahmed Babikir Ali,Mohammad Nazir Ahmad,Nor Hidayati Zakaria,Ahmed Mohammed Arbab,Kamal Badr Abdalla Badr
SubjectEducation,Curriculum, instruction & assessment,Educational evaluation/assessment
Assessing quality of academic
programmes: comparing dierent
sets of standards
Sedig Ahmed Babikir Ali
School of Computing, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Skudai, Malaysia
Mohammad Nazir Ahmad
Institute of Visual Informatics, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi, Malaysia
Nor Hidayati Zakaria
International Business School, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia,
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Ahmed Mohammed Arbab
College of Administrative Sciences, Applied Science University,
East Al-Ekir, Bahrain, and
Kamal Badr Abdalla Badr
Qatar Leadership Academy, Qatar Foundation, Doha, Qatar
Abstract
Purpose Standards shouldprovide a means for transparently comparing academicprogrammes delivered
by higher education providers and the research activities they carry out. The purpose of this study is to
investigate the different sets of standards related to the quality assurance of academicprogrammes in four
countries with regard to the European Standards and Guidelines (ESG), developed by the European
Association for Quality Assurance, for internal quality assurance within higher education institutions. The
main aim is to nd the convergence and divergencepoints and to test the consistency of terminologies in use
which may impede internationalcollaboration to develop one comprehensive internationalquality assurance
system.
Design/methodology/approach The study relied solely on desk-based researchand no eldwork or
interviews were conducted for data collection; a point-by-point comparative approach has been applied to
explorethe standards related to quality assurance of academicprogrammes.
Findings Although there is a greatdeal of convergence between the different sets of standardscompared
in this study,fundamental differences still exist.
Research limitations/implications This study compared the standardsof academic programmesin
four countries with the ESG. To generalise the ndings of this study, future research may include other
standardsfor comparison.
Originality/value This study engages in the debate of how quality of higher education will remain
maintained, in times,when higher education is facing challenges such asinternationalisation, which requires
new initiatives and integratedmechanisms to facilitate mutual recognition of qualications of students and
staff movingacross borders.
Keywords Quality assurance, Higher education, Internationalization, Standards,
Academic program
Paper type Research paper
QAE
26,3
318
Received25 September 2016
Revised2 January 2018
25April 2018
Accepted3 May 2018
QualityAssurance in Education
Vol.26 No. 3, 2018
pp. 318-332
© Emerald Publishing Limited
0968-4883
DOI 10.1108/QAE-09-2016-0051
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
www.emeraldinsight.com/0968-4883.htm

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