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Tensions between 'fitness of purpose' and 'fitness for purpose': the introduction of a national quality assurance system in South Africa

Luckett, Kathy

Abstract:

This paper explores different approaches to quality assurance and to institutional audit of teaching and learning in particular. It suggests that the national transformation agenda may be pushing the South African Higher Education Quality Committee (HEQC) towards a ‘fitness of purpose’ approach, whilst quality assurance managers in higher education institutions generally favour a ‘fitness for purpose’ approach. The paper draws on data from a survey questionnaire sent out to all universities and technikons by the South African Universities Vice-Chancellors’ Association to gauge opinion on the HEQC’s discussion document entitled ‘Proposed Criteria for the HEQC’s First Cycle of Audits 2004-2009’ (March 2003). The paper concludes by suggesting what challenges both external and internal quality assurance systems in South Africa will need to overcome in order to ensure successful adoption and implementation of a national quality assurance system.

 

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Title of Paper: Tensions between 'fitness of purpose' and 'fitness for purpose': the introduction of a national quality assurance system in South Africa
Conference Name: 15th International Conference on Assessing Quality in Higher Education
Conference Date: 2003-07-00
Published as Proceedings: no


Date:2003
Document Type:Conference Paper (Peer Reviewed)
Subject Area:Institutional Management
Country:South Africa
Keywords:Quality Assurance, Quality Management, South Africa, Transformation of higher education, Survey, Models, Higher Education Policy


File Size:116 KB
Date Added:23 March 2007


Luckett, Kathy (2003). Tensions between 'fitness of purpose' and 'fitness for purpose': the introduction of a national quality assurance system in South Africa. Presented at the 15th International Conference on Assessing Quality in Higher Education, Cape Town, July 2003.