Ideas and Universities Seminar
May 29, 2009
Quality Assessment in Higher Education as a Political Process
Is quality assurance in higher education a technical process or a political process?
Michael Skolnik suggests three reasons why quality assurance should, in many cases, be viewed as a largely political process:
1) The considerable differences of opinion among different stakeholders about the definition of quality
2) The likelihood that quality assurance serves as a vehicle for the pressures toward conformity within academe
3) The tendency to exclude some stakeholders, particularly faculty, from a significant role in the design and implementation of quality assurance processes
Skolnik concludes that it would be better to accept Louise Morley’s claim that quality assurance is “a socially constructed domain of power” and design assessment processes in a way that fits their political nature. He further suggests that employing a responsive model of evaluation could make quality assurance more effective. The responsive model evaluation is a collaborative process that starts with the claims, concerns, and issues put forth by all stakeholders.
This presentation is part of the Ideas and Universities International Video Seminar Series and is made available on the UW–Madison campus thanks to funding and support from the UW-Madison Division of International Studies, the Institute for Advanced Studies at the University of Bristol (UK), the Worldwide Universities Network, WISCAPE, and UW–Madison's School of Education International Education Committee.
In-person attendance at the Pyle Center viewing site is strongly encouraged to ensure your opportunity to interact and discuss with other participants locally and internationally. However, for those unable to attend, WUN usually offers a live webcast of the event which can be accessed through the Ideas and Universities Seminar Series website.
The Pyle Center, 702 Langdon Street
This program is free and open to the public.
Media associated with this program