Quality management in higher education: A comparative study of the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Finland

Laurie Lomas, Christine Teelken, Jani Ursin

    Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


    This chapter examines lecturers’ perceptions of the balance between quality assurance and quality enhancement in three case study higher education institutions in different European countries. Where quality initiatives emphasised assurance rather than enhancement, this was taken to indicate a significant limitation on a lecturer’s autonomy in the quality management process. In-depth interviews using a semi-structured schedule were conducted with 20 randomly selected academic staff in each of the three higher education institutions. The results from the interviews demonstrated a very wide range of views among the interviewees. However, generally, it was found that there was a high level of disappointment with only limited transformation of teaching and learning through quality enhancement. This sense of disappointment was particularly acute in the UK and Dutch institutions where many interviewees expressed concern that quality assurance approaches tended to dominate. In the Finnish higher education institutions, there was a more positive attitude towards quality initiatives with a far higher proportion of interviewees considering that lecturers had significant control over the quality management process and they felt that there was an appropriate balance of quality assurance and quality enhancement.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationLeadership and Management of Quality in Higher Education
    EditorsC.S. Nair, L. Webster, P. Mertova
    Place of PublicationOxford
    PublisherChandos Publishing
    Number of pages15
    ISBN (Print)1843345765, 9781843345763
    Publication statusPublished - 2010

    Publication series

    NameChandos Learning and Teaching Series

    Bibliographical note

    Available online 27 March 2014


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