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Giannamore Critique 3

Page history last edited by Kathleen Giannamore 7 years, 7 months ago Saved with comment

Embedding quality culture in higher education in Ghana:

quality control and assessment in emerging private universities

Stephen Ntim

Summary

The research questions that this study attempts to answer are:

  1. What principled measures have been put in place to ensure that Quality Culture is part and parcel of the emerging private universities in Ghana?
  2. How do these universities account to education consumers especially students to ensure that they (students) have a stake in what is on offer?
  3. Are there measures instituted in these universities such that information and feedback from consumers (students) become part of their planning especially in the content and structure of courses?
  4. What happens to these feedback and information from students?
  5. Are there external and internal peer reviews for academic staff to ensure quality delivery in these universities?

The researcher used purposive sampling from 30 private universities in Ghana and studied variables including personal data of respondents, personal vision of the universities and most importantly, academic/administrative and student perceptions of quality assurance practices.  This academic/administrative section was further broken down on the questionnaire into topics such as policy principles of quality assurance; internal and external peer review; rapid and effective feedback and evidenced-based assessment.

Of primary importance in the study was assessment of teaching of courses by students.

Interestingly, 75% of respondents indicated that their students evaluate the teaching of courses each semester but they were not sure if student input had any bearing on the re-design of courses. The same 75% also admitted the failure of their universities to fire or put incompetent lecturers on any type of probation.

Evaluation

In the Ntim study, the researcher set a lofty goal of benchmarking world-class universities through this study, which, if successful, would be quite meaningful to the global economy.

The researcher focused on the increasing demand for quality assurance in higher education, coming to the conclusion that quality assurance is actually a culture – continuously aiming to improve. One glaring shortfall of the study, rightfully indicated by the researcher was the notable difference in answers regarding institutional involvement in the pursuit of quality assurance.  While 50% of respondents stated with certainty that everyone in the university from faculty to staff to students was involved in QA, 25 % indicated the exact opposite and the remaining 25% were uncertain.  The author attributed this to the possibility that non-academics may feel that QA is the job of faculty and/or they do not have a clear understanding of what QA actually is.  This is most likely the case and perhaps a more detailed breakdown of the population into various classifications would have proven his theory.  Overall, even though the study was limited to private universities in Ghana, the results seem to be consistent with other QA studies.

Ntim, S. (2014). Embedding quality culture in higher education in Ghana: quality control and assessment in emerging private universities. Higher Education, 68, 837–849.                   http://doi.org/10.1007/s10734-014-9747-8

 

Comments (1)

Chip Ingram said

at 11:04 am on Oct 18, 2016

In this one, we know quite well what the research questions are but we don't have a clear idea of either why they are important (that is part of the function of the literature review) or what was found (at least in any detail). In the evaluation, you go over some of the results and importance of the study, but don't say very much about whether it was well-done or what we can believe from it.

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