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Understanding quality assurance: a cross country case study

Fion Choon Boey Lim (Centre for the Study of Higher Education, Faculty of Education, University of Melbourne, Australia)

Quality Assurance in Education

ISSN: 0968-4883

Article publication date: 25 April 2008

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the level of understanding between an Australian university and its offshore partner institution, on quality assurance. It attempts to highlight the dynamics of quality assurance policy implementation within and across institutions for an offshore degree.

Design/methodology/approach

The study used interviews as the research method to gather data from the Business school of a university that is a major exporter of higher education degrees and its offshore business partner, a business school of a private university college in Malaysia.

Findings

The findings show that gaps exist in the current practices of quality assurance measures in Malaysia. In addition, top‐level management from both sides of the exchange believe that the university should bear the overall responsibility for quality assurance. However, the findings also reveal that such heavy reliance on the university for quality assurance might not be healthy, especially when the university's own policy implementation is suffering internal problems.

Practical implications

For governments and various agencies the insights in the paper will be useful in creating better policy. At an institutional level, the findings will assist in the formulation and implementation of such policies.

Originality/value

This paper will be useful to stakeholders in the offshore education industry. It provides an insight into the regulatory and auditing practices commissioned by the government and highlights the various gaps and challenges in quality assurance policy.

Keywords

Citation

Choon Boey Lim, F. (2008), "Understanding quality assurance: a cross country case study", Quality Assurance in Education, Vol. 16 No. 2, pp. 126-140. https://doi.org/10.1108/09684880810868411

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited