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Benchmarking: A Comparative Case Study Analysis of Quality Assurance Across the Private and University Sector in the UK

The Role of External Examining in Higher Education: Challenges and Best Practices

ISBN: 978-1-83982-175-2, eISBN: 978-1-83982-174-5

ISSN: 2055-3641

Publication date: 17 May 2021

Abstract

This study compares quality assurance across two case studies in the UK; a commercial organization operating in the private sector and a university. Case Study A is a private education organization specializing in the delivery of business and management programs. Case Study B is a university that delivers courses across four academic schools and through a number of partnerships. The business school offers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in business management, economics, accounting, events, tourism, marketing, entrepreneurialism, and human resources. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 11 organizational members from across the two organizations including 8 academics/tutors, 6 of whom are also employed as external examiners and/or external quality assurers (EQAs). The study compares the remit of both EQA working on behalf of awarding bodies and external examiners working on behalf of universities. The EQA role is conceptualized as an “arbiter of standards” whereas the external examiner is more likely to be considered as “critical friend.” This variance in conception has important implications for the way the process of quality assurance is conducted and utilized in support of program and institutional development. The research finds that one of the most significant differences between quality assurance processes in Case Studies A and B is the way in which student feedback is collected and utilized to support and enhance the process of review. This chapter provides recommendations designed to capitalize on the value of the quality assurance process through greater alignment of teaching and assessment strategy and policies and procedures in practice.

Keywords

Citation

Maddox-Daines, K. (2021), "Benchmarking: A Comparative Case Study Analysis of Quality Assurance Across the Private and University Sector in the UK", Sengupta, E., Blessinger, P., Ssemwanga, A. and Cozza, B. (Ed.) The Role of External Examining in Higher Education: Challenges and Best Practices (Innovations in Higher Education Teaching and Learning, Vol. 38), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 139-158. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2055-364120210000038009

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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