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Article
Publication date: 30 October 2020

Maximus Gorky Sembiring

This study envisioned plausible influential factors on service quality and academic excellence relatable to graduate self-confidence in an open distance learning (ODL…

Abstract

Purpose

This study envisioned plausible influential factors on service quality and academic excellence relatable to graduate self-confidence in an open distance learning (ODL) outlook. The objective was to expose the moderating role of academic excellence (graduate satisfaction) between service quality and self-confidence (engagement, achievement, loyalty and opportunity, EALO). It was also of interest to explore how, in what routines factors involved interrelated.

Design/methodology/approach

This study utilized exploratory design. Qualitatively, service quality included acclimation, advising, module, tutorial, assessment, feedback and referral factors. Service quality led to academic excellence (GPA, study length, relevance and recognition). Besides, academic excellence influenced self-confidence. Quantitatively, service quality, academic excellence and self-confidence were the independent, moderating and dependent variables. Respondents were randomly selected through a survey of eligible Universitas Terbuka alumni.

Findings

11 hypotheses were assessed under structural-equation modeling (SEM). Responses from 122 out of 500 graduates were completed. Eight hypotheses were validated by the analysis. The tutorial was the most influential factor followed by module, assessment and acclimation; advising, feedback and referral were excluded. Academic excellence also led to self-confidence. The study was able to visualize a substantial role of academic excellence in moderating service quality to EALO. Besides, important-performance analysis and customer-satisfaction index (IPA-CSI) recognized 21 out of 32 attributes as the pillars of academic excellence.

Originality/value

Three of the hypotheses were invalidated by the quantitative analysis. Further inquiry with much broader coverage is then required to diminish the variance to finally find the ideal framework.

Details

Asian Association of Open Universities Journal, vol. 15 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1858-3431

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 6 November 2017

Maximus Gorky Sembiring

This study observes that academic excellence associated with satisfaction leads to persistence, loyalty and future careers as perceived by students in an open distance…

Abstract

Purpose

This study observes that academic excellence associated with satisfaction leads to persistence, loyalty and future careers as perceived by students in an open distance learning framework. The purpose of this paper is to scrutinize the influences of academic excellence as the origin of satisfaction, and how and in which routines those associated factors were interconnected.

Design/methodology/approach

The inquiry employed the mixed-methods (exploratory design) approach. It was qualitatively identified first that academic excellence included student orientation, academic counseling, learning materials, tutorial supports, evaluation systems, feedback mechanisms and referral schemes. These seven factors had repercussions on students’ persistence, loyalty and future careers. Quantitatively, seven factors of academic excellence and the latter are independent and dependent variables, respectively. Respondents were randomly selected to accumulate data through a survey from the overseas students of Universitas Terbuka Indonesia. Importance-performance analysis and customer-satisfaction index were concurrently applied to measure the excellence level and its importance degree. Ten hypotheses were established and then examined using structural equation modeling to encapsulate the interrelations intensity among the engaged factors.

Findings

Eight out of ten hypotheses were statistically validated by the analysis excluding tutorial supports and feedback mechanisms factors. It was inferred that evaluation systems were the most critical factor and orderly followed by referral schemes, academic counseling, learning materials and student orientation. Academic excellence had an impact on persistence and loyalty, followed by career advancement.

Originality/value

The study identified minor disparity of qualitative and quantitative results. Further query with wider perspectives was needed by also enlarging the sample to minimize the gaps.

Details

Asian Association of Open Universities Journal, vol. 12 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2414-6994

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 21 December 2017

Sue Robson

This chapter considers the opportunities and challenges for HE to develop, support and celebrate excellent teaching. Drawing on conceptualisations of teaching excellence

Abstract

This chapter considers the opportunities and challenges for HE to develop, support and celebrate excellent teaching. Drawing on conceptualisations of teaching excellence in quality frameworks and in the literature, it considers how teaching quality has traditionally been interpreted, suggesting (as in Chapter 2) that there is a need for more nuanced and comprehensive understandings of teaching excellence to be developed, demonstrated, recognised and rewarded, to reflect the complex nature of teaching excellence across the academic career profile. It considers how institutions might build and communicate shared understandings of excellence in teaching and promote a culture in which excellence at all levels of teaching is valued in the same way as research. It discusses the ways in which the professional learning and support needs of academics can be met at various stages of the academic career, to develop in teaching faculty and education leaders a sense of being appreciated, connected and competent in their contribution and commitment to teaching excellence.

Details

Teaching Excellence in Higher Education
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-761-4

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Article
Publication date: 25 January 2019

Elena Tsvetkova and Sylvie Lomer

The purpose of this paper is to analyse critically the Russian Academic Excellence Initiative (the Project 5-100), designed to propel five leading Russian universities…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyse critically the Russian Academic Excellence Initiative (the Project 5-100), designed to propel five leading Russian universities into world university rankings (WURs) by 2020, and research it through the lens of neoliberalism. The paper seeks to reveal recurrent discourses and dominant orders of discourse constituting the overall concept of “excellence” in Russian higher education (HE) policy.

Design/methodology/approach

Since the Project 5-100 has been designed in line with a neoliberal model of academic excellence initiatives, emphasising “competition as a driver of excellence” (Hazelkorn, 2009), Fairclough’s approach to critical discourse analysis (CDA) has been adopted as a qualitative research method. There is no universally accepted definition of “excellence” in HE policy; therefore, this CDA also aims at revealing the Russian government’s vision of the concept and its voice in HE policy.

Findings

The paper concludes that the government reinforces neoliberal discourse on the HE agenda and transforms the 5-100 Universities’ identities through emphasising the role of WURs in modernising the HE system. Consequently, within the neoliberal paradigm, the Project 5-100 can be regarded as a manifestation of the commodification of “excellence” in Russian HE policy.

Originality/value

This research intends to broaden knowledge of excellence initiatives in HE policy and reveal their features and neoliberal natures. It also seeks to contribute in terms of showcasing a qualitative study of the Project 5-100 for future comparative analyses of similar HE policies.

Details

International Journal of Comparative Education and Development, vol. 21 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2396-7404

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Article
Publication date: 10 July 2017

Liudvika Leisyte, Mantas Vilkas, Egle Staniskiene and Daiva Zostautiene

The purpose of this paper is to understand how the countervailing processes for enhancing academic excellence based on professional norms are balanced out with the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand how the countervailing processes for enhancing academic excellence based on professional norms are balanced out with the market-oriented processes of standardisation and performance management in a university. Further, the authors aim to explore how and if organisational learning occurs in balancing these processes.

Design/methodology/approach

The longitudinal, inductive three-year study of a higher education institution in Lithuania was used to understand how a higher education institution based on the norms of academic excellence was balanced out with the market-oriented processes and what mechanisms of leaning took place during the process. The authors drew upon three data sources – archival materials, observation and interviews with academic staff and administrators – to capture the processes of rebalancing and learning.

Findings

A complex balance is observed between the strive for academic excellence and market relevance. Market relevance has been the dominant reform tone for the central administration of a Lithuanian university (LTU), while maintenance of academic excellence prevailed among academic staff. The LTU manages the countervailing processes by standardising, financialising, surveying and disciplining. The rebalancing resulted in dissent from the academic community. Organisational learning could be observed in the example of the introduction of a new examination procedure, while it could not occur during the process of new performance management system introduction. The process led to mutual distrust between the academic staff and the management of the LTU.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the literature on organisational learning in higher education, showing how an eager entrepreneurial university engages in the reform process and how it engages in the complex balancing of countervailing processes of academic excellence and market relevance. The authors contribute with empirical evidence on how rebalancing processes in a professional organisation works and what limitations it faces. The study shows the vital multi-stakeholder involvement and understanding of the process of change. The authors further contribute to the discussion on the adoption factors of performance-based systems and the process of institutionalisation using a longitudinal perspective as called for in previous research.

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Article
Publication date: 3 April 2017

Konstantina Tasopoulou and George Tsiotras

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the extent to which higher education institutions can benefit from the implementation of benchmarking practices. Thus, the aim…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the extent to which higher education institutions can benefit from the implementation of benchmarking practices. Thus, the aim of this research is to point out the structure and applications of quality improvement, by providing evidence for understanding the implementation of benchmarking as a competing tool for excellence in higher education institutions.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology followed in this paper is based on a method approach, including both qualitative and quantitative analysis. Research is based on 20 case studies of universities committed to excellence around the world. Data collection was accomplished by a well-designed questionnaire on how quality improvement can be accomplished through benchmarking practices.

Findings

The findings of this research indicate that benchmarking can improve academic excellence by means of comparison and assessment. The study finds that process performance measurements can bring considerable outcomes of enhancement, improvement and transformation in higher education systems.

Practical implications

This research on benchmarking in higher education institutions provides exemplar standpoints and practices for the pursuit of excellence in educational organizations, in order to gain additional knowledge and paradigm on quality improvement that can lead to excellence. Considering the population of rankings worldwide, the main idea is linked to benchmarking and the acceptance of being compared to others in the sector.

Originality/value

The value of this paper lies in the identification and presentation of several ideas and tools which can successfully be applied to higher education institutions in order to achieve excellence by using benchmarking practices.

Details

Benchmarking: An International Journal, vol. 24 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-5771

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Article
Publication date: 8 June 2015

Fabian Hattke and Steffen Blaschke

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the influence of top management team diversity on academic excellence in universities. Academic excellence is conceptualized as…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the influence of top management team diversity on academic excellence in universities. Academic excellence is conceptualized as successfully gaining funds for inter-organizational research collaborations, interdisciplinary graduate schools and high-ranked scientific reputation.

Design/methodology/approach

The study applies upper echelon theory to universities. Three hypotheses are developed: (overall) top management team heterogeneity is positively associated with successful funding of excellence clusters, (overall) top management team heterogeneity is positively associated with successful funding of graduate schools and (overall) top management team heterogeneity is positively associated with academic reputation. The empirical study is based on a cross-sectional dataset with a time lag, covering characteristics of 75 German public universities from 2008 to 2013. Multiple-regression analysis is applied to test the hypotheses.

Findings

Our results indicate that disciplinary and educational diversity of upper echelons has a positive effect on the outcomes. Other top management team characteristics (age, gender, etc.) show no significant effects. Besides top management team composition, we find that a high number of faculties and a broad inclusion of internal status groups (students, tenured faculty, academic and administrative staff) and external stakeholders in decision making processes may enhance academic excellence of universities.

Research limitations/implications

First, the study contributes to the body of literature concerned with higher education. It is situated at the crossroads of management studies and higher education research, unlocking strategic management theorizing for the public context. Furthermore, the study contributes to the body of literature on strategic leadership in pluralistic organizations. It highlights the importance of heterogeneous governance structures and modular organization designs for achieving academic excellence.

Practical implications

The paper may inform practitioners in administrative or leading positions and policy-makers concerned with higher education. The more diverse a top management team is in terms of multiple disciplinary backgrounds, the more likely they succeed in driving the university toward academic excellence.

Originality/value

The study is among the first to evaluate the influence of top management teams in universities with a quantitative research design.

Details

Team Performance Management: An International Journal, vol. 21 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-7592

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 29 April 2019

Elizabeth Baker

Mission statements are used for a variety of reasons in organizations, including defining the purpose of the institution, communicating with its stakeholders, shaping its…

Abstract

Mission statements are used for a variety of reasons in organizations, including defining the purpose of the institution, communicating with its stakeholders, shaping its strategic planning process, providing a realistic snapshot of its everyday work, and outlining its future goals or objectives (among many others). For many academic libraries, mission statements are used to showcase resources, services, technologies, and innovations. The purpose of this study is to examine the mission statements of libraries that have won the ACRL Excellence in Libraries Award and analyze whether (or not) the winning libraries used innovation to create a distinct environment that was reflected through their mission statements. The study uses the work of Pearce and David (1987) to determine what elements are included in the mission statements. This chapter utilizes qualitative methodology in the study.

Pearce and David (1987) outline eight elements found in mission statements: target customer; principal products/services; geographic domain; core technologies; survival, growth, or profit; company philosophy; self-concept; and public image. This qualitative study finds that the mission statements of the academic libraries collectively included seven of the elements, omitting survival, growth, or profit universally. Also, the inclusion of these elements allows many of the libraries to create their unique description, unveiling a commitment to innovation.

As an original research study, this chapter adds a unique perspective to the concept of innovation in academic libraries, particularly as it examines the mission statements of award-winning libraries to determine if innovation is found in these foundational documents.

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Article
Publication date: 3 July 2017

Dinesh K. Siddaiah

The purpose of this paper is to present my panel discussion report on Academic Library for excellence today, a sub-theme of the Sixth International Library and Information…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present my panel discussion report on Academic Library for excellence today, a sub-theme of the Sixth International Library and Information Summit on Dynamics of Library for Excellence in Electronic Revolution (I-LIPS – 2017), IISER Mohali, India. In this report, two sets of academic and research support services have been highlighted, which can be developed more extensively and offer to academic library users.

Design/methodology/approach

Excerpts from the panel discussion on the academic library for excellence today.

Findings

Academic and research support can bring excellence in libraries today.

Originality/value

Today more and more focus is required on developing academic, research and digital literacy skills of our library users.

Details

Library Hi Tech News, vol. 34 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0741-9058

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 9 February 2015

Farinaz Fassa

Discussing the Swiss case, the purpose of this paper is to examine how gender equality policies deal with the present requirements for scholars to be considered…

Abstract

Purpose

Discussing the Swiss case, the purpose of this paper is to examine how gender equality policies deal with the present requirements for scholars to be considered “excellent”. It aims to pinpoint the lines of tension or coherence between excellence, meritocracy and gender politics.

Design/methodology/approach

In order to specify the norms of academic careers and their different renditions, the author draws on two studies (at local and national levels) to illustrate where the changes and resistances are taking place.

Findings

The translations of a number of demands of feminist movements into the policies set up to favour equality between the sexes may combine to challenge the norms of academia as a gendered realm. Nevertheless, without strong pressure from feminists at local level and the conduct of research pursuing the enterprise of deconstructing norms, top-down policies may prove less “corrective” than affirmative action. This pressure is not only useful to build gender equality in science but also to broaden the spectrum of knowledge that can become a common good.

Research limitations/implications

As neither the names nor the positions of the experts who select the candidates at national level are made public, we had to opt for other, less satisfactory means.

Originality/value

The originality of the paper lies in the link made between the enhancements brought by Equalities policies and the changes they bring. It attempts to bring to light the extent to which gender equality policies conform to the neo-managerial order or challenge its norms to build a world that is more just.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 34 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Keywords

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