Delivering higher education to meet local needs in a developing context: the quality dilemmas?

Abukari, Abdulai and Corner, Trevor (2010) Delivering higher education to meet local needs in a developing context: the quality dilemmas? Quality Assurance in Education, 18 (3). pp. 191-208. ISSN 0968-4883

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Abstract

Purpose – Higher education is increasingly being scrutinised and discourse centred on its usefulness to stakeholders. In 1992, the University for Development Studies (UDS) was established in Northern Ghana with a mission to engage with local communities to develop the area. This paper aims to understand the quality perspective of the university within the contexts of the needs of its catchment community and quality requirements of other stakeholders guided by issues arising from the questions of who really should define quality, in what context, for whose benefit, and with whose resources. Design/methodology/approach – The paper takes a qualitative approach using semi-structured interviews, documentary and artefacts to generate data from the UDS. Findings – Although donors play a crucial role in ensuring quality, the findings suggest that the basis for any effective quality should move beyond the traditional precepts to make it reflect local needs and realities within an international context guided by effective quality monitory and evaluation mechanisms. Practical implications – The paper provides practical suggestions of appropriate quality assurance models for higher education institutions in the developing world. Originality/value – The paper identifies some quality dilemmas in higher education in developing contexts.

Item Type:Article
Research Areas:Middlesex University Schools and Centres > Institute for Work Based Learning
ID Code:7393
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Deposited On:28 Mar 2011 05:28
Last Modified:05 Dec 2014 12:08

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