Quality Assurance in Asian Open and Distance Learning: Policies and Implementation
Open universities have emerged as an innovative pillar in the expansion of access to higher education participation, with single-mode distance education providers broadening access in many countries through economies of scale supported by large enrolments. These models raise questions about the quality of education provided. This paper reports on a comparative case study of quality assurance (QA) programs in distance education at three open universities in Southeast Asia. Focusing on QA development and implementation in learner support services, the study explored QA policies, supporting management practices and structures, and the influence of internal and external environmental factors, as identified through thematic analysis of data from semi-structured interviews and policy documents. The results showed many similarities in QA for learner support at the three institutions. Their learner support services were determined to be responsive to government and external quality agencies, external cultural and language factors, and student feedback. // Editorial Note: Anak Bangsa Open University (ABOU) is a pseudonym used for another university, and there is no ABOU as such. All references are to actual documents and processes of the said university, but readers may not find the documents cited under ABOU in the references.
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