Improving Quality through Review: Case of University of the Visual and Performing Arts

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Commonwealth of Learning (COL)

Most of the higher education institutions employ the practice of internal and external reviews and external quality assurance to improve and ensure the quality of tertiary education. According to the available literature, most of the Sri Lankan universities are on their way to improving their quality and the main instrument for this is through audit used as a driver of change and improvement. The primary objective of this study was to analyze how programme review reports have impacted the University of the Visual and Performing Arts. The methodology involved in this was a case study and data was analyzed by using qualitative techniques. The study analyzed the programme review reports obtained for the three undergraduate faculties of the University; namely, Music, Dance & Drama, and Visual Arts. As per the reviewers’ comments, performances and quality assurance practices varied from one faculty to another. The reports indicated that higher performances were reported from the faculties of Music and Visual Arts whereas the Faculty of Dance and Drama reported lower performances in comparison. Moreover, in spite being relatively better in terms of quality assurance practices, even the former two faculties’ though the allocation of marks by criteria and the standards stipulated were to a minimum. Despite the reports’ presenting low scores, they generated a positive impact on the university since each faculty was able to recognize its strengths and weaknesses and take steps to improve the quality of the study programmes. In fact, all three entities are of the understanding that their main purpose is to produce graduates with high quality profiles. Maintaining the quality and assuring the needs of the University’s stakeholders should be a continuous, on-going process, which should be continuously monitored by each Faculty Board and the Senates of the university.//Paper ID 32

Higher Education