Quantity and Quality in Higher Education. Higher Education Policy

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    ED 415 737 HE 030 848

    AUTHOR Radford, John; Raaheim, Kjell; de Vries, Peter; Williams,Ruth

    TITLE Quantity and Quality in Higher Education. Higher EducationPolicy Series 40.

    ISBN ISBN-1-85302-433-3PUB DATE 1997-00-00NOTE 196p.AVAILABLE FROM Taylor & Francis, 1900 Frost Road, Suite 101, Bristol, PA

    19007-1598; phone: 800-821-8312, fax: 215-785-5515 ($34.95);Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 116 Pentonville Rd., London N19JB, England, United Kingdom (18.95 British pounds).

    PUB TYPE Books (010) Collected Works General (020)EDRS PRICE MF01/PC08 Plus Postage.DESCRIPTORS *Academic Standards; Accountability; *Change; Change

    Strategies; Decision Making; Diversity (Institutional);Educational Change; Educational Quality; *Evaluation;Evaluation Methods; *Foreign Countries; *Government SchoolRelationship; Higher Education; Institutional Autonomy;Outcomes of Education; Self Evaluation (Individuals);Standards; Values

    IDENTIFIERS *United Kingdom

    ABSTRACTThis book explores some of the underlying issues related to

    the changes taking place in British higher education. Individual chaptersfocus on the development of higher education in Britain, the various purposesit serves, how to assess it, and how to improve delivery. Part 1 addressesthe dilemmas of mass higher education, and traces the development of highereducation, the origins of modern universities, the British university systemin the twentieth century, and other recent developments. Chapters in Part 2review the academic standards and quality management debate in British highereducation; the factors, such as expansion, diversity, and quality management,that impact on academic standards; and the British external examiner system.Also included is a critical essay on self-assessment and the qualityassessment process. Part 3 discusses teaching in higher education, takingnote of some the inherent problems, such as establishing contact betweenteacher and student, the implicit contract between teacher and student, theopportunity for students to consult with teachers, and the link betweenlearning and teaching and the evaluation of outcome. Part 4 notes the viewsof the various interested parties to higher education, the higher educationagenda, and notes what works in higher education. (Contains approximately 120references.) (CH)


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  • Quantity and Quality in Higher Education

  • of related interest

    The Use of Performance Indicators in Higher EducationThe Challenge of the Quality Movement, 3rd editionMartin Cave, Stephen Hanney, Mary Henkel and Maurice KoganISBN 1 85302 345 0

    Standards and Quality in Higher EducationEdited by John Brennan, Peter de Vries and Ruth WilliamsISBN 1 85302 423 6

    Staffing Higher EducationMeeting New ChallengesMaurice Kogan, Elaine El-Khawas and Ingrid MosesISBN 1 85302 541 0

    Higher Education and WorkJohn Brennan, Maurice Kogan and Ulrich TeichlerISBN 1 85302 537 2

    Are Professors Professionals?The Organisation of University ExaminationsDavid Warren PiperISBN 1 85302 540 2


  • Higher Education Policy Series 40

    Quantity and Qualityin Higher EducationJohn Radford, Kjell Raaheim, Ruth Williamsand Peter de Vries

    Jessica Kingsley PublishersLondon and Bristol, Pennsylvania

  • All rights reserved. No paragraph of this publication may be reproduced,copied or transmitted save with written permission or in accordance

    with the provisions of the Copyright Act 1956 (as amended), or under theterms of any licence permitting limited copying issued by the CopyrightLicensing Agency, 33-34 Alfred Place, London WC1E 7DP. Any personwho does any unauthorised act in relation to this publication may be

    liable to criminal prosecution and civil claims for damages.

    The right of the contributors to be identified as authors of this work hasbeen asserted by them in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and

    Patents Act 1988.

    First published in the United Kingdom in 1997 byJessica Kingsley Publishers Ltd

    116 Pentonville RoadLondon Ni 9JB, England

    and1900 Frost Road, Suite 101

    Bristol, PA 19007, U S A

    Copyright 1997 John Radford, Kjell Raaheim,Ruth Williams and Peter deVries

    Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication DataA CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the

    Library of Congress

    British Library Cataloguing in Publication DataA CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

    ISBN 1 85302 433 3

    Index compiled by INDEXING SPECIALISTS202 Church Road, Hove, East Sussex, BN3 2DJ. tel/ fax 01273 323309.

    Printed and Bound in Great Britain byAthenaeum Press, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear

  • Contents

    List of figuresList of tables


    Introduction 1

    Part I The Changing Purposes of Higher Education

    1. The Changing Purposes of Higher Education 7John RadfordThe dilemmas of mass higher education 7The development of higher education 15The origins of modern universities 23The twentieth century 32Some other recent developments 41

    Part II. Standards and Assessment in HigherEducation

    2. Academic Standards and the Quality ManagementDebate in British Higher Education 51Peter de VriesIntroduction 51Quality management ideology 52Academic standards and the collegial ideology 58Postscript 63

    3. Factors Impacting on Academic Standards 64Ruth WilliamsIntroduction 64Academic standards 65Expansion and diversity 67Quality management 70Impacts and outcomes 72Concluding remarks 74


  • 4. The UK's External Examiner System:Its Rise or Demise? 76Ruth WilliamsIntroduction 76The rise of the external examiner system: a brief history 77The demise of the external examiner system 79Continuation of the system? 81The future: opportunities and constraints 86

    5. Self-Assessment within the Quality AssessmentProcess: A Critical Perspective 88Peter de VriesIntroduction 88Self-assessment as compliance 89Self-assessment as a political act 91Self-assessment for survival and reputation 92Self-assessment other than for self-enhancement 93Disagreement about judgements 94Self-assessment as a contestation over values 95An alternative model for self-assessments 96Conclusion 97

    Part III Lessons for Teaching: the Four Csof Higher Education

    6. The Four Cs of Higher EducationKjell RaaheimIntroduction and some theoretical considerationsTeaching in larger groups: the problems of contact, contract,

    consultancy and co-ordinationConcluding remarks and some practical implications




    Part IV Ends and Means in Higher Education

    7. Ends and Means in Higher Education 139John RadfordViews of interested parties 139The higher education agenda 150What works in higher education 164

    References 180Subject Index 187Author Index 191

  • List of figures

    3.1 Impacts on academic standards 654.1 The relationship between the external examiner, the

    department and the institution 836.1 Attendance in four lecture groups in psychology,

    autumn term 1977 1156.2 Percentage of 'laudabilis' marks and rate of failure:

    1989 and 1990 121

    6.3 Percentage of 'laudabilis' marks: test-examinationsand final examination 126

    6.4 Effects of participation in tutorials and test-examinations 128

    List of tables

    2.1 The nature of collegial roles 61

    3.1 Academic standards in teaching and learning 66

  • IntroductionFew schoolboys, perhaps, now know that Macaulay's History ofEngland is actually a history of the period, roughly from theGlorious Revolution of 1688 to near his own day, during whichthe nation rose dramatically to world status, embarking on anunprecedented, if short lived, period of wealth and power. Hetells how, during this period,

    '...the authority of law and the security of property werefound to be compatible with a liberty of discussion and ofindividual action never before known; how, from the auspi-cious union of order and freedom, sprang a prosperity ofwhich the annals of human affairs had furnished no exam-ple; how our country, from a state of ignominious vassalage,rapidly rose to the place of umpire among European powers;how her opulence and her martial glory grew together; how,by wise and resolute good faith, was gradually establisheda public credit fruitful of marvels which to the statesmen ofany former age would have seemed incredible; how a gigan-tic commerce gave birth to a maritime power, compared withwhich every other maritime power, ancient or modern, sinksinto insignificance.' (Macaulay 1848-1861)

    And a good deal more in the same magnificent style. What hedid not point out was that this was the very period at which theEnglish system of higher education, consisting almost wholly,as it had for many centuries, of the two universities of Oxfordand Cambridge, reached perhaps its lowest ebb. The rigour andappli