'n Makro-perspektief op kwaliteitsversekering in hoer onderwys : relevansie van die Britse en Nederlandse ervarings vir technikons in Suid Africa
Steyn, Jacobus Nicolaas
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Quality assurance has emerged as a vital element in tertiary education management at both the macro- and the institutional levels in the Netherlands as well as the united Kingdom. Although, from the nature of the matter, the situation in South Africa would obviously differ from that in these two respective countries, it is clear that universities and technikons may both learn considerably from the British and Dutch experiences. However, in this study the focus will be on technikons. In both the Netherlands and Britain comprehensive quality assurance systems have been established within the realm of higher education during the past decade. Although this phenomenon was largely prompted by external pressures, educational institutions themselves, individually and collectively, contributed substantially to the present system. Characteristic of the Dutch and British dispensations is the willingness on the part of the authorities to create structures for quality assurance. Such structures are still largely absent in South Africa. Compared to the British and Dutch systems, there is, particUlarly within local university education, very little by way of collective structures and actions towards ensuring quality. The link between quality of education and state funding is well established in the overseas countries studied. As a corollary to this, various measuring instruments have been developed for the purpose of determining quality. In this respect it is significant that in the United Kingdom the emphasis is on performance criteria, while in the Netherlands preference is given to peer evaluation. Although the State may through its actions do a great deal to ensure quality of education, individual institutions cannot escape accountability for the development of self-evaluation systems and promoting an internal quality culture and value system aimed at enhanced quality. However, in the process it is important to maintain a balance between efficiency in terms of management and effectiveness in terms of output.