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External Quality Audit - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9781843346760, 9781780633169

External Quality Audit

1st Edition

Has It Improved Quality Assurance in Universities?

Editors: Mahsood Shah Chenicheri Sid Nair
eBook ISBN: 9781780633169
Paperback ISBN: 9781843346760
Imprint: Chandos Publishing
Published Date: 14th March 2013
Page Count: 308
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Table of Contents

List of figures and tables


About the editors and contributors

Chapter 1: Quality assurance – corporate fist in a velvet glove?


Australian quality assurance

Measuring teaching quality

Educational reform

Quality assurance for teaching at James Cook University 2000–10

The JCU historical context for quality assurance

Quality assurance – summary of influences on teaching

All is not rosy in the world of professors

Chapter 2: The impact of external quality audit in a private for-profit tertiary education institution



Evidence of effectiveness: global perspective

Brief overview of private providers in Australia

External quality audits of private providers

Quality audit approach

Discussion on the effectiveness of the quality audit


Chapter 3: Multiple views of quality audits in New Zealand: a case for advancing systemic understanding



A brief overview of quality audits

Quality audit in New Zealand

Views of quality audits in New Zealand


Chapter 4: Reflections on the effectiveness of four cycles of external quality audits in New Zealand universities



Universities New Zealand and the establishment of the New Zealand Universities Academic Audit Unit, Te Whanga Ttari

National context: recent government policy

International context

The impact of academic audit on systems and processes

The impact of academic audit on standards, outcomes and the student learning experience

The impact of academic audit at institutional and national level

The future challenges for quality assurance in New Zealand universities


Chapter 5: Enhancing quality assurance in an institution: the University of the South Pacific experience of an external audit


University of the South Pacific: an overview

A vision for the year 2020

The quality strategy

External audit

The self-assessment

Post-audit – the processes and impacts


Chapter 6: Quality audits in Hong Kong: seeking evidence of quality enhancement


The education landscape in Hong Kong

Quality audits in Hong Kong

Methodology for analysis of the Quality Assurance Council reports



Chapter 7: External quality audits and quality assurance in the higher education sector: the Malaysian perspective



Quality audit practice in higher education

Government policy on external quality audits

The case of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia

A practitioner’s point of view

Future challenges for higher education quality assurance in Malaysia


Chapter 8: External quality audit in the UK: an impact analysis



The purposes of Institutional Audit

The implementation of Institutional Audit1

The effects of Institutional Audit

Reflections on Institutional Audit


Chapter 9: Effect of external quality agencies on universities in India


The context

The Indian scenario

Effects of external assurance

Assuring transnational education

Lessons to be learned

Chapter 10: External quality audits in South African higher education: goals, outcomes and challenges



External quality assurance in the South African higher education context

Functions of the HEQC

Principles and approaches in the institutional audit system

Systems and procedures for institutional audits

External institutional audits: outcomes and impact

Impact of the audit process: preparation and site visit

The issue of impact through audit recommendations

Evaluating the student experience in audits


Chapter 11: Development, effectiveness and future of quality assurance and assessment in Italian higher education



Stages in quality assurance in Italian higher education

Conclusion: the trade-off between differentiation and standardisation

Chapter 12: Audits of quality assurance systems of higher education institutions in Finland


The Finnish system of higher education

Brief background of government policy on external quality audits in Finland

Role of FINHEEC, the national quality assurance organization

How do the audits impact on quality management?

Audits and educational outcomes

Students’ role in quality management

The impact of audits at national, institutional and faculty level

The future challenges of higher education quality assurance


Chapter 13: External quality auditing: strengths and shortcomings in the audit process



External quality auditing in Norway

A process view on audits

Data and methods

The functioning and effects of external audits in Norway

Some final reflections

Chapter 14: Institutional management and quality audit: the experience in Chile


Development of external quality assurance schemes in Chile: an answer to the challenges of higher education evolution

A study to learn about the impact of quality audits


Lessons learned and recommendations

Chapter 15: Scope, transparency and style: system-level quality strategies and the student experience in Australia



External quality audit and the student experience

The Australian Universities Quality Agency and the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency

System-level quality strategies and the impact of external review

Conclusion: the merits of external review and prospects for future development

Chapter 16: Accreditation and institutional learning: the impact interactions based on a minimaxing strategy have on the benefits from external reviews



Purpose of this chapter

Prelude: thoughts on the nature of learning

Learning as a stochastic proposition

Learning as a paradox

Perception and learning

The power of language used – who controls the narrative?

When learning happens

Limitations to organizational learning

Level 1: Nexus or nexum – type of interaction between HEIs and external agents

Level 2: Structural and cultural impacts on compliance


Chapter 17: Has it worked globally?



Have audits been successful?

Where to from here?



Whilst external quality audits have been in place for more than a decade in some countries, limited research exists on the extent to which such audits have been effective in improving systems and processes for quality assurance in higher education institutions, and the extent to which such audits have improved academic standards, outcomes and student experience. External Quality Audit looks at the experience of countries where external quality audits have been established by governments, and provides analyses of their effectiveness in improving quality assurance in universities and other higher education institutions.

Key Features

  • Brings together the experience of academics and administrators in higher education institutions
  • Examines international experience on the extent to which external quality audits have improved quality assurance at national, institutional and faculty levels
  • Gives perspective from a variety of higher education institutions


Academic and non-academic quality practitioners who have interests in higher education quality assurance, and government departments with responsibilities for higher education policy and direction


No. of pages:
© Chandos Publishing 2013
14th March 2013
Chandos Publishing
eBook ISBN:
Paperback ISBN:


"While this book is for academic and administrative staff and policy-makers involved in quality assurance and quality audit in higher education, it can be useful reading for academic librarians both because quality audit affects them, and because it helps to know what their academic colleagues are facing."--Australian Library Journal, September 22014

Ratings and Reviews

About the Editors

Mahsood Shah

Mahsood Shah is Principal Advisor for Academic Strategy, Planning and Quality at the Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia.

Affiliations and Expertise

RMIT University

Chenicheri Sid Nair

Professor Chenicheri Sid Nair is currently with the Centre for Advancement of Teaching and Learning, University of Western Australia (UWA), Perth. Prior to his appointment to UWA, he was Quality Adviser (Research and Evaluation) in the Centre for Higher Education Quality (CHEQ) at Monash University, Australia. He has an extensive expertise in the area of quality development and evaluation, and he also has considerable editorial experience. Currently, he is Associate Editor of the International Journal of Quality Assurance in Engineering and Technology Education (IJQAETE). Prior to this he was also a Managing Editor of the Electronic Journal of Science Education (EJSE). Professor Nair is also an international consultant in a number of countries in quality and evaluations.

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Western Australia, Australia