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Total quality management in UK higher education institutions

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Total quality management (TQM) is a management process that has made its way into higher education institutions (HEIs) in many developed countries. For example, in the US, HEIs have been influenced due to the success of many large corporations. They were influenced by the critical state of education in the 1980s in terms of student grades, funding, and complaints from employers and parents. Many institutions began to implement it in the early 1990s and have been successful. In UK higher education, the progress of TQM is rather slow, with examples represented by only a few new universities. However, these institutions have benefited from a TQM process similar to their counterparts in the US, such as improved student performance, better services, reduced costs and customer satisfaction. The paper reports on the results of a recent survey on TQM in UK HEIs. The authors examine how TQM principles and core concepts can be measured to provide a means of assessing the quality of institutions on various aspects of their internal processes. It is found that the measurements of TQM principles and core concepts, which are critical success factors, reflect performance of institutions. Any change in the performance of the critical success factors affects the institution's business excellence. It also provides information to the institution's top management on its performance over time and in comparison with other institutions. The measurement method could be used by the quality assurers in the UK to assess education quality of HEIs.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 1999

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