An analysis of effectiveness of quality management in private universities: A case of Women's University in Africa
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The main objective of this study was to determine the effectiveness of quality management approaches adopted to enhance the quality of education offered by WUA through a preliminary review of the implementation of quality strategies for the 2012 to 2015 Strategic plan. The specific objectives were to determine the effectiveness of strategies aimed at improving academic staff competencies and quality, physical facilities supporting teaching and learning, resources for supporting academic research and community engagement, staff retention and promotion and establishment of a quality culture. The research was carried out at WUA ZIMSEC campus. A self-administered questionnaire was used. Only middle administrative staff and academic staff were considered as the population under study. Junior administrative staff members were excluded from the study. The results from this study indicated that middle administrative staff and academics at WUA were aware of the importance of academic competencies and their effects on educational quality. However, there was a low level of implementation of the strategic objectives for enhancement of academic staff competencies. However, the impact even at that low level of implementation was huge as there was an increase in research publications, lecturers going on exchange visits and registration for PhD by 9 lecturers. Physical facilities at WUA are in a precarious state and very little has been done in terms of implementing strategies to improve the condition of physical facilities except the library and computer laboratory. Lecture rooms are overcrowded and need air conditioning and to be kept clean. From the results, it shows that except the library and computer laboratory, all other physical facilities are still in a precarious state as indicated by the fair, poor and inadequate ratings. More effort resources need to be channeled to improve the condition of the physical facilities as they affect the teaching and learning environment. There has not been much improvement in research and community engagement resources for the year 2012. Although individual faculties and the deanery had indicated their intention to improve the research and community engagement aspects, facilities and funds that support research and community engagement are still limited and inadequate. Hence, more needs to be done to improve on these very important aspects of university education. On staff retention and promotion, although the registry and Human Resources Department in particular had set out objectives to improve staff retention, the situation on the ground reflects a different picture. Generally, there is still low staff morale, and a call by workers for management to improve staff working condition. In particular, there was a call to put in place a Human Resources training policy. In terms of quality culture, most respondents were not sure of what elements of quality culture are in use at WUA. There is therefore need to have training workshops on quality across all boards if the drive towards attaining “Growth with Quality” is to be achieved. From the research findings it can be concluded that there is still a low level in terms of implementation of the strategic plan for various reasons. It can be recommended that the implementation of strategies for improving academic staff competencies, condition of the physical facilities, staff retention, research and community engagement be monitored to ensure that high levels they are successful as the potential has already been shown for improvement in educational quality even with the low levels of implementation achieved so far. A quality department needs to be established at WUA, not just for academic processes only as is currently the case with the Quality Assurance Committee just recently set up, but to oversee all quality issues for the whole institution from management, governance, processes and outputs and also the education quality.
Additional Citation InformationMunthali-Chikwanda, D. (2013). An analysis of effectiveness of quality management in private universities: A case of Women's University in Africa (Unpublished master's thesis). University of Zimbabwe.
Total quality management
Academic staff competencies
Teaching and learning environment