Keeping an eye on quality

09 September 2002
QUALITY Assurance at UCT was the topic of discussion at last week's Vice-Chancellor's Open Planning Forum where the speaker, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Martin Hall, discussed the challenges facing UCT's Senate-approved quality assurance system, one that will be fully implemented in 2003.

Hall spoke at length about the dilemmas facing the University in fulfilling internal objectives of continual attention to the quality of teaching and learning, while adhering to the external requirements of national policy and legislation.

Hall explained the primary purpose of quality assurance should be to review and improve teaching, learning and research on a continual basis. "Compliance with statutory requirements should follow from this, rather than drive the process."

He said that the substantive issue that needed to be addressed was how to make quality assurance work from the ground. In a devolved system of academic responsibilities such as UCT's, quality assurance should define the relationship between the faculties and the institution as a whole.

Hall said that the urgency to implement the quality assurance framework next year was because the Higher Education Quality Committee (HEQC), which is responsible for both quality assurance and programme accreditation, is scheduled to begin audits in 2004.

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