Higher Education Quality – Quality Assurance Ideas For Higher Education

Even in the past, the primary focus not only of the government, but of every family, is basic education.

This means that there must be solid foundation when it comes to the learners’ elementary and middle school years.

However, what is always left as next in line is higher education. Sometimes, the improvement of higher education becomes a sole responsibility of higher education institutions. As such, higher education quality is sacrificed.

Yet, this scenario should not happen. The knowledge acquired by learners during their early school years would all be placed to waste should they get no quality higher education.

There must be a continuous acquisition of knowledge so that learners would turn out to be better and more productive individuals.

In order to assure the quality of higher education institutions as well as of higher education in general, here are some of the steps that must be undertaken.

If these recommendations were be put to practice, not only the students, but the entire education stakeholders, would benefit from the results.

1. Review and revisit each course curriculum. The main reason why some curriculums tend not to be effective anymore is that they are already outdated. Some of the contents only address the needs of the learners in the past.

As education is alive and evolving, so are the needs of the learners. Therefore, each higher education institution must see to it that there are updates to the curriculum.

It must integrate the changes that are currently arising. It must also have corrective feedback on the errors, if there are any, of the previous curriculum.

By this, learners would see the educational process as more relevant and responsive to the call of the times.

2. Check the learners’ ability to apply theories learned. Another issue why higher education quality is always questioned is the learners’ ability to put to life what they have learned in the four corners of the classroom.

Some learners might be mentally capable and excellent when it comes to theories. However, when asked to go to the field, they could hardly practice what they have learned in school.

In short, learners were not prepared for real life tasks. It is therefore another issue that must be given priority. The content of the courses they are taking must have practical applications. By this, even in school, students can already anticipate what might probably happen in the real scenario.

The students however, should be assessed individually. At the end of the day, there must be an assurance that people who need to learn at a different pace are given that opportunity.

3. Give focus on faculty development. Sometimes, the success of every curriculum also depends on the teacher. No matter how great the planned curriculum is if the teacher could not carry it out well, then it would be useless.

Therefore, along with the updating of the curriculum is the updating of the teacher as well.

This holds true not only to new teachers, but to those who are teaching for quite some time already. Everyone in the academe needs to update themselves with current trends in order to give a better point of view during the discussion of the lesson.

The worst part is if students know more than teachers do. As such, faculty development must also be one of the targets.

4. Stop rewarding poor student performance with the theory that no one is left behind. It’s ridiculous to assume that every single student should move forward with their class if they are flunking out of school.

Let those that need to be held back, GET HELD BACK. Perhaps the stigma attached to doing better in school would be reaffirmed if students themselves were held to higher level of accountability.

These four are only some of the steps that must be undertaken to ensure quality higher education.

There are definitely a lot more things to be done to come up with only the best environment conducive for higher education.

This must be a constant battle to be done not only by one, but the entire learning environment.

Students Can Choose Countries Other Than the US or UK for Higher Education

Utrecht University, Netherlands is ranked at 86th position by education advisory Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings, 2017. Apart from being affordable, the campus is an abode for students all around the world.

Phil Baty, World University Ranking Editor at Times Higher Education, said that cities such as Utrecht, Cape Town of Africa and Daejeon of South Korea have varsities in the Top 100 and this shows about the options students have. Though the rankings are topped by the US and UK but there are countries from Asia and Europe on the list also.

The Asian and European countries include Universities from Germany, Sweden, Belgium, Japan, South Korea, Switzerland and Finland. The University of Hong Kong is ranked at 43th position, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) in South Korea is at 89th position and University of Cape Town in South Africa at 148th position among the top 150 universities on the list.

RSS Mani, Vice President of Institutional Development at the ITM Group of Institutions, said that environmental location of the university should not matter much. Rather students shall be more concerned about whether the university is reliable, the courses it offers, whether the country is immune to political issues and whether the students can adapt properly or not.

According to Education Consultants, the courses in Sweden are very well-planned and faculty is also of good quality.

Sweden has five globally acclaimed universities with a huge strength of foreign students. Karolinska Institute in Stockholm is ranked 28th by Times Higher Education ranking. It has ample scope for research, English courses and many students across the world.

According to a consultancy service, if a student wants to learn subjects like Genetics, Molecular Biology or Agricultural Engineering, Finland is a place to be. It offers an eighteen month work permit after completion of the course, trouble-free immigration policies and a better shared culture. The University of Helsinki, Finland is ranked at 91th position on the Times Higher Education list.

Chris Parr, Digital and Communities Editor at Times Higher Education World University Rankings stated that Hong Kong has six of the universities in the top 500 Times Higher Education ranking list and most of the university courses are taught in English and the universities have well-built associations with the employers which makes getting a job easy after completion of the degree.

According to an online counseling firm, China provides good job prospects to foreign students in Multinational Companies (MNCs).

For students who are interested in making a career in the field of photography or graphic design, Poland is the ultimate destination. The courses are taught by well-acclaimed professionals around the globe and the courses are affordable also

South Korea is the place for IT courses and jobs. Though the cost of tuition may be relatively low and the scholarship programmes are easy to avail but cost of living is expensive in some of the European countries. Looking for low-cost lodging in Stockholm takes time.

The Times Higher Education Editor highlighted the fact that most of the universities are still in the run of etablishing their status globally. Employers are thoughtful to a degree from a renowned institution in a country which is known for its high- quality education like the US or UK than they would do to a degree from a university that possibly they might have not heard of earlier.

Experts say that because of smaller Indian student communities in the unusual countries, one might feel like a stranger especially if English is not their first language. Initially understanding new culture is difficult but gradually one gets adapted to it.

Open Architecture SaaS in Higher Education

Traditional, monolithic application suites were initially developed in response to the inability to integrate applications in the early days of the enterprise softwareindustry. In order to create a full breadth of capability, a vendor had no choice but to write every application module themselves or to advance their product line through acquisition, often resulting in problems with integration, usability or no integration at all.

While these approaches may have appeared sound at the time, experience with these systems has surfaced many challenges and short-comings. Many colleges and universities have had to adopt several disparate”suites” to meet the various needs of operating units throughout the college to best service students. The results are extremely high maintenance costs, crippling IT complexity, little ability to adapt to changing opportunities, and little to no integration across the organization.

A new paradigm for higher education enterprise software is upon us. Modern enterprise application architectures are moving away from the legacyapproach of the monolithic suite. Higher education has reached a tipping point in enterprise applications, a point which creates massive new opportunities for colleges and universities to transform their enterprise architectures and achieve greater benefits. Benefits of this new approach include:

  • Lower costs
  • Reduced IT complexity
  • The ability to capitalize on best-of-breed applications
  • An integrated enterprise

The future of higher education software rests with companies who are the best at their core business focus. These companies leverage new industry standards to integrate broadly with other important education and business applications, and make it easier for universities to integrate their own internally developed applications. Higher education no longer has to settle for a package of second-rate applications in order to benefit from the one application module that is core to their mission.

The Emergence of SaaS: Is it Enough?
Software as a Service, or SaaS as it is known, is a topic of discussion in most higher education IT circles today and adoption rates are on the rise. But what does it mean?

Because a SaaS application is delivered to the school as a service, securely over the Internet, the school is automatically kept on the latest version of the application, reducing costly and disruptive upgrade projects. Colleges don’t incur the expense and hassle of purchasing, installing and storing their own hardware and software, plus they can better leverage staff expertise by moving the focus away from software maintenance and upkeep to instead focusing on strategic decisions to improve the overall student experience.

While SaaS in and of itself delivers numerous operational and financial benefits for higher education, traditionally it has been viewed as a closed environment. To truly embrace the potential of SaaS, it needs to be supported by an open architecture.

Open SaaS: What Does it Mean for the Future of Higher Education?
SaaS becomes that much more powerful through an open integration architecture with either pre-built connections with leading business and learning applications or a college’s own custom applications that directly integrate to the data and business processes. An open SaaS environment means that colleges and universities can benefit from a reliable, dependable, low maintenance SaaS model, plus they can customize and add on to both simplify and centralize information management in a way that meets their individual needs.

An open SaaS architecture allows simple integration with additional technologies used by the institution, enabling schools to create an ideal environment capable of meeting its unique needs. Schools that take advantage of an open SaaS environment are able to create efficiencies for users by streamlining operational and reporting processes.

From an operations perspective, users only need to focus on the applications that are relevant to the school. For example, a school that utilizes on-campus housing may need to integrate a housing application, while an online university wouldn’t need that application.

From a reporting perspective, a school can obtain greater insights into its business by creating reports from a central database, across all integrations and applications. An integrated Ad Hoc report writer will allow a school to easily create reports and track results it needs to support prospects, students, programs, growth and accreditation. For example, a college who wants to report on student learning outcomes in an online environment compared to a campus-based course can easily do so because data will be centrally managed through the core system and accompanying integrations.

Open SaaS: Is It Right for Your School?
When assessing an open SaaS environment, schools need to take a look at their current systems and any redundancies and/or disconnects where information management can be simplified and streamlined. An open SaaS model gives colleges and universities the tools to better support students, maximize theirinvestment and drive a competitive advantage.

  • Supporting Students: An open SaaS model gives universitites the opportunity to constantly embrace new and advanced applications to meet the evolving needs of students and support them throughout their education. At the end of the day, a successful student experience is what typically drives institutional missions, and being able to readily adopt and create applications that enable a school to further support student success is paramount.
  • Maximizing ROI: Br creating a a structure unique to colleges’ own needs and processes, universities don’t have to pay for systems and applications they are not going to use. They also are not incurring exorbitant costs for custom integration into a closed system.
  • Staying Competitive: Staffing efficiencies in IT and across the institution mean that users aren’t burdened with functionality they don’t need, therefore giving them more time and resources to dedicate to recruiting and retaining students, as well as delivering and advancing programs to meet market demand.

Adopting an open SaaS modelcan enable your core system to integrate with preferred applications, allowing for complete student lifecycle management in a whole new way. The old rules and assumptions no longer apply, and the future possibilities of an open SaaS environment are quite endless.