British Journal of Education (BJE)

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Exploring Total Quality Management (TQM) Approaches in Higher Education Institutions in a Globalized Environment- Case Analysis of UK and Sweden


Universally, the role of Higher Education is changing and getting becoming more and more integrated with the process of economic development and prosperity by contributing to the intellectual capital of many a country and act as a source of physical and social capital. This integrated global phenomenon is throwing multitudes of critical challenges in terms of developing qualitative approach towards managing higher education in a global platform with a clear objective to bring uniformity in many critical areas and reduce the gap of discrimination in terms of quality of education towards knowledge and skill building. This prudent approach and quality focus will make higher education not only more integrated with the global standards but also contribute to the talent equation of any country perfectly ready to take on global challenges and contribute towards economic growth and prosperity. The genesis of this research comes from the above backdrop which added to my quest to explore Total Quality Management (TQM) approach to Higher Education in a globalized environment with special focus on practices in United Kingdom and Sweden and analyze the practices of University College in Sweden. The quest to adopt TQM approach is to make the Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) more qualitative in the knowledge generation and dissemination as measured in the three most critical areas of Teaching, Research and Consulting as a part of extended activities. Total Quality Management (TQM) is inevitably common factor that will shape the strategies of Higher Education Institutions in their attempt to satisfy major stakeholders like students, industry, society etc. This research is an attempt to explore adoption of Total Quality Management (TQM) in HEIs as adopted by various industry and created bigger and better value delivery to its’ respective stakeholders and contributed richly to the economic development and prosperity of the nation. The adoption of Total Quality Management in education sector will have profound impact on the critical dimensions such as: Consistency, Fitness to purpose, Value for money, Transformative. The evolution of various internationally recognized quality agencies like EQNA in Europe and QAA (Quality Assurance Agency) in United Kingdom is making the tough task of bringing and managing quality in Higher Education Institution possible and creating a framework for meeting the increasing expectations of stakeholders in alignment with the changes in external environment. Last but not the least, TQM is a general management technique can be applied to Higher Education Institutions to define and attain quality with a focus to meet and exceed the expectations of stakeholders by instituting the process of continuous improvement. Over the last few years, TQM has been applied in the education industry. Majority of the applications have been in the administrative side of the institutions, but some institutions have applied TQM to curriculum development and delivery area.

Keywords: Culture, Customers of higher education, Higher Education Institutions, Implementation, Models of implementation, Quality in Higher Education, Total Quality Management, Transformations

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