n South African Journal of Higher Education - Assessment of quality in the management of an instructional offering at Border Technikon : a system approach




The context of Technikon Higher Education has changed, particularly in the introduction of research as part of the triad (teaching/learning, community service and research). Nationally, technikons are faced with the challenge of ensuring performance excellence, continuous improvement and academic quality in tertiary education. Now also, they face the challenge of including research as an integral component of graduate and postgraduate studies. The paradigm shift is towards a service excellence industry based on business principles. How to measure quality is a controversial issue and more so the instrument (ruler) used to measure academic processes in the technikon movement. Border Technikon has adopted the South African Excellence Foundation (SAEF) Framework to guide its quality processes. This framework has been applied to the recently introduced Research Methodology process at the Technikon and this article reports on the initial assessment of transferability of this industrial model as an instrument for use in Higher Education. The key question is whether the criteria of the framework, as applied successfully in commerce and industry, can be transferred with the same success to a service industry such as Higher Education, particularly to the Research Methodology process at Border Technikon. A brief overview of quality in the technikon environment, an initial Research Methodology process map, and the initial assessment of the application of some criteria of the SAEF model as an instrument will be discussed.


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