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Measuring quality in higher education

Rowley, Jennifer (1996) Measuring quality in higher education. Quality in Higher Education, 2 (3). pp. 237-255. ISSN 1470-1081

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Abstract

The service quality literature demonstrates that when seeking to design tools that measure quality, it is important not to overlook fundamental questions such as 'What is service quality?', 'What do the various instruments designed to measure service quality actually measure?', 'Do these instruments use the best questions?' and 'What is the relationship between quality measurement and continuous quality improvement?'. The first part of this article identifies the contexts in which educational or service quality measurement may be applied in higher education, and reviews research and practice. The second part of the article introduces SERVQUAL, as a focus for the debate surrounding the instruments for measuring quality that have been reported in the service-quality literature. The two distinct literatures, those of educational quality and those of service quality, each have some insights to contribute, but each has its own inherent debates. Exploring and integrating these issues for application in the measurement of educational quality is a considerable challenge.

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