23 November 2017 | EQAF Paper

Quality assurance in converging cultures

Olve Iversen Holaas


The paper discusses the necessity for flexibility in QA systems through a case study of a recent merger between four HEIs in Norway. It draws on experience from engineering education and shows how quality culture is a constantly changing entity as its actors are changing, as stakeholders are changing.

The paper argues for active involvement of external stakeholders in QA. External stakeholders are actors in the quality culture and therefore cannot be omitted in the QA cycle. All stakeholders, internal and external, are actors in the culture of the institutions, they produce meaning from the construable signs in the HEIs culture, meaning which again change how we perceive these very signs, or symbols. QA systems must therefore ensure that feed-back-mechanisms are in place on both operational and structural level of the QA, as frameworks change, as legislature change, as indeed stakeholders change. It is thus inevitable that QA-systems must change.


This paper was presented at EQAF and reflects the views of the named authors only.

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