19 November 2015 | EQAF Paper

Evolution of the QA culture at one university

David O’Sullivan 


Quality Assurance (QA) at one university has evolved significantly over the past 15 years in keeping with emerging European standards, reported best practices and structured feedback from key stakeholder groups. In 2001, the QA process was focussed primarily on peer review and involved extensive information reporting. It was characterised largely as a defensive process that struggled to convince various stakeholder groups that QA provided value. In 2015, peer review is now just one element of a broader QA process that is significantly leaner, evidence based and focussed around enhancement.

This extended QA process now incorporates a variety of activities including benchmarking, annual operational planning, controlled policies and procedures and performance measurement. The QA culture has evolved to become a significant agent of quality enhancement and is broadly endorsed by key stakeholder groups. This paper presents the evolution of the QA culture at one large university that has contributed to a steady rise in the university’s world ranking.


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

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