In essence, quality assurance is very much a complex issue, with different perspectives, normative ideals and interpretive patterns on the nature of quality and the functions of quality assurance that compete and sometimes conflict with each other. The diversity of stakeholder perspectives and values is taken up by concepts such as the “quality culture” idea promoted by EUA.
Here, quality assurance is very much understood as values and practices that are shared by the institutional community and that have to be nurtured on many levels and by various means at the same time. How institutions could come to such shared understandings, however, and how they can develop ways of engaging all of their major stakeholder groups in the joint development of such a quality culture continues to be a challenge. Drawn from discussions in a series of workshops with QA practitioners from all over Europe, this paper will analyse the most critical factors with regard to stakeholder involvement and propose a number of actions on how the problem can be tackled — or at least reframed in a constructive way.
This paper was presented at EQAF and reflects the views of the named authors only.