21 November 2013 | EQAF Paper

Obstacles to quality in higher education institutions: The views of academics

Sónia Cardoso, Maria J. Rosa, Diana Dias


Academics are at the heart of higher education, being key actors for assuring and promoting their institutions and systems’ quality. This paper explores academics’ views on quality in higher education, by analysing the answers of Portuguese academics to an open question on the factors hindering quality within their higher education institutions. 

Overall the content analysis performed reveals that Portuguese academics tend to identify obstacles related to higher education institutions’ external context, the institutional dynamic, the core aspects of the institutional mission and the institutional actors. These findings are especially relevant for those working either in higher education institutions or governmental agencies. They may contribute to the design of quality assurance systems more likely to be supported by academics and therefore more likely to be successful, effectively contributing to quality improvement.


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



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