External international quality assurance at a higher education institution and becoming a learning organisation: A case study in the United Arab Emirates

Tezcan Unal, Burcu
(2018) External international quality assurance at a higher education institution and becoming a learning organisation: A case study in the United Arab Emirates. Doctor of Education thesis, University of Liverpool.

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Abstract Designed to focus on a practice-based issue, this interpretive single case study aimed to explore the hypothesised influence of extensive US-Based accreditation experience of a UAE higher education institution in it becoming a learning organisation. Conventionally, neither institutions nor accrediting bodies intend to use QA processes for becoming a learning organisation. However, common aspects between the espoused values of QA and learning organisations suggest that institutions may make use of external QA processes as a catalyst to institute a sustainable learning and quality-focused environment. The research topic was developed considering the global significance of the concepts in higher education contexts. The broader goal of the inquiry was to generate knowledge so as to inform local, regional and international practitioners on how to best invest resources to turn the external quality assurance processes into a sustainable growth opportunity for the institutions. In order to minimise bias and maximise rigour in this interpretive case study, the researcher employed mixed methodology and data analyses based primarily on a specific framework based on three building blocks of learning organisations: supportive learning environment, learning practices and leadership that supports learning. Data was collected from three different sources in order to triangulate the findings; a) documentary analysis, b) a publicly accessible learning organisation survey, and c) semi-structured, in-depth interviews. The results of the study indicate that external QA processes may potentially be utilised to become a learning organisation. However, institutional realities, external demands, and other contextual factors might enhance or hinder the possibilities. Despite the limitations of this practice-based study being conducted in one relatively small higher education institution in the UAE, the findings are largely consistent with the relevant literature. Thus, the generated knowledge lent itself to the development of a conceptual academic leadership model. As a result, recommendations are made to local and international practitioners on how to utilise the QA processes as a catalyst for becoming a learning organisation to combat constant changes and sustain growth. Some emergent recommendations are also made for QA policy makers who may be seeking ways to focus more on the quality enhancement aspect of QA. Keywords: learning organisations, quality assurance, higher education, leadership

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Education)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 16 Aug 2018 15:16
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2023 06:35
DOI: 10.17638/03020415
  • Winston, Kalman
  • Qualter, Anne
URI: https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/3020415