Implementation of Quality Assurance Guidelines and their Influence on Quality Education in Selected Public Universities in Kenya
Mutuma, Wilson Michubu
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Despite the Inter University Council of East Africa (IUCEA) and Commission for University Education (CUE) providing guidelines for assuring quality of education in universities, there have been concerns by various stakeholders on the quality of graduates from universities in Kenya getting into the job market. This study sought to determine the extent to which quality assurance guidelines by CUE have been implemented in public universities and their influence on the quality of education in Kenya. The study had four research objectives: (i) to assess the level of implementation of policies and procedures necessary for quality of education (ii) to examine the influence of existing physical and human resources on quality of education (iii) to assess the influence of learner-support services on quality of education and (iv) to assess the level of stakeholders’ involvement in curriculum development and revision in public universities in Kenya. The study was informed by the Comprehensive Educational Quality Assurance Model by Boyle and Bowden (1997) and Systems Theory by Ludwig Von Bertalanffy, later on adapted by Robert Owens (1981) in educational institutions. The study was Exploratory using Mixed Methods Design. The study was carried out in two public universities in Kenya which were purposively sampled. The sample constituted the following: 21 deans of schools, two quality assurance officers and 411 fourth year students. Three types of research instruments were used in data collection: questionnaires for deans of schools and fourth year students, interview guide for the quality assurance officers and document analysis. The data were analyzed both quantitatively and qualitatively. Quantitative data were analyzed using descriptive statistics aided by Statistical Package for Social Sciences. Quantitative data were presented in medians, percentages, correlations and tables while qualitative data were organized into thematic areas according to the objectives of the study. Quantitative data were displayed first and then corroborated by qualitative data. The study established that: universities had put in place policies and procedures on internal and external quality systems. However, these guidelines were not uniformly and adequately implemented across the universities; teaching staff in both universities possessed requisite qualifications and experience for teaching but all universities engaged part-time lecturers in teaching; physical facilities such as accommodation, lecture halls and ICT facilities were inadequate; student support services such as guidance and counseling, academic advisory and financial advisory services were not satisfactorily implemented across the universities. Finally, universities occasionally involved stakeholders in curriculum development and revision. It was established that inadequacy and poor implementation of some of these quality assurance guidelines affect the quality of education. The study recommends that universities adequately implement quality assurance guidelines to enhance quality of education.