Issues and challenges in implementing quality assurance in higher education
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This paper deals with the issues and challenges facing the successful implementation of a QMS in an educational institution, namely, Strathmore University. It looks at the various steps followed to implement QMS in the University. Strathmore University (SU) decided to implement a quality assurance system in early 2003 to ensure excellence in the pursuit of its objectives. In the development of her strategic plan, the University identified the need to institute a QMS to ensure adherence to quality along the expansion path. It was a means of entrenching a systematic approach to quality management in both its administrative and academic functions. Ideally, the QMS should guarantee adherence to the University’s processes and procedures. The process of QMS entails various steps including the decision to implement quality assurance, making of quality related choices, educating staff, constituting the implementation team, defining statements, policies and processes, documentation, internal audit training and the audit process, certification and QMS monitoring and growth. The paper discusses the various challenges encountered in the steps of the QMS process. It further looks at positive and negative aspects of each step as well as the measures taken to overcome them. In conclusion, an understanding of the issues and challenges at each step of QMS implementations allows for suitable preventive and correcting actions to achieve optimal performance over time. Our conclusion would be of high interest to other local and regional universities who have decided to implement a QMS.