QUALITY ASSURANCE IN MANAGEMENT STUDIES: CASE STUDY IN LIEPAJA UNIVERSITY (LATVIA)
When choosing to acquire a certain study program in a higher educational institution the education qualification of a corresponding profile is awarded in accordance with a set of professional standard. Professional standard of a director of enterprises and institutions has already been available in Latvia since 2002 and is selected as a basic qualification for preparing management specialists by a number of higher educational institutions in Latvia. Professional standard of a director of enterprises and institutions provides basic and specialized knowledge, skills and competence in preparation of specialists-directors and providing education in accordance with the professional standard is regarded as one of the basic conditions for quality assurance of studies. Therefore in the framework of this article, the concept of quality, education quality, quality of studies has been analysed in the context of various legislative documents of Latvia, ratings of global universities and U-Multirank and, as a result, the importance of interaction between teaching and learning, various internal organizational structures and services in quality assurance of studies has been established. Results of the empirical study concerning the opinion of 202 students of basic management study programmes of Liepaja University on the chosen study programme and the studies in general have been analysed within the framework of this article. The main objective of the study is to identify quality assurance segments of studies and their interaction. The study revealed that students link the quality of studies both with the qualification and competence of faculty and the practice and labour market opportunities, as well as the following support segment: infrastructure, administration, partnership and participation.
Liepaja University is one of the regional higher educational institutions in Latvia, therefore in the context of quality of studies the importance of the regional location of Liepaja University when choosing management studies was ascertained and confirmed: for 73.3% of the surveyed students the higher educational institution, being in close proximity to their place of residence, overall has been an important aspect in choosing to study in Liepaja University, but prestige of the higher educational institution and good feedback was found to be a less important criterion for making a choice (47.5% of students). Choosing the study programme based on recommendations by relatives, friends and acquaintances also has been an important criterion only for 35.6% of students, while the content or description of study programme was established as the main motive in favour of a specific study programme.