Kaunas University of Technology (LITHUANIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2011 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Pages: 2165-2174
ISBN: 978-84-615-3324-4
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2011
Location: Madrid, Spain
Purpose – To analyse how the strategic development goals can be used for continuous quality improvement in educational organizations.
Design/methodology/approach – Assuming that education today ceases to be viewed only as preparation for life (Boyadjieva & Petkov, 2005), there is a huge interest in exploring the power of education as a way of personal and organizational development (Coleman & Ingram, 2004). Despite the facts that education quality is a matter of personal judgment (Doherty, 2008) and that both from the perspective of quality‘s dimensions (input, process and output) and from the perspective of the stakeholders, there are many views of quality (Guellali, 2008), nowadays a key element in the education field is the emphasis on the pursuit of educational quality. There are many possibilities with the implementation of quality management systems, however, emphasizing that the development of quality represents the development of educational organization, the new approach highlighting the relevance of continuous quality development and the dimension of strategic development goals is in demand. In this context Learner-Oriented Quality development and certification model (LQW) is the quality development process which is focused on organization strategic development goals.

LQW introduces a continuous cycle of quality development and combines internal and external quality management evaluation. According to LQW, clearly defined requirements of the development of quality are examined in eleven obligatory quality areas and must be proven in the self-evaluation report of the organization. The essential point to the LQW model are strategic development goals of the organization. Strategic development goals are the long-term and comprehensive goals of the organisation. They determine where the educational organization wants to be within a defined time period with reference to its expected future surroundings and represent the guiding principle for the long-term development of the organization itself (Zech, 2007).

The research reveals the main issues and achievements of three different kind of educational organizations in Lithuania by determining strategic development goals. The positioning of the each organization allows to get the common view of guiding principle understanding which leads to the potential of the organizations by ensuring a continual development of quality.
Findings – Research findings indicate from one side, the individual approach of each of three different educational organizations to the determination of strategic development goals ensuring a continual development of quality, on the other hand, reveal the common issues due to the general social-economic context.

Originality/value – The paper introduces exceptional approach to quality assurance which emphasizes the importance of strategic development goals. The empirical research shows the difference of strategic development goals in each organization and the main trends for the quality assurance due to the organizational and general context.
The paper is based on the material of the Leonardo da Vinci innovation transferring project “Crossnational quality management in continuing learning for people with low educational attainment in the European context” ("Länderübergreifendes Qualitätsmanagement in der Weiterbildung für Personen mit niedrigem Bildungsstand im Europäischen Kontext“) (No 2009-1-PL-LEO05-05039).
Education quality, quality assurance, strategic development goals.