THE CONCEPT OF QUALITY IN HIGHER EDUCATION FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF STUDENTS: IMPLICATIONS FOR THE UNIVERSITIES QUALITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
1 ISG, CEFAGE (PORTUGAL)
2 U.ÉVORA, CEFAGE (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Conference name: 15th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 7-9 November, 2022
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:This paper aims to assess the perception of higher education students' expectations of the respective institutions in Portugal and the main critical success factors defined as quality criteria for the accreditation of universities and polytechnics. The project is initially based on a literature review of the current structure of higher education in Portugal (institutions, courses, students, legislation, etc.) and the evolution since Bologna of private and public, university and polytechnic higher education, in number of students.
The methodology is based in a sample of 600 student´s of the higher education in Portugal. This research is based in an inquiry divided in five parts (characterization of the sample; education quality factors; academic perceptions scale – QPA-EXP; student´s academic involvement - USEI, Higher Education Significance – ESES) in a total of 151 questions, that has been available in an open platform constructed with the specific purpose for this study, during the months of April until July 2022. The data was collected and there has been constructed a multiple regression model that consider quality as dependent variable and 16 independent variables (study plan, reputation, faculty, price/cost, facilities/campus quality, socialization, employability, location, university size, scientific research, variety of offer, academic services, spots and recreative activities, teachers). This inquiry is based in previous studies and methodologies with instruments and dimensions considered in the Higher Education Meaning Scale (Monteiro & Gonçalves, 2011, ESES), Academic Perceptions and Expectations Questionnaire (Almeida, L.; Costa & Araújo, 2012, QPA-EXP), Academic Involvement scale (Costa & Marôco, 2014).
In terms of data analysis and discussion, this study will use the Classical Multiple Linear Regression Model methodology to assess which variables significantly influence quality, from the student's perspective. As main results, it is possible to understand the variables of relevance to students in the definition of the main critical success factors of higher education institutions and if those can be defined as quality criteria for the accreditation of universities and polytechnics. One of the conclusions of the present study is that there is a significant difference between the criteria used by international accreditation agencies and the factors that affect the quality in the perception of the students, because several important factors that are significant to the students are not considered by the international agencies as the pedagogical and teacher´s performance that should be taken in account in the quality management system of the higher education institutions. This study also concludes that there are significative different influences of the several factors in the perception of quality and some of them used by the international agencies have no relevance for the student´s.
Keywords: Management, Quality, Higher Education, Key Success Factors, Students.