THE QUALITY OF STUDIES: MANAGEMENT ASPECT
Authors: Vincentas Lamanauskas
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In recent years attention to quality of studies is not decreasing. Lots of different level and type articles have been written, books and other literature have been published. On the other hand, over the last few years different national, regional and international science conferences and symposiums took place. Some of them can be mentioned. In November, 2000, “International Conference on Quality Assurance in Higher Education: Standards, Mechanisms and Mutual Recognition” took place in Thailand. One of the main accents in this conference was the question on how to establish new mechanisms of quality assurance and quality improvement (Harman, 2000). In October, 2010, an international conference took place on Quality Assurance in Higher Education in Africa: Setting a Sustainable Agenda for a New Decade (http://www.unesco-bamako.org/conferences/). In February, 2001, 10th International Research Conference on Quality, Innovation & Knowledge Management (http://www.buseco.monash.edu.au/mgt/qik-conference/) took place in Malaysia. There’s no purpose in mentioning all conferences that were held. All of them were significant in their own way. After all, different events on university study quality questions are regularly organised by international organisations such as, for example, European University association (http://www.eua.be/Home.aspx). One of the mottos of EUA organisation is – strong universities for Europe. So, it is obvious, that the concern in the university study quality is really huge. However, the essence of the matter lies somewhere deeper. The main goals, formulated in Bologna declaration, had to be implemented by 2010. However, now it becomes clear, that some of the vitally important things were not realised and there are more and more doubts if they will, on the whole, be carried through. The Bologna process itself is not sought to be analysed. What interests us firstly, is the quality of studies’ management question. Various researches reveal that the university study quality in some countries has significantly decreased even measuring according to the most minimal criteria. First of all, this is because most universities are oriented into providing service. It is known, that service University is not capable to ensure the proper quality of the studies and of provided education at the same time. Mass universities meant for mass usage. University education is more and more “Mc.Donaldized” (Lamanauskas, 2011a).