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Improving the quality of university education in Sri Lanka: an analysis of Quality Assurance Agency Council's reviews

Author:

Chandra Gunawardena

Faculty of Education, The Open University of Sri Lanka, Nawala, LK
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Abstract

Knowledge economy requires institutions with the ability to discover new knowledge, develop innovative applications of these discoveries and transfer them into the marketplace through entrepreneurial activities. Knowledge accumulation is increasingly at the core of a country’s competitive advantage. In Sri Lanka, during the last two decades, increasing concern has been expressed about the quality of university education.TheWorldBank (2009) reiterated that the establishment of a Quality Assurance System for the full higher education sector is of great importance. The Quality Assurance Agency Council of the University Grants Commission, Sri Lanka (QAAC) was established in 2007 to review programmes of study offered by various Departments of Study (Subject Reviews) and the quality of higher education institutions (Institutional Reviews). This paper analyses the institutional and subject review reports submitted for the state universities by the Quality Assurance Agency Council of Sri Lanka to identify key issues that the universities need to take up in order to assure quality. Overall, institutional reviews portray a positive scenario with the majority of the universities being on the way to improve their quality. Analysis of the Subject Review Reports indicate that, on the whole, the Departments in universities have performed satisfactorily, obtaining Good grades for half the courses and Satisfactory grades for 41% of courses. Eight Universities have received a higher percentage of Good grades for their courses. However, in some aspects directly impinging on teaching-learning, performance of some of the Departments has been adjudged to be Unsatisfactory. It has to be recognized that External Reviews can contribute only to a certain extent to improve the quality. These Reviews need to be seriously discussed at Faculty Boards and Senates and progress monitoring be maintained if the desirable outcome is to be achieved.
How to Cite: Gunawardena, C., (2017). Improving the quality of university education in Sri Lanka: an analysis of Quality Assurance Agency Council's reviews. Sri Lanka Journal of Social Sciences. 40(1), pp.3–15. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljss.v40i1.7497
Published on 29 Jun 2017.
Peer Reviewed

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