Mohammed Abaalkhail and Zahir Irani, Brunel University, UK
Purpose: This paper seeks to identify the main factors that influence the quality of education in general and the quality of higher education in particular from the point of view of British academics.
Design/methodology/approach: From a philosophical position of realism, the research relies on multiple case studies within a mainly qualitative research design that employs semi-structured interviews as its research instruments. This study, unlike much other similar research, has adopted an ‘inductive’ approach to research. Based on a review of the relevant literature, 11 hypotheses have been developed and later tested by analysis of the collected primary data.
Findings: After interviewing 30 British academics and senior mangers from nine different universities in the UK, eleven pillars/criteria are identified as having a crucial impact on the quality of education: Leadership and Strategic Management; Students, Academics and Staff Recruitment; Syllabus/ Curriculum; Research/Teaching; Pedagogy; Learning and research support; Knowledge Management; Academics’ achievements; Students’ progress, success and satisfaction; Universities’/Schools’ achievements; and Innovation and Change Management.
Practical implications: The findings should furnish academics and senior managers with assistance in sustainable quality development in education.
Originality/value: It is hoped that this research will build a new theory of the quality of education, particularly its sustainability.
Keywords: Quality of education, Quality theories, British universities, Higher education quality
Paper type: Research paper