The Impact of Involving Students in Managing the Quality of Higher Education Provision

Evelyn Chiyevo Garwe


This study was aimed at exploring the power of student involvement in improving quality of higher educational provision in private higher education instititions in Zimbabwe. A longitudinal approach involving two separate surveys and covering a period of three years was used. A preliminary survey aimed at assessing the issues that impact negatively on teaching and learning in five private universities was made from June 2011 to May 2012. In 2013, a follow-up survey was carried out to check whether the pertinent issues raised by students had been addressed promptly and adequately. Data collection included semi-structured self-administered questionnaires as well as focus group discussions with students and academic staff. The sample represented ten per cent of the enrolments of students at each university. The sample was representative of gender, study discipline and level of study. The issues that were prioritised as adversely affecting quality of teaching and learning were limited reading material; poorly qualified Lecturers; sub-standard teaching venues; inadequate assignments; part-time lecturers who abscond; sexual harassment and inadequate field trips and practical work. During the second survey, results showed that students were satisfied by the fact that all five higher education institutions had addressed most of the students’ concerns. However, continued increase in student enrolments perpetuated the problem of poor teaching venues. Part time lecturers continued to contribute negatively to the quality of teaching and learning. The study points to the need to continuously involve students as an effective way of improving quality of educational provision.

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Journal of Education and Training Studies  ISSN 2324-805X (Print)   ISSN 2324-8068 (Online)

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