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Assuring Quality at Belize's National University: A Case Study of Institutional Perspectives and Practices

Transforming Teacher Education at all Levels

Author Information:

Dr. Ethel Arzu
Quality Assurance Officer, University of Belize
emarzu@ub.edu.bz
Dr. Cynthia Thompson
University of Belize
cthompson@ub.edu.bz
Dr. Warren Hodge
University of North Florida
whodge@unf.edu

Presentation Information:

Presentation #: 4
Date: 3rd June, 2015
Time: 10:30 am - 12:00 pm
Location: KHAIROON EAST (Room 1)

Abstract:

Globally, countries are paying greater attention to the regulation and promotion of quality within their higher education sector (Ewell, 2010; Federkeil, 2008; & Villanueva, 2012). However, Belize has been slow in establishing national quality assurance agencies, but there is now growing interest in reversing this trend. In 2012, Villanueva found that despite the passage of the National Accreditation Council of Belize Act (NACB) in 2004, which was part of a regional Caribbean Community (CARICOM) initiative to establish national accreditation systems, the Council was never established. In the absence of a national body, the University of Belize, as the premier institution of higher learning, must develop its own robust internal quality assurance system to assure stakeholders of the quality of education that the institution provides. Establishing a robust quality assurance system demands a unit be developed that has the capacity and resources to monitor quality assurance and improvement initiatives. This qualitative study will use a case study design (Yin, 2014) to explore and describe quality assurance perspectives and practices within Belize?s national university. Data will be collected through opened-ended interviews with academic leaders and from documents related to institutional policies and practices, and self-study reports from program reviews. Research questions that will guide this study include (1) How do academic leaders at Belize?s national university perceive and practice quality assurance? (2) How does Belize national university assess, monitor, and improve quality? The authors wish to be included in the poster presentation strand.