From Quality Assurance to Value Management to Improve Training and Increase All Actors' Competencies: Talents and Welfare at Work to Solve Complexity

From Quality Assurance to Value Management to Improve Training and Increase All Actors' Competencies: Talents and Welfare at Work to Solve Complexity

Walter Nuninger (University of Lille, France) and Jean-Marie Chatelet (University of Lille, France)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9455-2.ch016
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Abstract

The construction of European Higher Education Area had urged the Higher Education providers to improve their operations for readability, trade and mutual recognition. The recent socio-economical phenomena had raised difficulties: a new and more constraint frame (funds reduction, greater profitability, autonomy of universities in France); evolution of the public's expectations symbolized by the “digital natives” (entirely connected urging instant satisfaction) and change of paradigm for actors facing complexity. These issues enhance the necessity of Quality Management for sustainability; by obligation or voluntary initiative, it is an opportunity to develop innovative trainings relying on the collective and intercultural skilled workforce. This paper shows how HE providers implement Quality Assurance; mainly focusing on organization. A feedback on trainings with distinct history will stress the operational aspect; bringing out good practices: trainers are customers too! Finally, a prospect will be done by focusing on social responsibility to involve the workforce in the process.
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Introduction

Evolution of the European Frame for Higher Education

The construction of European Higher Education Area (EHEA) started in 1999 with the Bologna Process and the creation of the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System to allow mutual recognition of curricula and promote European mobility. Besides the knowledge and competency framework, an additional benefit of ECTS (European Communities, 2009) is to consider the full learning workload required for an enrolled student in a training; either as synchronous time during lessons or asynchronous over time outside the classroom (like reading notes and documents, practicing with exercises and individual or collective activities, exchanging within the group, doing homework, preparing actions for the class, e-learning…). This “customer focus” therefore entails taking into account this factor during the design of the training to achieve the outcomes during the training realization. Quality stands as a major criterion of success for Higher Education Providers that urges them to improve their operations. Outcomes will be measured through the graduate employability but it is not simply a training offer; a more ambitious challenge is launched for giving access to a good education at anytime and for anyone. This means to train the right way (adapting pedagogy with respect to the trained group), to realize training in the right manner (with a set of learner-centered pedagogies, hybrid pedagogical devices, processes and procedures, supervision, control and support) with sufficient resources to satisfy society’s expectations (proper installations, skilled workforce for realization but also for support services, funding). Like any enterprise, the Higher Education providers are production units that produce offers of diplomas and graduates but also employment and recognition of the skilled workforce to cope with the society issue; this means knowledge production and transfer, abilities development, skill strengthening, value creation for trainees and society through training processes, staff and research as shown in the Structured Analysis and Design Technique in Figure 1 and Figure 8 further along in the text. Higher Education providers proceed under supervision of stakeholders and shareholders with organization, installation and management in an internal and local environment but also in a complex international context as shown within the conceptual map in Figure 2.

Figure 1.

Synthesized functional analysis of the acts of higher education providers (they transform to achieve outcomes and have impacts) in their environment (being controlled and internally supervised) through training processes supported by funding and skilled workforce

Figure 2.

Mind-map of worldwide complexity (center of the map; interconnection between societies, companies and people expectations (see Figure 12 for details) in which higher education providers operate (with internal complexity shown in Figures 8 and 11; organization-workforce-training) under constraints by states in a European context (see Figure 3) in addition of international ranking and standards

The process for EHEA was marked with European Community pressure to initiate framework for quality in higher education in Prague (2001) and to design agencies and associations in Berlin (2003) as the European Network of Quality Assurance (ENQA). The latter expresses principles and guidelines for quality management in the European area for Higher Education (ESG: European Standards and Guidelines (ENQA, 2009)): involvement of students as well as employers and society, central importance of institutional autonomy tempered for recognition with specific self-assessment, transparency and external quality assurance; adopted in Bergen (2005) and highlighted in London (2007) within the registration of agencies in the European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education (EQAR) that respects the ESG. The challenge is to guarantee quality measured with return on investment, respect of accessibility, level of cooperation between stakeholders, ability to improve in all domains that influence performances; a way for the universities to face national, European and world competition and globalization. The mind-map in Figure 2 gives a global vision of the international complex environment of Higher Education providers (with internal complexity too; see Figure 3) considering standards and laws (from states and Europe too) and competitors; all actors and stakeholders being in interaction between each other. Part of the system is the Tuning Dynamic Quality development Circle for Educational Structure in Europe (European Commission, 2007); a program design based on the definition of learning outcomes and skills to enhance quality.

Figure 3.

Mind-map of the higher education organization in France in the European context

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