ASQ - Education Division

Balancing Customers' Needs and Standards in Higher Education

Abstract: Quality Approaches in Higher Education Vol. 3 (1) Feb 2012 article by Cathy Hall, William Swart, and Steve Duncan, all faculty at East Carolina University. As major business enterprises, today’s colleges and universities may want to consider strengthening their customer oriented approaches in interactions with students. Institutions of higher learning are grappling with difficult fiscal realities, a new emphasis on students as consumers, faculty challenges in balancing rigor and student course ratings, as well complex human performance processes. Student expectations, faculty pressures, and competitive markets all contribute to an environment where it’s now commonplace to negotiate critical standards in higher learning. This article examines various influences on institutions of higher learning as they move toward a customer-oriented focus. It also stresses the importance of balancing the needs of various customer groups while continuing to serve as purveyors of educated human resources in a global economy.

Keywords: Quality Approaches in Higher Education - Educational Quality

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