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Title: The legitimation of quality in higher education
Author: Filippakou, Ourania
ISNI:       0000 0004 2717 1926
Awarding Body: Institute of Education, University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2008
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Quality in relation to higher education is anything but an innocent project: it is ideologically constructed and conducted. Quality has been set up as its own enterprise and systematically disseminates the meaning of higher education, explicitly and implicitly, stabilizing an ideological formation and establishing a social consensus. In a spiral of mutual reinforcements, quality naturalizes particular practices and, also, legitimizes this naturalness. The systematic critics of quality, however, call that ideological synthesis into increasing question. Quality in higher education is faced with a legitimation problem. It is therefore an appropriate moment to ask: can quality in higher education ever be legitimate? This study comes at these issues by being essentially conceptual in character, although there are also some empirical elements in it. In developing a theoretical understanding, quality in higher education is here advanced as a network of discourses. I further contend that these discourses and networks are backed up by power and that this helps to sustain their ideological character. The theoretical resources for the thesis have mainly been drawn by writers working in philosophy arid sociology and from social and educational theory, as well as in the field of higher education. The empirical location of the research is that of England and Greece. By drawing on examples of quality practices from these two countries, I am trying to illustrate my argument. The argument though is independent of England and Greece. The thesis has more than a purely theoretical interest. I try to show, in the face of a legitimation problem, that a legitimate quality system in higher education is still possible. I suggest that epistemologically a legitimate system can only be enhancement led, as it is the only place where creative spgces are possible. The major task is to imagine the characteristics of a theory which can account for these creative spaces in enhancementled environments of higher education. Accordingly, I go on to offer a set of principles for a legitimate quality system in the twenty-first century.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available