Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 998

Search results for: University quality assurance

998 Effectiveness of Software Quality Assurance in Offshore Development Enterprises in Sri Lanka

Authors: Malinda G. Sirisena

Abstract:

The aim of this research is to evaluate the effectiveness of software quality assurance approaches of Sri Lankan offshore software development organizations, and to propose a framework which could be used across all offshore software development organizations.

An empirical study was conducted using derived framework from popular software quality evaluation models. The research instrument employed was a questionnaire survey among thirty seven Sri Lankan registered offshore software development organizations.

The findings demonstrate a positive view of Effectiveness of Software Quality Assurance – the stronger predictors of Stability, Installability, Correctness, Testability and Changeability. The present study’s recommendations indicate a need for much emphasis on software quality assurance for the Sri Lankan offshore software development organizations.

Keywords: Software Quality Assurance (SQA), Offshore Software Development, Quality Assurance Evaluation Models, Effectiveness of Quality Assurance.

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997 Accreditation and Quality Assurance of Nigerian Universities: The Management Imperative

Authors: F. O Anugom

Abstract:

The general functions of the university amongst other things include teaching, research and community service. Universities are recognized as the apex of learning, accumulating and imparting knowledge and skills of all kinds to students to enable them to be productive, earn their living and to make optimum contributions to national development. This is equivalent to the production of human capital in the form of high level manpower needed to administer the educational society, be useful to the society and manage the economy. Quality has become a matter of major importance for university education in Nigeria. Accreditation is the systematic review of educational programs to ensure that acceptable standards of education, scholarship and infrastructure are being maintained. Accreditation ensures that institution maintain quality. The process is designed to determine whether or not an institution has met or exceeded the published standards for accreditation, and whether it is achieving its mission and stated purposes. Ensuring quality assurance in accreditation process falls in the hands of university management which justified the need for this study. This study examined accreditation and quality assurance: the management imperative. Three research questions and three hypotheses guided the study. The design was a correlation survey with a population of 2,893 university administrators out of which 578 Heads of department and Dean of faculties were sampled. The instrument for data collection was titled Programme Accreditation Exercise scale with high levels of reliability. The research questions were answered with Pearson ‘r’ statistics. T-test statistics was used to test the hypotheses. It was found among others that the quality of accredited programme depends on the level of funding of universities in Nigeria. It was also indicated that quality of programme accreditation and physical facilities of universities in Nigeria have high relationship. But it was also revealed that programme accreditation is positively related to staffing in Nigerian universities. Based on the findings of the study, the researcher recommend that academic administrators should be included in the team of those who ensure quality programs in the universities. Private sector partnership should be encouraged to fund programs to ensure quality of programme in the universities. Independent agencies should be engaged to monitor the activities of accreditation teams to avoid bias.

Keywords: Accreditation, quality assurance, NUC, physical facilities, staffing.

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996 Impact of Quality Assurance Mechanisms on the Work Efficiency of Staff in the Educational Space of Georgia

Authors: B. Gechbaia, K. Goletiani, G. Gabedava, N. Mikeltadze

Abstract:

At this stage, Georgia is a country which is actively involved in the European integration process, for which the primary priority is effective integration in the European education system. The modern Georgian higher education system is the process of establishing a new sociocultural reality, whose main priorities are determined by the Quality System as a continuous cycle of planning, implementation, checking and acting. Obviously, in this situation, the issue of management of education institutions comes out in the foreground, since the proper planning and implementation of personnel management processes is one of the main determinants of the company's performance. At the same time, one of the most important factors is the psychological comfort of the personnel, ensuring their protection and efficiency of stress management policy.

The purpose of this research is to determine how intensely the relationship is between the psychological comfort of the personnel and the efficiency of the quality system in the institution as the quality assurance mechanisms of educational institutions affect the stability of personnel, prevention and management of the stressful situation. The research was carried out within the framework of the Internal Grant Project «The Role of Organizational Culture in the Process of Settlement of Management of Stress and Conflict, Georgian Reality and European Experience » of the Batumi Navigation Teaching University, based on the analysis of the survey results of target groups. The small-scale research conducted by us has revealed that the introduction of quality assurance system and its active implementation increased the quality of management of Georgian educational institutions, increased the level of universal engagement in internal and external processes and as a result, it has improved the quality of education as well as social and psychological comfort indicators of the society.

Keywords: Quality assurance, effective management, stability of personnel, psychological comfort, stress management.

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995 Quality Assurance and Effectiveness in Kurdistan Higher Education: The Reform Process

Authors: Selar Othman Ali

Abstract:

Implementing quality assurance in higher education establishments is the main focus of the reform process currently undertaken by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. The reform agenda has involved attempts to improve academic quality and management processes in universities, technical institutions and colleges. The central challenge for the reform process is to produce change in higher education in a region where administration is described as centralized and bureaucratic. To make these changes, there should be a well-designed plans and follow up processes in order to monitor progress and develop responses to obstacles. Lack of skills, resources, political dilemmas, poor motivation, and readiness to face the consequences of change are factors which will determine the success of the reform process.

Keywords: Higher Education, Kurdistan-Iraq, Quality Assurance

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994 Online Programme of Excellence Model (OPEM)

Authors: Luis M. Villar, Olga M. Alegre

Abstract:

Finding effective ways of improving university quality assurance requires, as well, a retraining of the staff. This article illustrates an Online Programme of Excellence Model (OPEM), based on the European quality assurance model, for improving participants- formative programme standards. The results of applying this OPEM indicate the necessity of quality policies that support the evaluators- competencies to improve formative programmes. The study concludes by outlining how faculty and agency staff can use OPEM for the internal and external quality assurance of formative programmes.

Keywords: Formative assessment, Online faculty excellence program, Teaching competencies, University quality assurance.

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993 Novel Use of a Quality Assurance Tool for Integrating Technology to HSE

Authors: Ragi Poyyara, Vivek V., Ashish Khaparde

Abstract:

The product development process (PDP) in the Technology group plays a very important role in the launch of any product. While a manufacturing process encourages the use of certain measures to reduce health, safety and environmental (HSE) risks on the shop floor, the PDP concentrates on the use of Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing (GD&T) to develop a flawless design. Furthermore, PDP distributes and coordinates activities between different departments such as marketing, purchasing, and manufacturing. However, it is seldom realized that PDP makes a significant contribution to developing a product that reduces HSE risks by encouraging the Technology group to use effective GD&T. The GD&T is a precise communication tool that uses a set of symbols, rules, and definitions to mathematically define parts to be manufactured. It is a quality assurance method widely used in the oil and gas sector. Traditionally it is used to ensure the interchangeability of a part without affecting its form, fit, and function. Parts that do not meet these requirements are rejected during quality audits. This paper discusses how the Technology group integrates this quality assurance tool into the PDP and how the tool plays a major role in helping the HSE department in its goal towards eliminating HSE incidents. The PDP involves a thorough risk assessment and establishes a method to address those risks during the design stage. An illustration shows how GD&T helped reduce safety risks by ergonomically improving assembling operations. A brief discussion explains how tolerances provided on a part help prevent finger injury. This tool has equipped Technology to produce fixtures, which are used daily in operations as well as manufacturing. By applying GD&T to create good fits, HSE risks are mitigated for operating personnel. Both customers and service providers benefit from reduced safety risks.

Keywords: HSE, PDP, GD&T, risks.

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992 A Study on the Relation between Auditor Rotation and Audit Quality in Iranian Firms

Authors: Bita Mashayekhi, Marjan Fayyazi, Parisa Sefati

Abstract:

Audit quality is a popular topic in accounting and auditing research because recent decades’ financial crises reduce the reliability of financial reports to public investors and cause significant doubt about the audit profession. Therefore, doing research to identify effective factors in improving audit quality is necessary for bringing back public investors’ trust to financial statements as well as audit reports. In this study, we explore the relationship between audit rotation and audit quality. For this purpose, we employ the Duff (2009) model of audit quality to measure audit quality and use a questionnaire survey of 27 audit service quality attributes. Our results show that there is a negative relationship between auditor’s rotation and audit quality as we consider the auditor’s reputation, capability, assurance, experience, and responsiveness as surrogates for audit quality. There is no evidence for verifying a same relationship when we use the auditor’s independence and expertise for measuring audit quality.

Keywords: Audit quality, auditor’s rotation, reputation, capability, assurance, experience, responsiveness, independence, expertise.

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991 A Study of Quality Assurance and Unit Verification Methods in Safety Critical Environment

Authors: Miklos Taliga

Abstract:

In the present case study we examined the development and testing methods of systems that contain safety-critical elements in different industrial fields. Consequentially, we observed the classical object-oriented development and testing environment, as both medical technology and automobile industry approaches the development of safety critical elements that way. Subsequently, we examined model-based development. We introduce the quality parameters that define development and testing. While taking modern agile methodology (scrum) into consideration, we examined whether and to what extent the methodologies we found fit into this environment.

Keywords: Safety-critical elements, quality management, unit verification, model base testing, agile methods, scrum, metamodel, object-oriented programming, field specific modelling, sprint, user story, UML Standard.

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990 Cyber Warriors for Cyber Security and Information Assurance- An Academic Perspective

Authors: Ronald F. Gonzales, Gordon W. Romney, Pradip Peter Dey, Mohammad Amin, Bhaskar Raj Sinha

Abstract:

A virtualized and virtual approach is presented on academically preparing students to successfully engage at a strategic perspective to understand those concerns and measures that are both structured and not structured in the area of cyber security and information assurance. The Master of Science in Cyber Security and Information Assurance (MSCSIA) is a professional degree for those who endeavor through technical and managerial measures to ensure the security, confidentiality, integrity, authenticity, control, availability and utility of the world-s computing and information systems infrastructure. The National University Cyber Security and Information Assurance program is offered as a Master-s degree. The emphasis of the MSCSIA program uniquely includes hands-on academic instruction using virtual computers. This past year, 2011, the NU facility has become fully operational using system architecture to provide a Virtual Education Laboratory (VEL) accessible to both onsite and online students. The first student cohort completed their MSCSIA training this past March 2, 2012 after fulfilling 12 courses, for a total of 54 units of college credits. The rapid pace scheduling of one course per month is immensely challenging, perpetually changing, and virtually multifaceted. This paper analyses these descriptive terms in consideration of those globalization penetration breaches as present in today-s world of cyber security. In addition, we present current NU practices to mitigate risks.

Keywords: Cyber security, information assurance, mitigate risks, virtual machines, strategic perspective.

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989 Risk in the South African Sectional Title Industry: An Assurance Perspective

Authors: Leandi Steenkamp

Abstract:

The sectional title industry has been a part of the property landscape in South Africa for almost half a century, and plays a significant role in addressing the housing problem in the country. Stakeholders such as owners and investors in sectional title property are in most cases not directly involved in the management thereof, and place reliance on the audited annual financial statements of bodies corporate for decision-making purposes. Although the industry seems to be highly regulated, the legislation regarding accounting and auditing of sectional title is vague and ambiguous. Furthermore, there are no industry-specific auditing and accounting standards to guide accounting and auditing practitioners in performing their work and industry financial benchmarks are not readily available. In addition, financial pressure on sectional title schemes is often very high due to the fact that some owners exercise unrealistic pressure to keep monthly levies as low as possible. All these factors have an impact on the business risk as well as audit risk of bodies corporate. Very little academic research has been undertaken on the sectional title industry in South Africa from an accounting and auditing perspective. The aim of this paper is threefold: Firstly, to discuss the findings of a literature review on uncertainties, ambiguity and confusing aspects in current legislation regarding the audit of a sectional title property that may cause or increase audit and business risk. Secondly, empirical findings of risk-related aspects from the results of interviews with three groups of body corporate role-players will be discussed. The role-players were body corporate trustee chairpersons, body corporate managing agents and accounting and auditing practitioners of bodies corporate. Specific reference will be made to business risk and audit risk. Thirdly, practical recommendations will be made on possibilities of closing the audit expectation gap, and further research opportunities in this regard will be discussed.

Keywords: Assurance, audit, audit risk, body corporate, corporate governance, sectional title.

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988 Dosimetric Comparison of aSi1000 EPID and ImatriXX 2-D Array System for Volumetric Modulated Arc and Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy Patient Specific Quality Assurance

Authors: Jayesh K., Ganesh T., Suganthi D., Mohan R., Rakesh C. J., Sarojkumar D. M., Jacob S. J.

Abstract:

Prior to the use of detectors, characteristics comparison study was performed and baseline established. In patient specific QA, the portal dosimetry mean values of area gamma, average gamma and maximum gamma were 1.02, 0.31 and 1.31 with standard deviation of 0.33, 0.03 and 0.14 for IMRT and the corresponding values were 1.58, 0.48 and 1.73 with standard deviation of 0.31, 0.06 and 0.66 for VMAT. With ImatriXX 2-D array system, on an average 99.35% of the pixels passed the criteria of 3%-3 mm gamma with standard deviation of 0.24 for dynamic IMRT. For VMAT, the average value was 98.16% with a standard deviation of 0.86. The results showed that both the systems can be used in patient specific QA measurements for IMRT and VMAT. The values obtained with the portal dosimetry system were found to be relatively more consistent compared to those obtained with ImatriXX 2-D array system.

Keywords: Gamma, IMRT, QA, TPS, VMAT.

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987 An Analysis of Institutional Audits: Basis for Teaching, Learning and Assessment Framework and Principles

Authors: Nabil El Kadhi, Minerva M. Bunagan

Abstract:

The dynamism in education, particularly in the area of teaching, learning and assessment has caused Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) worldwide to seek for ways to continuously improve their educational processes. HEIs use outcomes of institutional audits, assessments and accreditations, for improvement. In this study, the published institutional audit reports of HEIs in the Sultanate of Oman were analyzed to produce features of good practice; identify challenges along Teaching, Learning Assessment (TLA); and propose a framework that puts major emphasis in having a quality-assured TLA, including a set of principles that can be used as basis in succeeding an institutional visit. The TLA framework, which shows the TLA components, characteristics of the components, related expectation, including implementation tool/ strategy and pitfalls can be used by HEIs to have an adequate understanding of the scope of audit and be able to satisfy institutional audit requirements. The scope of this study can be widened by exploring the other requirements of the Institutional Audits in the Sultanate of Oman, particularly the area on Governance and Management and Student Support Services.

Keywords: Accreditation, audit, quality assurance, teaching, learning and assessment.

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986 A Framework for University Social Responsibility and Sustainability: The Case of South Valley University, Egypt

Authors: Alaa Tag Eldin Mohamed

Abstract:

The environmental, cultural, social, and technological changes have led higher education institutes to question their traditional roles. Many declarations and frameworks highlight the importance of fulfilling social responsibility of higher education institutes. The study aims at developing a framework of university social responsibility and sustainability (USR&S) with focus on South Valley University (SVU) as a case study of Egyptian Universities. The study used meetings with 12 vice deans of community services and environmental affairs on social responsibility and environmental issues. The proposed framework integrates social responsibility with strategic management through the establishment and maintenance of the vision, mission, values, goals and management systems; elaboration of policies; provision of actions; evaluation of services and development of social collaboration with stakeholders to meet current and future needs of the community and environment. The framework links between different stakeholders internally and externally using communication and reporting tools. The results show that SVU integrates social responsibility and sustainability in its strategic plans. It has policies and actions however fragmented and lack of appropriate structure and budgeting. The proposed framework could be valuable for researchers and decision makers of the Egyptian Universities. The study proposed recommendations and highlighted building on the results and conducting future research.

Keywords: Corporate social responsibility (CSR), South Valley University, Sustainable University, university social responsibility and sustainability (USR&S).

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985 Survey of Curriculum Quality of Postgraduate Studies of Insurance Management Field Case: University of Allameh Taba Tabaee

Authors: F. Havas Beigi, E. Mohammadi, M.Vafaee Yeganeh

Abstract:

Curriculum is one of the most important inputs in higher education system and for knowing the strong and weak spots of it we need evaluation. The main purpose of this study was to survey of the curriculum quality of Insurance Management field. Case: University of Allameh Taba Tabaee(according to view point of students,alumni,employer and faculty members).Descriptive statistics (mean, tables, percentages, frequency distribution) and inferential statistics (CHI SQUARE) were used to analyze the data. Six criterions considered for the Quality of curriculum: objectives, content, teaching and learning methods, space and facilities, Time, assessment of learning. objectives, teaching and learning methods criterions was desirable level, content criteria was undesirable level, space and facilities, time and assessment of learning were rather desirable level. The quality of curriculum of insurance management field was relatively desirable level.

Keywords: Quality, curriculum, insurance management, higher education.

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984 Enhancing Students’ Performance in Basic Science and Technology in Nigeria Using Moodle LMS

Authors: Olugbade Damola, Adekomi Adebimbo, Sofowora Olaniyi Alaba

Abstract:

One of the major problems facing education in Nigeria is the provision of quality Science and Technology education. Inadequate teaching facilities, non-usage of innovative teaching strategies, ineffective classroom management, lack of students’ motivation and poor integration of ICT has resulted in the increase in percentage of students who failed Basic Science and Technology in Junior Secondary Certification Examination for National Examination Council in Nigeria. To address these challenges, the Federal Government came up with a road map on education. This was with a view of enhancing quality education through integration of modern technology into teaching and learning, enhancing quality assurance through proper monitoring and introduction of innovative methods of teaching. This led the researcher to investigate how MOODLE LMS could be used to enhance students’ learning outcomes in BST. A sample of 120 students was purposively selected from four secondary schools in Ogbomoso. The experimental group was taught using MOODLE LMS, while the control group was taught using the conventional method. Data obtained were analyzed using mean, standard deviation and t-test. The result showed that MOODLE LMS was an effective learning platform in teaching BST in junior secondary schools (t=4.953, P<0.05). Students’ attitudes towards BST was also enhanced through MOODLE LMS (t=15.632, P<0.05). The use of MOODLE LMS significantly enhanced students’ retention (t=6.640, P<0.05). In conclusion, the Federal Government efforts at enhancing quality assurance through integration of modern technology and e-learning in Secondary schools proved to have yielded good result has students found MOODLE LMS to be motivating and interactive. Attendance was improved.

Keywords: MOODLE, learning management system, quality assurance, basic science and technology.

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983 Identification of Critical Success Factors in Non-Formal Service Sector Using Delphi Technique

Authors: Amol A. Talankar, Prakash Verma, Nitin Seth

Abstract:

The purpose of this study is to identify the critical success factors (CSFs) for the effective implementation of Six Sigma in non-formal service Sectors.

Based on the survey of literature, the critical success factors (CSFs) for Six Sigma have been identified and are assessed for their importance in Non-formal service sector using Delphi Technique. These selected CSFs were put forth to the panel of expert to cluster them and prepare cognitive map to establish their relationship.

All the critical success factors examined and obtained from the review of literature have been assessed for their importance with respect to their contribution to Six Sigma effectiveness in non formal service sector.

The study is limited to the non-formal service sectors involved in the organization of religious festival only. However, the similar exercise can be conducted for broader sample of other non-formal service sectors like temple/ashram management, religious tours management etc.

The research suggests an approach to identify CSFs of Six Sigma for Non-formal service sector. All the CSFs of the formal service sector will not be applicable to Non-formal services, hence opinion of experts was sought to add or delete the CSFs. In the first round of Delphi, the panel of experts has suggested, two new CSFs-“competitive benchmarking (F19) and resident’s involvement (F28)”, which were added for assessment in the next round of Delphi.  One of the CSFs-“fulltime six sigma personnel (F15)” has been omitted in proposed clusters of CSFs for non-formal organization, as it is practically impossible to deploy full time trained Six Sigma recruits.

Keywords: Critical success factors (CSFs), Quality assurance, non-formal service sectors, Six Sigma.

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982 Investigating the Usability of a University Website from the Users’ Perspective: An Empirical Study of Benue State University Website

Authors: Abraham Undu, Stephen Akuma

Abstract:

Websites are becoming a major component of an organization’s success in our ever globalizing competitive world. The website symbolizes an organization, interacting or projecting an organization’s principles, culture, values, vision, and perspectives. It is an interface connecting organizations and their clients. The university, as an academic institution, makes use of a website to communicate and offer computing services to its stakeholders (students, staff, host community, university management etc). Unfortunately, website designers often give more consideration to the technology, organizational structure and business objectives of the university than to the usability of the site. Website designers end up designing university websites which do not meet the needs of the primary users. This empirical study investigated the Benue State University website from the point view of students. This research was realized by using a standardized website usability questionnaire based on the five factors of usability defined by WAMMI (Website Analysis and Measurement Inventory): attractiveness, controllability, efficiency, learnability and helpfulness. The result of the investigation showed that the university website (https://portal.bsum.edu.ng/) has neutral usability level because of the usability issues associated with the website. The research recommended feasible solutions to improve the usability of the website from the users’ perspective and also provided a modified usability model that will be used for better evaluation of the Benue State University website.

Keywords: Usability, usability factors, university websites, user’s perspective, WAMMI, modified usability model, Benue State University.

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981 Creating Entrepreneurial Universities: The Swedish Approach of Transformation

Authors: Fawaz Saad, Hamid Alalwany

Abstract:

Sweden has succeeded to maintain a high level of growth and development and has managed to sustain highly ranked position among the world’s developed countries. In this regard, Swedish universities are playing a vital role in supporting innovation and entrepreneurship at all levels and developing Swedish knowledge economy. This paper is aiming to draw on the experiences of two leading Swedish universities, addressing their transformation approach to create entrepreneurial universities and fulfilling their objectives in the era of knowledge economy. The objectives of the paper include: 1) Introducing the Swedish higher education and its characteristics. 2) Examining the infrastructure elements for innovation and Entrepreneurship at two of the Swedish entrepreneurial universities. 3) Addressing the key aspects of support systems in the initiatives of both Chalmers and Gothenburg universities to support innovation and advance entrepreneurial practices. The paper will contribute to two discourses: 1) Examining the relationship between support systems for innovation and entrepreneurship and the Universities’ policies and practices. 2) Lessons for University leaders to assist the development and implementation of effective innovation and entrepreneurship policies and practices.

Keywords: Entrepreneurial university, Chalmers university, Gothenburg university, innovation and entrepreneurship policies, entrepreneurial transformation.

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980 Service Quality vs. Customer Satisfaction: Perspectives of Visitors to a Public University Library

Authors: Norazah Mohd Suki, Norbayah Mohd Suki

Abstract:

This study proposes a conceptual model and empirically tests the relationships between customers and librarians (i.e. tangibles, responsiveness, assurance, reliability and empathy) with a dependent variable (customer satisfaction) regarding library services. The SERVQUAL instrument was administered to 100 respondents which comprises of staff and students at a public higher learning institution in the Federal Territory of Labuan, Malaysia. They were public university library users. Results revealed that all service quality dimensions tested were significant and influenced customer satisfaction of visitors to a public university library. Assurance is the most important factor that influences customer satisfaction with the services rendered by the librarian. It is imperative for the library management to take note that the top five service attributes that gained greatest attention from library visitors- perspective includes employee willingness to help customers, availability of customer representatives online for response to queries, library staff actively and promptly provide services, signs in the building are clear and library staff are friendly and courteous. This study provides valuable results concerning the determinants of the service quality and customer satisfaction of public university library services from the users' perspective.

Keywords: Service Quality, Customer Satisfaction, SERVQUAL Model, Multiple Regression Analysis

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979 Case Study: Linking Career Education to University Education in Japan

Authors: Kumiko Inagaki

Abstract:

Japanese society is experiencing an aging population and declining birth rate along with the popularization of higher education, spread of economic globalization, rapid progress in technical innovation, changes in employment conditions, and emergence of a knowledge-based society. Against this background, interest in career education at Japanese universities has increased in recent years. This paper describes how the government has implemented career education policies in Japan, and introduces the cases of two universities that have successfully linked career education to university education in Japan.

Keywords: Career Education, Employability, Higher Education, Japanese University, University Education.

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978 Promoting a Strategic Plan in the University Environment

Authors: Frantisek Jezek, Jan Sedlacek

Abstract:

This paper is concerned with the role strategic management plays in higher education and the methods it entails. Using the University of West Bohemia and the Czech Republic as examples, the paper describes the methods used in furthering strategic objectives within institutions and their different parts (faculties, institutes). The nature of the demands faced by the university dictates the need for a strategic framework which defines the basic objectives and parameters of tertiary education and research in a local, regional and national context. Sharing strategies with a wider range of actors (universities, cities, regions, the practical sphere) is key to laying the foundations for more efficient cooperation.

Keywords: Strategy, strategic plan, university, university environment.

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977 Customer Audits as a Quality Control Tool for Both Suppliers and Customers

Authors: Denisa Ferenčíková, Petr Briš

Abstract:

Customer audits are generally used to ensure customer that supplier is continuously able to meet his requirements while supplying him required products and services. However, customer audits can be considered as a very useful quality control tool for suppliers as well. In our paper, we analyzed the process of customer audits realized in Czech companies from both perspectives: a supplier´s viewpoint and customer´s viewpoint. At the end, we tried to emphasize some areas that should not be omitted during the audit process.

Keywords: Customer Audit, Quality Control, Quality Management, Product Quality, Service Quality, Process Quality.

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976 In Search of High Growth: Mapping out Academic Spin-Off´s Performance in Catalonia

Authors: F. Guspi, E. García

Abstract:

This exploratory study gives an overview of the evolution of the main financial and performance indicators of the Academic Spin-Off’s and High Growth Academic Spin-Off’s in year 3 and year 6 after its creation in the region of Catalonia in Spain. The study compares and evaluates results of these different measures of performance and the degree of success of these companies for each University. We found that the average Catalonian Academic Spin-Off is small and have not achieved the sustainability stage at year 6. On the contrary, a small group of High Growth Academic Spin-Off’s exhibits robust performance with high profits in year 6. Our results support the need to increase selectivity and support for these companies especially near year 3, because are the ones that will bring wealth and employment. University role as an investor has rigid norms and habits that impede an efficient economic return from their ASO investment. Universities with high performance on sales and employment in year 3 not always could sustain this growth in year 6 because their ASO’s are not profitable. On the contrary, profitable ASO exhibit superior performance in all measurement indicators in year 6. We advocate the need of a balanced growth (with profits) as a way to obtain subsequent continuous growth.

Keywords: Academic Spin-Off (ASO), University Entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurial University, high growth, New Technology Based Companies (NTBC), University Spin-Off.

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975 University Ranking Systems – From League Table to Homogeneous Groups of Universities

Authors: M. Jarocka

Abstract:

The paper contains a review of the literature in terms of the critical analysis of methodologies of university ranking systems. Furthermore, the initiatives supported by the European Commission (U-Map, U-Multirank) and CHE Ranking are described. Special attention is paid to the tendencies in the development of ranking systems. According to the author, the ranking organizations should abandon the classic form of ranking, namely a hierarchical ordering of universities from “the best" to “the worse". In the empirical part of this paper, using one of the method of cluster analysis called k-means clustering, the author presents university classifications of the top universities from the Shanghai Jiao Tong University-s (SJTU) Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU).

Keywords: Classification, cluster analysis, ranking, university.

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974 Creating Maintenance Cost Model for University Buildings

Authors: AbdulLateef A. Olanrewaju, Arazi Idrus, Mohd F. Khamidi

Abstract:

Maintenance costs incurred on building differs. The difference can be as results of the types, functions, age, building health index, size, form height, location and complexity of the building. These are contributing to the difficulty in maintenance development of deterministic maintenance cost model. This paper is concerns with reporting the preliminary findings on the creation of building maintenance cost distributions for universities in Malaysia. This study is triggered by the need to provide guides on maintenance costs distributions for decision making. For this purpose, a survey questionnaire was conducted to investigate the distribution of maintenance costs in the universities. Altogether, responses were received from twenty universities comprising both private and publicly owned. The research found that engineering services, roofing and finishes were the elements contributing the larger segment of the maintenance costs. Furthermore, the study indicates the significance of maintenance cost distribution as decision making tool towards maintenance management.

Keywords: Performance matrix, university buildings, costmodel, Malaysia

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973 A Survey on the Requirements of University Course Timetabling

Authors: Nurul Liyana Abdul Aziz, Nur Aidya Hanum Aizam

Abstract:

Course timetabling problems occur every semester in a university which includes the allocation of resources (subjects, lecturers and students) to a number of fixed rooms and timeslots. The assignment is carried out in a way such that there are no conflicts within rooms, students and lecturers, as well as fulfilling a range of constraints. The constraints consist of rules and policies set up by the universities as well as lecturers’ and students’ preferences of courses to be allocated in specific timeslots. This paper specifically focuses on the preferences of the course timetabling problem in one of the public universities in Malaysia. The demands will be considered into our existing mathematical model to make it more generalized and can be used widely. We have distributed questionnaires to a number of lecturers and students of the university to investigate their demands and preferences for their desired course timetable. We classify the preferences thus converting them to construct one mathematical model that can produce such timetable.

Keywords: University course timetabling problem, integer programming, preferences, constraints.

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972 Study on Diversified Developments Improving Environmental Values-In Case of University Campus -

Authors: Kuriko Iwai, Michihiro Kita

Abstract:

This study aims to clarify constructions which enable to improve socio-cultural values of environments and also to obtain new knowledge on selecting development plans. CVM is adopted as a method of evaluation. As a case of the research, university campus (CP; the following) is selected on account of its various environments, institutions and many users. Investigations were conducted from 4 points of view, total value and utility value of whole CP environments, values of each environment existing in CP or development plan assumed in CP. Furthermore, respondents- attributes were also investigated. In consequence, the following is obtained. 1) Almost all of total value of CP is composed of utility value of direct use. 2) Each of environment and development plans whose value is the highest is clarified. 3) Moreover, development plan to improve environmental value the most is specified.

Keywords: CVM, Development Plans, University Campus, Improvement of Environments Value.

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971 Emergency Health Management at a South African University

Authors: R. Tandlich, S. Hoossein, K. A. Tagwira, M. M. Marais, T. A. Ludwig, R. P. Chidziva, M. N. Munodawafa, W. M. Wrench

Abstract:

Response to the public health-related emergencies is analysed here for a rural university in South Africa. The structure of the designated emergency plan covers all the phases of the disaster management cycle. The plan contains elements of the vulnerability model and the technocratic model of emergency management. The response structures are vertically and horizontally integrated, while the planning contains elements of scenario-based and functional planning. The available number of medical professionals at the Rhodes University, along with the medical insurance rates, makes the staff and students potentially more medically vulnerable than the South African population. The main improvements of the emergency management are required in the tornado response and the information dissemination during health emergencies. The latter should involve the increased use of social media and e-mails, following the Taylor model of communication. Infrastructure must be improved in the telecommunication sector in the face of unpredictable electricity outages.

Keywords: Public health, Rural university, Taylor model of communication.

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970 Elaboration and Validation of a Survey about Research on the Characteristics of Mentoring of University Professors’ Lifelong Learning

Authors: Nagore Guerra Bilbao, Clemente Lobato Fraile

Abstract:

This paper outlines the design and development of the MENDEPRO questionnaire, designed to analyze mentoring performance within a professional development process carried out with professors at the University of the Basque Country, Spain. The study took into account the international research carried out over the past two decades into teachers' professional development, and was also based on a thorough review of the most common instruments used to identify and analyze mentoring styles, many of which fail to provide sufficient psychometric guarantees. The present study aimed to gather empirical data in order to verify the metric quality of the questionnaire developed. To this end, the process followed to validate the theoretical construct was as follows: The formulation of the items and indicators in accordance with the study variables; the analysis of the validity and reliability of the initial questionnaire; the review of the second version of the questionnaire and the definitive measurement instrument. Content was validated through the formal agreement and consensus of 12 university professor training experts. A reduced sample of professors who had participated in a lifelong learning program was then selected for a trial evaluation of the instrument developed. After the trial, 18 items were removed from the initial questionnaire. The final version of the instrument, comprising 33 items, was then administered to a sample group of 99 participants. The results revealed a five-dimensional structure matching theoretical expectations. Also, the reliability data for both the instrument as a whole (.98) and its various dimensions (between .91 and .97) were very high. The questionnaire was thus found to have satisfactory psychometric properties and can therefore be considered apt for studying the performance of mentoring in both induction programs for young professors and lifelong learning programs for senior faculty members.

Keywords: Higher education, mentoring, professional development, university teachers.

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969 Total Quality Management: The Socio- Demographic and Operational-Financial Determinants for Users- Perception of the Services Quality

Authors: H. Silvestre

Abstract:

The aim of this paper is to know the sociodemographic and operational-financial determinants of the services quality perceived by users of the national health services. Through the use of an inquiry conducted by the Ministry of Health, comprehending 16.936 interviews in 2006, we intend to find out if there is any characteristic that determines the 2006 inquiry results. With the revision of the literature we also want to know if the operational-financial results have implications in hospitals users- perception on the quality of the received services. In order to achieve our main goals we will make use of the regression analysis to find out the possible dimensions that determine those results.

Keywords: Management by Results, Quality Approach, Tableau de Bord, Total Quality Management, Services quality.

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