There are lots of definitions of quality, and also of quality in education. Garvin (1984) discerns five approaches: the transcendental approach, the product-oriented approach, the customer-oriented approach, the manufacturing-oriented approach and the value-for-money approach. Harvey and Green (1993) give five interrelated concepts of quality as: exceptional, perfection (or consistency), fitness for purpose, value for money and transformative. A new definition of quality is needed to explain recent quality issues in higher education. This article describes a quality concept with four constituents: object, standard, subject and values. The article elaborates on the values. Four value systems derived from Beck and Cowan (1996) are transformed into four value systems on quality and quality management: control, continuous improvement, commitment and breakthrough. These value systems make it possible to explain some recent developments in quality management in higher education.

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ERIM Article Series (EAS)
Quality in Higher Education
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

van Kemenade, E., Pupius, M., & Hardjono, T. (2008). More value to defining quality. Quality in Higher Education, 14(2), 175–185. doi:10.1080/13538320802278461