A New Management Model for Higher Education in Dubai-UAE: Quality Management in Alignment with Professional Autonomy

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
Many researchers argue that the total quality management model should be modified in order to fit the higher education context, yet there is no quality management model which is truly modified to take into account the nature of higher education and the need for professional autonomy including academic freedom and peer review. The purpose of this thesis is to develop a model of TQM that doesn't damage the scholarly values of higher education and enhances professional autonomy, including academic freedom and academic quality in teaching and research. The purpose and objectives are addressed through a theoretical and analytical review of the TQM literature in higher education. In addition to this, empirical data and interpretations are collected from faculty members from a sample of two universities in Dubai in order to study academics' perceptions of TQM in higher education. The two universities have been accredited by the Ministry of Higher education in the UAE and include both a private university and a public university. The subjects are academic staff in both teaching and administrative positions. These include faculty members and senior administration deans, vice presidents, and presidents. The qualitative approach is the best approach to primarily use in this thesis based on the interpretive paradigm. The new model that the thesis attempts to build is based on TQM concepts, yet depending on the interpretations and collected data irrelevant TQM concepts will be modified using the traditional university management models in an attempt to resolve the paradox and tension between TQM and those traditional models. The methodology uses meta-analysis for the TQM literature and involves collecting interpretations and narratives from academics to study the positive and negative influences of quality management practices on research and the teaching process. The methodology also includes quantitative analysis by using the survey instrument for the purpose of triangulation. Qualitative methods including interviews, questionnaires, and documents analysis are primarily used for the interpretive paradigm of using social constructivism to inductively develop a theory based on the grounded theory approach.
Universities and colleges -- Administration., United Arab Emirates (UAE), quality management, professional autonomy