The Development of a Sustainable Quality Management Framework for Libyan Higher Education System
An increasing interest in implementing Total Quality Management (TQM) in the Higher Education Sector has been observed over the past decade. However, TQM sustainability is one of the major challenges facing this task. In this context, experts have emphasised on the need for understanding the synergies between TQM and sustainability models. The topic "Sustainable Quality Management"(SQM) explored through this research is an evolutionary future-oriented concept that is synonymous with "Sustainable TQM". This paradigm aims to integrate TQM with economic, environmental, and social an aspect which is commonly referred as the Triple Bottom Line (TBL). The aim of this study was the development and evaluation of a framework for SQM in the Higher Education Sector with a particular focus on the Libyan system. A sequential exploratory design was adopted to achieve this objective that involved quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods techniques. Through a review of key literature Eight Critical Success Factors (CSFs) and 72 Quality Action Programs (QAPs) concerning SQM were identified. Also, the links between the design criteria adopted by TQM models (Deming, PDSA, and EFQM) and Sustainability models (TBL and Five Capitals). These links were analysed in the cultural context of the Arab and Libyan Higher Education System, and five types of QAPs implementation gaps visible in the Libyan Higher Education System were evaluated. Through a structured questionnaire comprising 72 questions on various QAPs, responses collected from 678 academic and non- academic staff of two Libyan Universities, National Quality Centre and the Education Ministry were statistically analysed for trends and significant differences among the 26 groups classified for the study. These results were combined with 31semi - structured interviews that portrayed opinions of the Libyan Higher Education experts, using mixed methods techniques. This study identified several environmental and ethical QAPs that are relevant to be applied through TQM models in the TBL perspective of University campuses. In general, low levels of implementation of SQM QAPs was observed in Libyan Higher Education System due to lack of awareness, inadequate knowledge of quality management tools and techniques, the absence of quality training, incompetence towards evolving SQM policies and strategies and lack of measurement of key results. The thesis concludes with the SQM framework for steering the leadership of the Libyan Higher Education System towards improved sustainable quality standards and associated policy and strategy.
- PhD