An Assessment of the Internal Quality Assurance Mechanisms at the Open University of Tanzania
AbstractThe purpose of this study was to assess the status of Quality Assurance systems at the Open University of Tanzania (OUT) as well as give recommendations for improvement. The study employed the exploratory sequential mixed methods design that had three phases. The study sample comprised of one senior staff from the Quality Assurance directorate and 12 Heads of departments. Data was collected through an interview and a questionnaire. Qualitative data was analysed thematically while quantitative data was analysed descriptively using frequencies and mean. The study established that OUT had put in place an elaborate Quality Assurance (QA) framework with a directorate of QA headed by a director under the office of the Vice Chancellor. The university also had an IQA policy document as well as a QA handbook. The QA directorate had embraced the use of ICT as it employed online tools for monitoring various activities in the institution. The university also carried out a Self-Assessment every five years. However, the IQA at the university was faced by the following challenges: inadequate funding, understaffing of the IQA directorate, negative attitude by university staff towards QA staff, lack of involvement of HoDs in planning QA activities amongst others. The study recommends the following: the university should adequately staff and fund the QA directorate; the QA directorate should develop its activities in a participatory manner; and the QA directorate should increase sensitization of the university community on QA policies and issues.