Alshamy, Alsaeed Saad Alsaeed (2012)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
A comparative examination was undertaken of funding mechanisms and Quality Assurance Systems (QAS) in higher education in Egypt and the UK with the aim of identifying implications for reform in Egypt. These issues are examined by applying the concepts of autonomy, accountability, efficiency and equity as analytical and evaluative tools, chosen because of their central place in the analysis of the governance and finance of higher education. The principal sources of data are document analysis and semi-structured interviews with 47 academic and administrative staff in Cairo University and 29 at the University of Birmingham.
The main findings show that different forms of funding and QAS differ in their consequence for the autonomy, accountability, efficiency and equity of universities. There are also contested perspectives between the expectations of policy pronouncements and the experience of those working in the sector. It was also found that there are overlapping contextual factors of governance and culture that contribute to the impact of funding and QAS so that they cannot be understood as stand-alone ‘objective’ phenomena because they are shaped and re-shaped by the regulatory and cultural environment. This leads to the conclusion that changes to funding and QAS in Egypt need to be reformed and developed in ways that address issues of governance and culture. A set of pilot projects is proposed to test their feasibility and build support for change. While the study has identified several fundamental systemic problems that need to be addressed, it is argued that these are best done through evolutionary pilot projects such as evolving a funding formula; cost-sharing; staffing; student representation systems and capacity building and training.
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