The Influence of the HEQC's institutional audits on teaching and learning at three South African universities

19 May 2016

Institutional audits constitute one of the ways through which South Africa’s Higher Education Quality Committee (HEQC) executes its quality assurance mandate. The study investigated the effect of the HEQC’s institutional audits on teaching and learning at three South African universities. A case study design was used for the investigation. A total of 58 participants spread across the three selected universities were interviewed in 27 interview sessions. The findings indicate that the audits have had a positive, albeit limited and variable, effect on teaching and learning, and on the support functions for teaching and learning at the three universities. Though there seems to have been considerable progress made in some areas, in other areas the institutions seemed to be struggling to implement their improvement plan effectively and probably need support. Some of the recommendations based on the present study’s findings are that the HEQC should put in place more robust follow-up and monitoring mechanisms, including compulsory follow-up site visits, and that institutional audits be conducted at more universities to test the findings of this study.