Analytic Quality Glossary


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Citation reference: Harvey, L., 2004-17, Analytic Quality Glossary, Quality Research International,

This is a dynamic glossary and the author would welcome any e-mail suggestions for additions or amendments. Page updated 4 January, 2017 , © Lee Harvey 2004–2017.


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New collegialism

core definition

New collegialism is a responsive approach to organisation and governance in higher education that retains control within the academy.

explanatory context

New collegialism is usually contrasted with managerialism.

analytical review

Harvey (1995) states:

New collegialism is outward-looking and responsive to changing circumstances and requirements. It sees the collegial group as the forum for academic decision making but is prepared to enlarge that group to allow discourse and negotiation with significant others, not least students.... It emphasises accountable professional expertise rather than the inviolable academic integrity. Its perceived role is one of widely disseminating knowledge and understanding through whatever learning-facilitation and knowledge-production processes are most effective.

associated issues

The new collegialism emphasises professional accountability and co-operation and in this it reflects two key elements of TQM: delegated responsibility for quality and team work. The new collegialism emphasises continuous improvement within the existing academic framework. Despite a wariness of managerialism, the growing requirement for accountability and the consequent increase in external quality monitoring has been actively developed within new collegiate settings. It has provided the opportunity to grasp the initiative and reassess traditional collegiate allegiances and prerogatives including an acceptance of a widened set of responsibilities. This is evident in the growing transparency of practices and procedures within higher education..... Academic autonomy in the new-collegiate approach comes through ownership of the quality-improvement process and the development of an explicit professionalism.... The new collegialism is learning-oriented. It focuses on facilitating student learning rather than teaching, and explicitly encourages the development of a range of skills and abilities. It prefers transparency to obscurity. The emphasis, in teaching and learning, is on facilitating active learning through clear identification of aims and outcomes within an integrated approach that links objectives, content, teaching practices, assessment and student attainment.... (Harvey, 1995, p. 137).

In South Africa, the South African Qualifications Authority (2005) submission to the Council on Higher Education’ Task Team noted that:

iterative critical engagement and negotiated change are necessary to ensure higher education transformation and delivery to serve a new society. SAQA, as an implementing agency of the state’s key education and training strategy through the NQF, has sought to support the state’s chosen steering model by attempts to define higher education quality through a ‘new collegialism’. In SAQA’s view, this has meant agreement of standards in a participatory manner, so that higher education institutions can strengthen their own self-evaluation of performance against quality criteria agreed by the sector. The argument for iterative engagement is supported by the fact that emerging roles and purposes of public higher education in South Africa are in flux, and may therefore have led to unnecessary contestation in the past.

An example of an approach to is provided by (Moore, 2001):

By contrast, the next quote illustrates quite clearly the team-oriented approach advocated for the 'new collegialism', which is often driven by a strong commitment to pedagogy as well as by collective approaches to disciplinary and interdisciplinary projects. Crucially, the strong ethic of collaboration and consensus-seeking becomes central to negotiating a commonly-agreed, authoritative basis for collective action, whether this be curriculum construction or knowledge production:

I think that my experience of teaching is that it often takes quite a long time to build up a relationship with colleagues, whether within the department or outside, where you get to learn how you can work with each other . ... I came in with a number of colleagues ... who were very committed to team teaching, to listening to one another and to making the time to go to meetings, to briefing tutors, to selecting tutors quite carefully. And so in a way, there were a group of us who taught very closely to each other and when we evolved other courses, ... we would do it in the same sort of way, spend a great deal of time preparing the course, a great deal of meetings, particularly in the first year of the course, a great deal of feedback and thinking about what had gone wrong, what had worked at the end of the course. [This was] a group of people within that department who took teaching very seriously, people who were very much reading changes within the discipline, who were wanting to keep up with cutting edge innovations, in terms of journal reading or whatever. Again, it is not just teaching, but it is how the teaching relates to one's research, and wanting to bring new things in. (BH4)

related areas

See also

delegated accountaibility


Harvey, L., 1995, ‘ Beyond TQM', Quality in Higher Education, 1(2), pp. 123–46, pdf available here.

Harvey, 1995a, ''The new collegialism', Tertiary Education and Management, 1, pp. 153–60.

Moore, R., 2001, 'Policy-driven curriculum restructuring: academic identities in transition?' Paper presented at the Higher Education Close Up Conference 2, Lancaster University, 16-18 July 2001, available at, accessed 21 September 2012, still available 4 January 2017.

South African Qualifications Authority, 2005, South African Qualifications Authority’s Submission to the Council on Higher Education’ Task Team on South African Government Involvement and Regulation of Higher Education, Institutional Autonomy and Academic Freedom, available at, accessed 21 September 2012, page not available 4 January 2017.

copyright Lee Harvey 2004–2017

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