Educational Services an Overview

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Development of an Instrument to Assess Student Perceptions of the Quality of Tertiary Education in INDIAN Context Suparswa Chakraborty

Educational services can be categorized into five parts: (a) primary education services; (b) secondary education services; (c) higher education services (i.e., education beyond secondary education includes all tertiary education); (d) adult education; and (e) other education services (e.g., liberal arts, business, professional). Such education and training encompass degree courses taken for college or university credits or non-degree courses taken for personal edification or pleasure or to upgrade work-related skills. Such education and training services can be provided in traditional institutional settings, such as universities or schools and in specialized institutions.

Higher (tertiary) education, adult education, and training services are expanding rapidly. These services include academic and training courses on information technology; languages; executive, management and leadership training and hotel and tourism education. They also include educational testing services and corporate training services. Many of these are practical courses for use on the job. Some can be used as credits toward degrees; and some are non-degree courses. Increasingly, educational institutions and publishers are teaming up with information technology companies and other experts to design courses of instruction on a variety of subjects. Large companies also are developing education and training courses to improve the skills of their employees and to keep them up to date on their latest products. Such services constitute a growing, international business, supplementing the public education system and contributing to global spread of the modern “knowledge” economy. Availability of these education and training services can help to develop a more efficient workforce, leading countries to an improved competitive position in the world economy.

Education is at present one of the least committed of services sectors, due to recognition of its “public good” element and the high degree of government involvement in its provision. The benefits associated with liberalising education services and facilitating greater and stronger public and private education services can co-existing which would benefit students and education service providers would get improved in the following manner:

• Facilitating access to education and training courses that in qualitative and quantitative terms which are not otherwise available in the public sector; and

• Providing a competitive stimulus to institutions with flow-on benefits to all students.

• The education services negotiations should aim to give consumers (students) access to the best education services wherever they are provided and through whatever mode of supply they are provided.

• Ensuring measures that consumers (learners) are not damaged by services of low quality, and a safety-net in such areas.

There are cases, for example, where the quality of a service supplied by a “university” in one state is not necessarily of the same level as that supplied by a university of another state, due to the difference in higher education system of the two states. It has also emerged that the quality of education services fails to be correctly judged, in cases where the service is supplied by a “degree mill” of one university by means of Distance-Learning.

It is difficult to arrive at a universally acceptable articulation of what quality in education means. At the same time, such articulation is critical since it plays an important role in shaping the practice of education. It has often been possible to bring about such quality in education at a small scale with intensive utilization of recourses. However, the provision/distribution of quality education by a large-scale system is a daunting...
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