Academic Leadership: The Online Journal


For institutions of higher education to be successful in the future, there is the need to deliver excellence in all its operations. This means that there is a real need to develop more effective and efficient institutional management practices (Steed et al., 2005). In order to reach this goal, many institutions are turning to total quality management models such as the European Foundation for Quality management (EFQM) Excellence Model as an effective and practical tool to support improvement opportunities within higher education establishments. In an introductory text reproduced from the EFQM Excellence Model Higher Education Version (2003), the EFQM Excellence Model itself was to take account of current management thinking, practices and working environment. Here, the Model is defined as a practical tool to help organizations establish an appropriate management system by measuring where they are on the path to excellence, helping them to understand the gaps, and then stimulate solutions confronting them. It is in this way that a model is seen to ensure quality and remains dynamic (Steed et al., 2003: 307-319; EFQM Higher Education Version, 2003). According to Saraiva et al., (2003), among several approaches that can be used to guide the implementation of quality management principles in schools, one that has been followed with success involves the adoption of excellence models to support self-assessment practices and continuous improvement.