Q Project Phases Motivation  


Independent of the contextual differences you will always need to be clear about the reasons and motivations to start a quality project.


This part of the tool deals with the question of motivations in academic LLL quality projects. The main question that you should answer in this section is:



Why a quality project? 

For answering this question you have a collection of resources. These include a list of supportive questions in "Planning Questions", a description of the relevant "Issues", some "Recommendations" based on previous experience and some "Evaluation Questions".

You can use some or all of them to clarify your thinking. You will probably find a certain order and emphasis between the resources that will suit your way of thinking.

After having a look at the resources, you will have a chance to write down your ideas in the "Wrinting Page" and to remind yourself of the most important items in "To Remember" .

You can use a "Writing Page" and "To Remenber" in every phase and they will be available to you next time you enter with the same login.

You can go to the "Making It an Entirety" and print the whole plan (constructed with the Writing Page from every phase) at the moment you decide.

Planning Questions

interno: Writing Area

interno: toremember

1.What are the reasons prompting you to initiate a quality project?
2.Are there "hidden" as well as official reasons?
3.How much room for manoeuvre do you have in relation to the local and national context?
4.Does motivation come more from internal or external sources?
5.Is there a university policy for adult education?
6.Who is the project initiator?
7.Is this person or group also responsible for steering the project through to completion?
8.Does the quality initiative fundamentally embody a response to an external audit or is it geared towards development?
9.Does the national or local context work for or against the quality project? In what way?


The Issues

1 - Context (national and local)

Quality projects vary according to the political/economic conditions in a given country or region and the existing higher education systems.

It is important to know the exact socio-economic and political context in which the university functions. It may be that:

  • The State or the Region exercises a strict control

  • The University tends to be market-oriented

  • The academic world enjoys room for manoeuvre in its strategic choices

The institutional context also plays a determining role in the launching, monitoring and long-term establishment of a quality management project. For example, if a university is committed to a self-evaluation process, the continuing education quality project will probably be included in this process. But it could also happen that this project is spontaneously initiated by a service or department of continuing education without any official requirement for it.

2 - The dynamics which trigger quality projects

The underlying dynamics fall into three broad categories, which may operate on their own, or be interlocking. They may be associated with:

  • Obligation

This is internal to the continuing education structure and the university, but external in that the compulsion comes from the organs of government.

  • Opportunity

Arising from the development of projects and strategic objectives such as university aims or action plans as well as the availability of new methods and financial and staff resources.

  • Review

Arising from observation of aspects of the environment, such as policy trends or competition, acknowledged disfunctions, or the results of audits or enquiries.

Sometimes there is pressure of competition from other continuing education organisations outside the university. Quality management may also be seen as a marketing tool, or as a means of co-ordinating or harmonising practices within the university. It may also be an object for the continuing education service to become more visible within the university. It is clear from the experiences reported by the partners that quality management projects are very often set in motion by more than one of these triggers.

3 - Demand and contracts

In some circumstances it is possible set up a quality project may be set up which is not the result of an obligation or a contract but which, nevertheless, seeks to address current public policy agendas. In other circumstances there is more or less obvious demand which guides those in charge of projects towards objectives requiring analysis relevant to a particular field of action, i.e. academic quality as it concerns the education and training of adults. Regulatory obligations often entail projects of the "periodic review" type. On the other hand, client-oriented projects allow the development of processes that are capable of lasting over time. These two different approaches may nevertheless co-exist and interact over time.



  1.  Inform yourself accurately of the national situation, both current and likely future
  2. Assess what freedom of action you have within this situation
  3. Identify the internal and external pressures that give rise to your project
  4. Get the higher authorities in your establishment involved from the beginning
  5. Make sure of the co-operation of key personnel
  6. Be aware of the potential for conflict and manipulation between the key participants

Evaluation Questions

Evaluation Questions:

  1. Did you thoroughly analyse the background to the project?
  2. Did you thoroughly analyse the environment in which it would take place?
  3. Did you entirely understand the risks entailed?
  4. Did you find any "hidden" reasons at a late stage, over and above the official ones?
  5. Did you find enough room to manoeuvre within the political and institutional framework?
  6. Did the rationale for the project come mainly from within the institution or from outside?
  7. Do you feel the way the project was set up was consistent with its background and aims?
  8. Have you identified the dynamics that set the project in motion?