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The purpose of this research is to carry out detailed study in order to measure the quality of education that is being delivered in Pakistani universities.
The growth of any country primarily depends upon human recourses as compared to other resources. Recent economic growth, technological advancement and globalization have changed the education scenario especially in Asia. There has been lot of challenges than before as education sector has to compete internationally. Therefore, it has become need of the time to improve quality of education in every aspect (Nayeri & Mohajeri 2008).
To implement quality there are a lot of ways that organization can build their systems: for example this may include following;
Total Quality Management
Time based competition
Judicious and Economical Employment of Resources
Building customer focused organisation
Activity based cost management
All of these strategies covered have not been pretty successful in the sense that these do not inherently link companies' strategies to future goals. Basically they are focused on what has been done not what has to be done. The approach to evaluate company's performance on past is what has been mostly followed in the era of Industrial age (Norton & Kaplan 1996).
Balanced Scorecard (BSC) is one of the tools that focus on future. This is a kind of a tool that enables a manager to navigate like a pilot with all instrumentation needed to make a successful flight (Norton & Kaplan 1996).
In education sector performance is getting critical day by day as we look into Pakistani society. Advent of HEC has really influenced this picture. Especially, the private sector universities have to cope with the standards laid down by HEC. Balanced Scorecard (BSC) can play a vital role in measuring the performance of these universities due to the fact that it covers the holistic view of any organization's performance.
Different Organizations are using financials and non financial level information in order to gauge their performance but BSC emphasize that the information should be disseminated to employees at all levels.
Norton & Kaplan's Balanced Scorecard
BSC is more than a performance measurement tool which aligns organization performance to its set strategic objectives. Thus it aligns past with future. It interprets company's mission and strategy into a thorough set of performance measures and offers a skeleton for planned measurement and management system.(Norton & Kaplan 1996).
It focuses on long term planning rather than short term goals. Normally, companies are concerned with financial performance. BSC retains the traditional financial aspect of companies and includes three more aspects that are very important in creating value for the organization and value of money for its stakeholders (McDevitt Giapponi & Solomon (2008).
Four Dimensions of Balanced Scorecard (BSC)
Following are the four dimensions of BSC that is proposed by Norton & Kaplan in 1993
Internal Business Process
Learning and Growth
The above figure clearly explains the four dimensions in connection with each other and their relation with vision and strategy. It shows that there has to be a clear link between four aspects with strategy of the organization and there has to be a balance between them.
Financial perspective is not only measure but it depicts that what are the profits of an organization. This is based on financial measures like Return on Investment (ROI), Return on Capital (ROC), Cash flows and Sales
In this aspect things like customer identification and segments are carried out. These are the aspects of customer to focus on its satisfaction and retention. Measures should be to keep customer values in view
Internal Business Perspective
The idea is to identify key business process which is the heart for organization in which it should progress significantly. This requires continuous improvement and innovation. In this way value for customer and customer satisfaction can be achieved i.e. close link between customer Perspective and Internal business process.
Learning and Growth Perspective
This focuses on the environment and infrastructure that should exists in the organization in order to be improving continuously so that they remain competitive. Organization must have a transparent approach when it comes to stating objectives, measures, targets and initiatives for each aspect so that they must link them to organization strategy. When BSC is applied it should make sure that it renders organization vision and strategy into concrete objectives and measures to gauge those objectives.
Measure should maintain a balance between peripheral measures related to customer and stake holders and inner measures pertinent to learning and growth and internal business process (Norton & Kaplan 1996). According to Kaplan & Norton (1996), "Most of the business organization is using BSC beyond premeditated and equipped capacity system. Modern companies are using it as strategic management tool". There are a lot of gaps, when it comes to other aspects than financial aspect. To fill these gaps organization need to be retrained and induction of IT and systems in the organization is very necessary.
Chen & Ching (2006) have stated that "performance management and evaluation in current time is the major focus of business organizations". The application of Balanced Scorecard and Six Sigma are most effective things in order to achieve business competence.
The educational institutions also learn from these organizations in this respect. In the global context educational institutions should set some performance measures in order to meet educational objectives and to improve competitiveness and to achieve sustainable development (Balas, Adachi, Banas, Davidson, HoshiKoshi, Mishra, Motodoa, & Ostwald 2008)
BSC Application in Higher Education
The education scene of Pakistan is no different from India especially in higher education sector. The downfall of an organization is frequently based on lack of solid organizational structure, no set recruiting procedure and employee retention is in adequate. Over and above irregular cash flows adds to this failure. Tertiary educational institutions are not exempted from this. (Umashankar and Dutta 2007)
There has been a lot of growth worldwide in higher education. Universities globally are now having a great challenge of facilitating higher number of students than before. They have to offer a lot programs as well. At the same time quality education is what is being expected from these institutions. (Umashankar and Dutta 2007)
Educational Institution can learn from business organization in terms of business competence and vice versa when it comes to leading by mission. Performance Indicators for this sector are not easy to establish as they don't have to deal with survival issues and competition is not that much intense traditionally. But in recent times, this thing has taken a shift. This sector is now more exposed to competitions and they now have to concentrate on mission, strategy, and performance management measures (Druker 1990; Sittu 1999).Educational institution needs a management that needs to be continuously up to a standard achievement (Sittu 1999).
Tertiary Education in Pakistan (www.hec.gov.pk)
University System in Pakistan was established by the British Rule during 19th century. Established in 1882 at Lahore, the University of the Punjab is the largest and the oldest seat of higher learning in Pakistan. The pattern of this university was British. According to HEC (Higher Education Commission) currently Pakistan education system consists of 49 Public Sector and 36 Private universities in Pakistan. Degree awarding institutes are 8 in public and 18 in private sector. Many universities and institutions have lost their preeminent positions. Only few private sector and public sector universities have tried and maintained their position in the environment of complex socio economic pressure and global competition change in educational processes and technological advancement. It has transformed the nature of Higher Education and its performance measures (Cheng 2003).
The private sector universities have emerged in the recent years to build an environment of competition in the country. So universities were restricted by government and politicians so that the education providers were very conservative and faculty performance was very low. Quality has always been a center of debate when it comes to higher education especially in recent times when there is lot of competition worldwide. There has been a lot of work in developing quality models based on pedagogical, organizational learning and Deming and Baldrige models. (Baradaran and Shai 2007)
In recent years in Pakistan lot of emphasis is being laid on Quality of Higher Education by HEC. They have tried to come u p with a criterion of rating universities based on the ranking to distinguish who is A level and who is B level university. There have been considerable work that have been done recently to elevate the standard of education in terms of changing the criteria for structure, content and delivery mechanism for our university system. (Mizikaci 2006)
Following are the statistics of enrollment trend in the Higher Education.
Enrollment by Level of DegreeÂ Â Â Â Â Â
Fig 1: Number of Students Enrolled for Different Level of Degree over Years.
Table 1:Â Â Â Â Â Number of Students Enrolled by Sector andÂ Level of Degree over the Years.Â Â
Above trend shows that there is a considerable increase in the number of enrollment over the years and in some cases it has increased more than 30%.Higher education is growing but in an unplanned manner. There are a lot of affiliated colleges with universities. So managing the quality of such big number of autonomous higher education institutions is a big challenge (Chen, Yang & Shiau 2006).
In Pakistani universities except few the teachers who do their PhD fall into teaching assignment and normally lack research and overlook this aspect. Teachers are promoted often based on degree, research publications and memberships in learned societies. But in very few cases they are promoted based on the quality of contribution in the area of teaching. Performance is normally based on number of research publications and number of PhD student supervised rather than quality of research publications. It's normally said that research and teaching does not go together. According to one school of thought say that they co exists and complement each other (Umashankar & Dutta 2007).
The degree awarding Higher Education institutions are giving degrees to students in science courses without looking into the fact that what will be their careers. There is a mushroom growth of these institutions and their quality in training the student is pretty poor. There are a number of reasons for this lack of resources, career incentive and research culture and grants. Teaching methodology is poor which encourage rote learning, ill equipped teachers and labs, lack of inspiration and commitment. Similarly text book written are pretty below standard. Many govt. institutes are affected by politics intruded into the campus life which has effected appointments and decision also effecting the investment in laboratories, IT, libraries and classrooms. This situation has caused to strangle top notch instructions and cutting edge research. The moral in academia has gone down due to ad hoc and part time trend rather than full time appointment. This has caused a damage to control to measure the quality of performance and place accountability on the concerned (Chen & Wang 2009).
What is needed is that there should be merit based norms, competition of research funds with a judicious mix of autonomy to do creative research and accountability to ensure productivity. "World Class universities require world class professors and students - and a culture to sustain and stimulate them" Altbach (2005).
There is lot of competition for public sector and they need to reform their operation and need to develop strategic management tools in order to have strategy in place. There is a big challenge of measuring the quality of private sector and autonomous bodies. If these universities can adopt key performance indicators of instrument like BSC, it will allow them to develop and allocate resources in a coherent manner.
Replication of Balance Scorecard from Business to Academia
Dorweiler and Yakhou (2005) have provided the translation of four perspectives from business to academia. They are as follows
(Student and Parents Perspective)
Student, employers, faculty, alumni, parents;
Teach innovations, public perception;
Faculty reputation, quality of service; and
Internal Business Processes
(Internal Education &Academia Processes)
Teaching excellence, quality of faculty;
(No of session, student feedback, Results on time)
Curriculum excellence and innovation;
(Course Design and Delivery, Course Enhancements)
Service efficiency and effectiveness; and
Innovation and learning perspective
Teaching and learning excellence and innovation;
Faculty development, technology leadership;
Program and curricular innovations and improvements;
Pedagogy enhancements, distance learning;
Value-added learning, lifelong learning;
Quality of facilities, reward system; and
Human capital investment
Note: There are many areas in fours perspective in depth but scope of research is limited to high level view of these areas.
Emerging areas of research in Balanced Scorecard and relevance to Higher Education
The growth of tertiary education has grown worldwide in recent years. Diversified disciplines and growth in student enrollment has raised the issue of performance of these institutions. This has also affected Pakistan as well and there has been tremendous growth in education sector in terms of number of institutions. Especially in private sector the universities number has grown considerably. Based on these facts performance of these universities and level of quality of education is real concern. The bodies like Higher Education Commission has been established by the governments in order have an authority to measure the performance of quality of education that is being imparted or research that is being done in these universities. Also these commissions are responsible for evaluating the infrastructure and facilities that are provided to students (Balas & Adachi 2008).
In order to measure the performance in terms of education, research, process and ROI for parents and students, Balanced Scorecard is the comprehensive tool to measure the performance in all these aspects. So far the work that has been carried out in the area is mostly qualitative and is case based studies. The areas of research that have the potential are quantitative analysis and model in order to measure the performance in these four aspects, in order to see how well an institution is performing (Cullen & Hassall 2003).
It will be mixed research methodology based on case study and quantitative analysis in which focus will be on Balanced Scorecard as performance measurement tool in Higher Education Institutions of Pakistan. It will be a comparative study of public sector and private universities sector in Lahore.
Following will be the method of research that will be followed
Questionnaire will be developed based on four dimensions of BSC and then statistical analysis will be applied to measure where each factor stands and comparison of these factors in relation vision and strategy using SPSS.
Data Analysis: This research is based on qualitative and quantitative study so a qualitative software tool like NVIVO or Weft QDA and quantitative tool SPSS 6.0 will be used to record the interview data and generated patterns will be analyzed.