The perceived impact of quality audit on the work of academics

Ming Cheng*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)
86 Downloads (Pure)


Quality audit has become the dominant means of assessing the quality of university teaching and learning. This paper addresses this international trend through the analysis of academics' perception of quality audit. It presents a new way to understand quality audit through the interpretation of how frontline academics in England perceived and valued the audit culture and its practice. The paper reveals that quality audit was regarded as symbolic regulation instead of power control over the work of individual academics. The increased awareness of the importance of good teaching practice was related to the fact that the internal audit process set up within the institution worked more effectively and was seen as more legitimate than the external one. There is evidence that academics' notions of professionalism have affected their attitudes towards the audit and its related quality mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-191
Number of pages13
JournalHigher Education Research and Development
Issue number2
Early online date16 Mar 2011
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2011


  • Perception
  • Professionalism
  • Quality audit
  • Tension


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