In general, the expectations of the various stakeholders are likely to broadly agree: all parties will want to see graduates with the skills and knowledge to enable them to function effectively in society and the workplace.
However, there are likely to be differences in relation to the details of these skills and knowledge. For example, employers are likely to have a greater focus on being cost-efficient, and consumers are likely to have a greater focus on quality of service.
Case Study: Emilia
Consider the external stakeholders for Emilia's new Public Health Policy course.
- The Nursing Council of New Zealand - the statutory authority that governs the practice of nurses.
- District Health Boards - likely to employ graduates.
- Patients and patient advocacy groups.
What differences might there be in the expectations of each of these stakeholder groups? Who might the internal stakeholders be in her organisation?
Case Study: Brett
Consider the stakeholders for Brett's carpentry courses.
- The Department of Building and Housing - that oversees the NZ building regulations.
- The Building and Construction Industry Training organisation - the standards-setting body that oversees the NZ carpentry qualifications.
- Building companies and tradespeople - who are likely to employ graduates.
- His organisations's academic committee - which is responsible for quality assurance of the courses.
- Colleagues who teach the carpentry courses.
- Managers in the organisation - responsible for allocating resources to the carpentry courses.
What differences might there be in the expectations of each of these groups? Are external stakeholders likely to have different expectations from internal stakeholders?
Because of these differences, it is good practice to include representatives of a range of external and internal stakeholder groups when developing, approving and reviewing courses and programmes. We looked at some of these processes in the topic on Quality assurance in education - take a few minutes now to refresh your memory if necessary!
Case Study: Emilia
Emilia's department has regular consultation with health sector stakeholders through its advisory committee. These stakeholders helped identify that there was a need for the new course, and have also been involved in developing the course curriculum.
The relationship with stakeholders does not end when the course is up and running. Emilia's department recognises the need to maintain strong relationships with stakeholders, so the advisory committee meets two or three times every year on an ongoing basis.