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					International Journal of Management (IJM), ISSN 0976 – 6502(Print), ISSN 0976 - 6510(Online),
  INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MANAGEMENT (IJM)
Volume 4, Issue 4, July-August (2013)

ISSN 0976-6502 (Print)
ISSN 0976-6510 (Online)                                                         IJM
Volume 4, Issue 4, July-August (2013), pp. 209-220
© IAEME: www.iaeme.com/ijm.asp                                            ©IAEME
Journal Impact Factor (2013): 6.9071 (Calculated by GISI)
www.jifactor.com




                  TQM IN ENGINEERING EDUCATION IN INDIA

                                       Ms. P. Rupha Rani
     Research Scholar (Full Time), Department of Management Studies school of Management,
                                     Pondicherry University



ABSTRACT

        The concepts of Total Quality Management (TQM) have become relevant for education
driven by the competitive pressures and needs and aspirations of various stakeholders. A lot of
emphasis is being put on the quality and standard of education. Growth and survival of technical
institutes totally depends upon the work culture, incorporation of voice of customers and error free
processes which drive these institutes. It is being increasingly recognized that high quality of
products and services are associated with customer satisfaction and they are the key points for
survival for any technical institute. Various concepts of Total Quality Management (TQM) are
relevant in this context. To aid the successful implementation of TQM in engineering education,
some directions are identified in this paper.

Keywords: Total Quality Management (TQM), Six-sigma, Excellence Award, Customer-centric

1.0 INTRODUCTION

        In recent years, there has been a manufacturing quality revolution, which began with Taylor
around 1920 and division of labour. Then Schewhart developed the control chart. They were the
dominant manufacturing force in the world and concentrated on the “product out” rather than the
“market in” situation.
        The Japanese then embraced their ideas and ironically with Deming and Juran (both
Americans) and home grown talent (Ishikawa and Taguchi et al.) developed today s quality concept
which are based on total quality management (TQM), and “market-in”.
Due to these concepts the manufacturing industry has gone from strength to strength.
        TQM is a philosophy of never-ending improvement achievable only by people. This has
grown from the view that quality cannot be “inspected in” to a product or service. The essential
feature of TQM is the improvement of quality, which depends on the attitude of the workforce. In
this context, the quality improvement in any organization must be the responsibility of every member

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of the organization. Thus, TQM is inseparable from general management practice. Manufacturing
process can be the act of providing something, which somebody wants. Therefore, the educational
system is not different from a manufacturing process. However, this system is at present falling
behind the manufacturing system with regard to quality within its industry. Thus, in order to
progress, it is felt that the educational system should adapt the concept of TQM, similar to that used
by the manufacturing system, to respond to the new development and indeed to survive in the
modern market place.
         We are faced to an urgent need for modernization and internationalization of engineering
education. Rapid technological development, together with economic globalization, tends to increase
the gap between the needs of the industrial world on one hand, and the "products" of engineering
education on the other hand. India is no exception to this. Industry is faced to successive waves of
change due to deregulation and global competition, but new technologies as well, which have caused
considerable upheaval in the industrial environment, particularly in the fields of information
technology (IT).
         Globalization also concerns research - and to a lesser extent teaching- in engineering. Now,
large corporations consult the best laboratories and hire the best engineers, whatever their
nationality. New learning technologies also impose to think deeply our teaching methods. This new
context must be taken into account in engineering education.
         The objectives are to create a quality culture and to develop the principles of error-free work.
The assessment of TQM in technical education begins by attempting to share a definition, but as
Taylor and Hill [1993] has argued, unlike other sectors, TQM itself is a concept, which is difficult to
evaluate in higher education. According to Harris [1994], there are three generic approaches to TQM
- first, a customer focus approach, where the idea of service to students is fostered through staff
training and development; second, a staff focus approach, that is concerned to value and enhance the
contribution of all the members of staff to the effectiveness of the institute; and the third, that takes a
service agreement focus and seeks to ensure conformity to specification at certain key measurable
points of the educational process. The dynamic and interactive aspects of quality in education are
highlighted by Dahlgaard et al. [1995] who define total quality education as: an educational culture
characterized by increased customer satisfaction through continuous improvement in which all
employees and students actively participate. It is realized that few special characteristics of TQM are
necessary to incorporate in technical institution.

Quality in education can be defined as:

       Value addition in education (Feigenbaum [1951]);

       Fitness for purpose (Brennan et al. [1992]; ); and fitness of educational outcome and
       experience for use (Juran and Gryna [1988]);

       Conformance of education output to planned goals, specifications and requirements and
       defect avoidance in education process (Crosby [1979]);

       Sahney et al. [2004] define quality in education from a TQM perspective and conclude:
Total quality management in education is multi-faceted - it believes in the foundation of an
educational institution on a systems approach, implying a management system, a technical
system and a social system. It includes within its ambit the quality of inputs in the form of
students, faculty, support staff and infrastructure; the quality of processes in the form of the
learning and teaching activity; and the quality of outputs in the form of the enlightened students
that move out of the system. Thus, quality in education is a complex concept with varying

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conceptualizations and this poses problems in formulating a single, comprehensive definition.
Some useful work reported in the literature on TQM in the context of educational institution is
summarized in Table 1.

Holmes                and Presents the view that total quality management in higher education institutions, and
McElwee                   the development of a so-called managerial ideology, has led to the inevitable
[1995]                    adoption of an approach to HRM policy and practice which is functionalist. However,
                          TQM in education may limit the productivity of individual.
Crawford and Shutler      Explains how TQM operates in the industrial context, comparison between the
[1999]                    Crosby and Deming models, relevance of TQM philosophy in education, detailed
                          analysis of how Crosby's model can be implemented in education, and finally a
                          parallel analysis of how Deming's model may be implemented in education, together
                          with a discussion of the major obstacles faced.
Harvey [1994]             Quality needs to be viewed as „transformative rather than perfection process, i.e.
                          essentially as a transformation of the life-experience of the students, by enhancing
                          or empowering them.
Kwan [1996]               Attempts to trace the literature that discusses the application of TQM in education
                          and addresses the differences between industry and education. Aims to explore the
                          relevance of employing TQM in education through criticism and benefits.
Owlia and       Aspinwall Initially a system dynamics approach is applied to strengthen the understanding on
[1997]                    TQM in higher education. A survey and case analysis is carried out to identify the
                          factors related to TQM in higher education and then a checklist for implementing
                          TQM philosophy in US higher education system is developed.
Sahney, et al. [2004]     An integrated approach is applied to identify the gaps existing in quality education
                          and customer requirements in today’s modern education system.
Sparks(1996)              specifying worthwhile learning goals and enabling students to achieve them
Swift [1996]              Identifies problem areas for the selected engineering institution and reports the
                          benefits of group project. It suggests the measures for improvement in quality of
                          education with application of quality control and management.
Thakkar et al [2006]      Explains how six-sigma approach can be implemented
Thakkar et al. [2006]     Explains how QFD can be integrated into TQM
       After understanding the need for TQM, it is interesting to note various perspectives that may
be useful for propagating the message of TQM in engineering education.

2.0 MAPPING OF DEMING’S PHILOSOPHY

       The” fourteen points" for quality in business operations as put forth by Deming [1993],
widely regarded as the "father" of the TQM movement can also be recast for technical institutes as
follows:

  1.   Create and maintain a constancy of purpose toward improvement of students and
       service. Aim to create the best technical quality students capable of improving all forms of
       processes and entering meaningful positions in society thereby contributing to the wealth of
       the nation.

  2.   Embrace the new philosophy. Engineering Educational management must awaken to the
       challenge, must learn their responsibilities, and take on leadership for change. The change
       may dictate possibilities of continuous learning for faculty, and active interaction with
       industry, alumni associations and government.

  3.   Work to deemphasize grading /percentage and the harmful effects of rating people.
       Focus on the learning process, not the rating process. The institutes must attempt to

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       deemphasize the importance on marks and percentages (which at times could be
       psychologically damaging) and instead try to inculcate the habit of continuous learning
       amongst students.

  4.   Cease dependence on testing to achieve quality. Eliminate the need for inspections on a
       mass basis (standardized achievement tests) by providing learning experiences which create
       quality performance; learning experiences that encourage creativity and experimentation. Try
       to include in the curriculum open ended courses by which the spirit of innovation can be
       used. Emphasize on design oriented courses.

  5.   Work with the surrounding environment from which students come. Minimize total cost
       of education by improving the relationship with student sources and helping to improve the
       quality of students coming into technical system. This may be achieved by having a strong
       liaison with the secondary schools and other source institutes (Diploma, ITI institutes etc.).

  6.   Improve constantly and forever the system of student improvement and service to
       improve quality and productivity in personal life and community. The framework of Plan-
       Do-Check-Act (PDCA) can be very useful in this regard. Feedback from various quarters
       such as students, alumni, and industry shall help in this matter.

  7.   Institute continuous training on the job for students, teachers, supporting staff and
       administrators; for all people connected with the technical education. Incentives may be
       provided for such training. The initiatives such as QIP, TQIP by AICTE, mentoring
       programmes and curriculum development workshop are welcome initiatives in this direction.

  8.   Institute leadership. The aim of supervision (leadership) should be to help people use
       technology (educational technology such as multi-media, web support etc.) and resource
       materials to do a better job and set the pace driving human creativity and spirit of innovation.

  9.   Drive out fear, so that everyone may work effectively for the system. Create an environment
       which encourages faculty, student and support staff to speak freely and take risks so as to
       improve the quality. Remember, students are a vital resource for new ideas

  10. Break down barriers between departments. People in teaching, accounting,
      administration, curriculum development and research must work together as a cohesive
      team. Develop strategies for increasing the cooperation among groups and individual people.
      Planning time will facilitate this dynamic process. Encourage interdisciplinary character in
      engineering education..

  11. Eliminate slogans, exhortations, and targets for teachers and students asking for perfect
      performance and new levels of productivity. Exhortations create adversarial relationships.
      The bulk of the causes of low quality and low productivity belong to the system and thus lie
      beyond the control of teachers and students.

  12. Eliminate work standards (quotas) on teachers and students (e.g., raise college results by
      10%; lower dropouts by 15%). Substitute leadership, the eternal drive for quality, and joy of
      learning.



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  13.   Remove barriers that rob the students, teachers and management (principals/directors,
        superintendents and office support staff) of their right to pride and joy of workmanship.
        This means abolition of the annual or merit rating and of management by objectives. The
        responsibility of all educational managers must be changed from quantity to quality.

  14.   Put everybody in the community to work to accomplish the transformation. The
        transformation is everybody's job and institute a vigorous program of education and self-
        improvement for everyone

         It must be noted that total quality is about systemic change .The "lead actor" in TQM is...the
process of systemic change itself...The point is to develop the organization as an integrated, organic
set of relationships, and to gain the ability to change and direct those relationships again and again in
the direction of improvement--as defined by the organization's internal and external customers.
These and other TQM concepts, together with their potential application in educational environments
are very much relevant in our case. Matthews [1993] cited the following four critical barriers to the
utilization of TQM in academia:

        The highly generic and inappropriate nature of an average institution mission;

        A lack of agreement within the academic environment as to the meaning or implications of
        “quality and excellence”;

        The independence of key individuals within the academic environment; and

        The reluctance of college or university leaders to play an aggressive and creative role in

      TQM implementation. Appropriate care must be taken to sensitize all the stakeholders to be
aware of the above pitfalls and accordingly train and educate the stakeholders so that the basic
framework is properly implemented (Deshmukh, 2003).

3.0 AWARD MODEL

         The most invaluable tool in determining an approach to quality improvement/total quality
management can be a quality framework. This provides a series of headings under which possible
improvement projects can be determined, classified and prioritized. The choice of framework should
be determined by the higher educational institutions’ overall strategy.
         The search for an external award can help the institution to maintain the quality improvement
but it is important that the main features of the award are in line with the institution’s priorities.
         Some of the known frameworks are currently adopted in higher education such as BS
5750,.The features of quality framework reflected in a number of total quality awards such as: The
Malcolm Baldride Award in USA and the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM)
and the NCEA in Ireland. These are acting as quality agencies, which might manage the external
quality of higher education.
         The next step is probably to introduce assessment as part of a true quality assurance process.
We have not arrived at that step yet, since it would request a better formation of staff on quality
management and of the faculty members of institutes as well. Much work has been done in some
European institutions, such as the European Foundation for Quality Management. It may not be easy
to rely on ISO 9001 standards, as they are somewhat difficult to adapt to higher education, but to

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take as a reference the EFQM model, which gives a set of key points, and provides a means of
continuous self-assessment.
        The assessment model has to be discussed within any institution who would anticipate using
the TQM model. This model has to be adapted to each situation, as well as the relative weights. Once
various stakeholders have come to an agreement about the different items, their contents and their
relative weights, they still have to imagine the measurement tools required by each of them to
measure the performance of the institution.
        One fact that, however clearly apparent from a study of the TQM literature is that it is not
possible to affect improvement without laying down a measurement criteria. What is not clear is the
aims, methods and characteristics of measurement. Nevertheless it should be possible to delineate
various factors which could be subject of measurement. The template of award model provides a
useful mechanism to do this.
        One will agree that this process can be long and painful, but we must not underestimate the
benefits which can be withdrawn from such a model, which permits the self-assessment as many
times as necessary, and can be used as a guide on the occasion of a peer review. This model will also
be useful to AICTE and funding agencies.
        It is heartening to note that, recently, Uttar Pradesh Technical University (UPTU) has
constituted an academic excellence award. The Structure of UPTU Academic Excellence Model is
shown in Table 2.

                                     Item                                        Weightage (in %)
             Top Management’s commitment to Quality & Academic
    Enablers Leadership                                                                 10

             Faculty Resources Development & Management                                  5
             Quality Policy & Strategy                                                   5
             Academic Resources                                                         10
             Academic Processes                                                         10
             Faculty & Staff satisfaction                                               10
             Students satisfaction                                                      10
             Impact on Society                                                           5
             Academic Results                                                           25
     Results Placement Results                                                          10
             Total Weightage                                                            100

         It is expected that implementation of this model will help in assessing various engineering
institutions and thereby implementing the philosophy of TQM. In this context, it is also interesting to
note various requirements and implications for technical institutes.
         Like wise depending upon the importance ranking of characteristics quality improvement
steps can be initiated and a systematic review and audit system can be established for their timely
implementation and long term survival. In a more focused way implications of proposed approach
for various stakeholders such as faculty, students, alumni, financial bodies, All India Council for
Technical Institution (AICTE) etc. are highlighted in Table 3




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    Table 3: Implication of implementing TQM on various agencies (Source: Deshmukh(2006))
   Agencies        Implications
                   Initially it may induce some threat in the conventional mind set of faculty but in long-
   Faculty         run
                   it will create and provide learning environment and opportunities for continuous
                   improvements in teaching standards as well as at an attitudinal level.
                   It helps the faculty members to learn and go more nearer to the students and industry
                   by understanding their expectations and comparing the existing standards with set
                   benchmarks.
                   Learning environment helps faculty member in improving the quality of their research
                   by cross functional efforts through better interaction with different department of same
                   or other institute, industry, controlling bodies, students etc.
   Students        It provides the faith, satisfaction and confidence to ultimate customers that they are
                   trained under the well defined competitive standards and completion of course will help
                   them to grow professionally in demanding market.
                   TQM will help in developing better interaction among various stakeholders and helps in
                   creating self motivated learning environment.
   Alumni          Develops faith and more funds and support can be expected from alumni.
                   Satisfied alumni will do better marketing for an institution.
   Financial       It will increase their trust and more funds can be made available for the sustainable
   bodies          development
                   Systematic concept improves the image of institute and reputation of their students will
                   get a better priority in availing financial helps for the higher qualification in domestic as
                   well as foreign continent.
   All       India Templates such Award model will provide a concrete platform for assessing and
   Council for comparing the upcoming and established institutions
   Technical       Financial help and support can be provided on the justifiable assessment and degree
   Education       of making continuous improvements in various aspects like infrastructure, teaching

   (AICTE)         standards, faculty development, and otivation for research etc.
                   The various levels of maturity stages for a technical institution can be defined for
                   ranking and setting the guidelines for continuous improvement within which each
                   institute gets the flexibility to set, define and maneuver the procedures for achieving
                   prescribed standards and benchmarks by AICTE.

        Especially the developed framework will help more to the upcoming technical institutions by
providing systematic and logical benchmarking directions for continuous improvement. It is
expected that the QFD perspective will provide following benefits to technical institutions: It will
sensitize the institutions about student requirements, expected services and quality of education in
the present ever-changing technological environment and will also help the institutions in
understanding the technical characteristics of the engineering education and their relationships with
the students’ requirements.
The award model can be used in a self-assessment mode or in a benchmarking mode.

4.0 SIX SIGMA APPROACH

        Six-sigma is a disciplined, customer-focused process designed to help organizations move
towards the creation of near-perfect products and services.
        The term “sigma” is a statistical term that measures how far a given process deviates from
perfection. The central idea behind six sigma is that, if one can measure how many “defects” are
there in a process, one can systematically figure out how to eliminate them and get as close to “zero

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defects” as possible. A defect is defined as “anything that does not meet the customer requirements
(here customer could be both internal as well as external)”. For example, the following could result
in defects which ultimately cause customer (student) dissatisfaction:

       unavailability of teacher when students want to clarity some doubts;

       delays in evaluation and preparation of results;

       unbalanced structure of examination paper means not providing the sufficient scope to
       various levels of students to show their abilities;

       the rude/arrogant behavior of the teacher within and outside the classroom;

       teacher’s inability to understand student psychology and learning curve;

       Inefficiency of teacher in motivating the students towards learning etc.

         Six-Sigma is a rigorous and disciplined methodology that uses data and statistical analysis to
measure and improve a company's operational performance by identifying and eliminating "defects"
in various processes. Six- Sigma has been perceived as a unified approach to process excellence. The
concept of Six-Sigma is to identify the problem in a process, charter a project to specifically address
the process, evaluate the process and work through the project in order to improve the process in
totality. In education, Six Sigma pertains to improving the quality of subject matter taught, the
character generated of the students, and the quality of study. The culture of Six Sigma suggests a
work environment and quality of work life where everyone in the organization desires to achieve the
Six Sigma target, to increase customer satisfaction, to increase efficiency, to lower costs and to
improve visibility of the institute. This culture provides an important and continuing focus to
management. The Six Sigma quality concept penetrates -- applying to all processes within a
company. The implementation in the educational arena requires the teachers to be considered 'a vital
service provider”. The customers tend to be the parents who pay the fees and want quality in return
of the good result of their wards.
         The implementation or application of Six Sigma starts with the recognition of a problem, and
the defining of a project to solve that problem. The project is undertaken by a team using DMAIC,
which stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control. These are defined further as:

DEFINE: This phase involves the definition of the project/assignment, using process map,
application area, desired improvement, likely benefits, etc. The importance lies in having the chance
of a high successful delivery of better quality and saving costs in totality. In the context of academic
strata, the failures include identifying and defining the problem. Projects may include real life
problems such as distractions in the classroom, poor placement of students, or low attendance in a
class.

MEASURE: This phase involves the analysis of the process to determine its present state and the
desired future state, as obtained. Data collection is the main emphasis of this phase.




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                                     Table 4: Quantitative Measures

  Faculty             Number of course (both at UG and PG level) taught per year; Number of papers
                      published , citation index; Number of patents/technology know how transferred
                      Number of students guided (Ph.D. /M Tech /B Tech);Number of continuing
                      education programmes for industry; Resource material (books/CDs) developed
                      Number of Honors & awards received
  Facilities such as Utilization; Total cost; and Cost for maintaining facilities such as Library, central
  equipment, labs     computer centre, etc.
  Placement        of Average salary; Number of entrepreneurs developed; Number of students going
  students            for higher studies;% Placement before graduation
  Institute- Industry Number of consultancy projects/amount; Number of students project dealing with
  Interface           live real life problems of industry; Number of Faculty from Industry; Industry’s
                      contribution to the corpus; Industry sponsored chairs
  Growth              % growth in revenue from research / consultancy/ Training/ CEP programmes; %
                      increase in Number of students enrolled/awarded degrees


ANALYSE: This phase involves the data analysis for identification of parts of process which affect
the quality of the problem. This may involve drawing of flow charts/cause effect diagrams and other
quality improvement tools to analyze the typical problems.

IMPROVE: This phase adds to the process to find a permanent solution to the problem. This may
involve better forecasting, better scheduling, better procedures or equipment, specifying teaching
techniques, work environment for the teachers, and school campus quality life.

CONTROL: This phase involves the process of closing the problem by putting in the right
procedures and management statistics.

It is expected that implementation of a Six-Sigma approach will help in streamlining a variety of
processes.

5.0 CONCLUSION

   a) The educational process would be based on learning methodology rather than teaching-based
      programs. In this process, the classroom would be equipped with the latest information
      technologies based on learning and the lecturer would be acting as a guide for the team of
      students. This would enable the students to share knowledge and experience among each
      other and hence their learning output would improve. The learning process can be evaluated
      by means of continuous feedback (CF) from students and our teaching community should not
      be averse to this idea!.

   b) The industrial and educational sectors are the major elements of the economical wellbeing in
      a society. Thus, it is imperative for them to collaborate strategically to achieve the goal of
      wealth creation for a nation. In this regard, industry makes use of the academic expertise to
      improve the learning capabilities of their personnel continuously. On the other hand, the
      educational institutions must utilize the industrial talent and facilities to maximize the
      outcome of the learning process.


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   c) In addition, it is important to employ statistical process control and the concepts of common
      and special causes in determining levels of accountability in this model. Thus, procedures
      relevant to this model should be setup for acquiring, recording, manipulating and analyzing
      data/information for reviewing courses and for continuous quality learning standard at third-
      level education. It is important that whatever model is chosen it should be based on sound
      pedagogic foundations and not just on the availability of materials

   d) Various TQM principles such as Leadership, Continuous improvement, Customer Focus, and
      Teamwork are closely related to one another. Continuous improvement is required to achieve
      higher customer satisfaction, and it is most effective when driven by customer needs. The
      continuous improvement transcend hierarchical, functional and organizational boundaries,
      therefore, teamwork is essential. Thus, TQM is a set of mutually reinforcing principles,
      which are ultimately based on fulfilling customer's needs.

   e) The TQM philosophy is built around three basic ideas, which are: to become customer driven
      instead of being self-focused, to concentrate on the process rather than being preoccupied
      with results; and to use employee s thinking ability.

   f) The Deming’s philosophy helps in sensitizing the educational institutes. The quantitative
      framework of Award model identifies some of the fundamental requirements and
      characteristics of the technical institutions. It is expected that the obtained relationships and
      prioritized characteristics through this will develop useful insights into the overall
      development and streamline the processes. The six-sigma approach helps in evolving error-
      free processes within the gamut of various activities of these institutes. It will also help in
      giving a quantitative outlook towards various processes in DMAIC format. It must be noted
      that in the emerging competitive scenario where the performance of an institute is closely
      watched by a variety of stakeholders, it is imperative that technical institutes start
      implementing the concepts of TQM.

In summary, effective TQM implementation in engineering education requires

   Management commitment demonstrated by examples not gimmicks or slogans and Top
   management acting as facilitator rather than controllers.

   Effective Strategic planning and Information management.

   Clarity of mission and vision among all employees and emphasis on long-term academic needs
   rather than short-term commercial needs

   Satisfaction of Faculty and Supporting staff as the first priority

   Problem -solving approach through synergistic teamwork and emphasis on process approach
   towards academic administration

   Employee's commitment to adhere to systems and procedures.

   Improved work culture with an open trust environment


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   Development of consistent mental model held by employees thereby improving work culture.

   Continuous reduction of non -value added activities

       The journey for quality improvement is a long and an arduous one. Quality improvement
must be accepted as a goal and accomplished if universities want to survive the turbulence ad stiff
competition. Quality is state of mind, a result of perfectionist work culture, a commitment to do
one’s best, and only the best, and attending to the assigned work in professional manner. In order to
ensure the effectiveness of Quality initiatives in educational setting, effective change in the
environment, culture and attitude of people has to take place.

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  3.    Crosby, P.B. (1979), Quality is Free, McGraw-Hill, New York, NY.
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