The Development of Quality Programs in Higher Education

Greg Auhl,* Denise Wood, and Sally McCarthy, Division of Learning & Teaching, Charles Sturt University, Australia


Developing quality programs in higher education, across international jurisdictions, is becoming more challenging as a variety of stakeholders demand greater input into curriculum development processes. These multiple stakeholders include professional bodies, governments, ‘consumers’ of higher education qualifications and institutional requirements themselves. This paper will examine what constitutes quality in program design and how integrating standards can drive quality program development. It will further describe a process to drive what the authors describe as both internal (within course/subject) and external (within program) alignment to intentionally design programs that meet both quality markers and the requirements of stakeholders.

Keywords: Quality course design; integrated standards; internal/external alignment; intentional design

*Corresponding author. Email:

(NB: In preparing this paper, every attempt has been made to use internationally recognised terminology. At the authors’ home institution in Australia, a “course” is a “program/qualification.” Individual units are designated as “subjects,” which equate in many institutions to “courses,” “units,” or “modules”).