This report is the first by StudentsNS to focus principally on the organisation’s quality value. This paper conceptualizes quality in post-secondary education (PSE), examines the tools used by PSE institutions in Nova Scotia to uphold and enhance quality,
and finally, recommends policies to develop a more student-centred approach to quality measures and assessments. Our understanding of quality in PSE has shifted overtime from the traditional notions of excellence and exclusivity to a focus on
access, accountability, learning outcomes, and the student experience. This shift, however, has not been fully realized within the different mechanisms for supporting and measuring PSE quality. As a result, many of these mechanisms do not effectively
address the real factors affecting learning, institutions are insufficiently accountable for students’ learning, and student voice is not adequately supported. More research is needed to better understand the state of teaching and learning, especially within
universities. However, it is clear that, across the system, a greater emphasis needs to be placed on continual improvement in instruction and pedagogy, on learning outcomes, and on effective quality assurance. Recommendations in the report address
these three themes, envisaging a more student-centred, evidence-based, teaching and-learning-driven PSE system for our province. The report does not provide StudentsNS last word on PSE quality, but represents the first of many projects to explore
ways that Nova Scotia’s PSE institutions can better meet students’ expectations
and support their lifelong success.