In the last ten years; universities have instituted several new degree programs; in order to differentiate their offer; and to meet current labour market demands and the expectations of future students. The introduction in degree programs of courses focused on topics related to â€śQualityâ€ť is a fairly recent phenomenon (Disney et al.; 2000); in particular topics that not are strictly related to statistical quality control; such as: quality management systems; quality awards; self-assessment models; etc.
According to Feigenbaum (1993); a national education system should recognize [.. the fact that quality is fundamentally a body of knowledge - a teachable body of knowledge that goes far deeper than a set of statistical and motivational courses - ..]. Moreover; he states that [Although quality has become a fundamental way of managing; it is simply not taught as a serious; integral area in economics today].
The survey carried out by the authors focuses on Quality education (Evans; 1996; Weinstein et al.; 1998) supplied by Italian universities and aims to verify if Feigenbaumâ€™s assertion can be applied to Italian higher education.
The following section summarizes the new higher education rules. The main objectives of our explorative survey are then defined. Methodologies for sample selection and the analysis of course syllabi are described. Finally; we present our results and conclusions.
Keywords: Quality education; Italian universities; exploratory survey; syllabus content