The Quality Assurance And Strategic Management Of Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University
Sukhiothai Thammathirat Open University (STOU) uses many standards to measure quality assurance. The newest one is Education Criteria for Performance Excellence. STOU uses Education Criteria for Performance Excellence not only for quality assurance but also for strategic management. Education Criteria for Performance Excellence consists of core values and concepts, organizational profile, leadership, strategy, customers, measurement, analysis, and knowledge management, workforce, operations and results. Studies at STOU are not confined to traditional classrooms. The STOU distance learning system makes quality higher education accessible to all, providing students with the freedom to study and interact according to their individual circumstances and locations. Courses are developed by course teams and then delivered to students through distance media. STOU has one main campus for administrators and instructors as well as an extensive network of study and service centers throughout the country. STOU is an open university using Distance education system to delivery knowledge and experience to students through distance media consist of print-based and computer-based (e-learning). As technological capabilities increase throughout the country, STOU continually explores opportunities to implement new media. STOU’s strategic planning process is the operation which all STOU’s offices participate. The STOU high level executives determine direction and framework for the Planning Department to inform all university work agencies so that the 15-year Development Plan, 5-year Strategic Plan, and the annual operation plan are formulated in the same direction and connected with the university goals. The strategic planning process consists of 5 steps. Step 1: The Planning Division prepares an evaluation report of work performance based on the 5-year Strategic Plan, the annual operation plan, and evaluation of risk management plan. Step 2: The Planning Division analyzes and reviews SWOT and main competencies by processing data from STOU performance results, and evaluates the context of all work units by asking and interviewing students, clients, graduate students, users of graduate students, academics, and collects data from concerned outside work agencies. Step 3:The Planning Division takes the information obtained in Step 2 to review and determine the vision, mission, purpose, KPI, strategies, programs/projects of STOU’s 5-year Strategic Plan and proposes to the university council for approval. Step 4: The Planning Division conducts a meeting to impart STOU’s 5-year Strategic Plan to all work units to enable them to prepare their own 5-year Strategic Plan in accordance with the vision, strategic issues, and goals of the university. Step 5:The Planning Division passes on the corporate KPI in the form of 3C (Clone, Contribute, and Create) and programs/projects of STOU’s 5-year Strategic Plan and provides advices to all work units on how to transform their own 5-year Strategic Plan into the annual operation plan.
Key words: Quality Assurance, Strategic Management, Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University