Implementation of Student-Centred Education Principles in a Master’s Study Programme: An Exploration of the Experience of Academic Staff [PDF]

Sanita Baranova, Baiba Kaļķe
University of Latvia, Latvia

Abstract: The paradigm shift in higher education pedagogy and policy has been a subject of discussion for 30 years, during which time the emphasis has been placed on the transition to student-centred education. The implementation of this approach requires the democratisation of the study process and a shift towards performance-based outcomes, thus promoting students’ research capacities, well-being, personal growth, and quality of life. The most important document on the subject, which was developed in collaboration with the leading organisations of the Bologna Process, is the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area. This describes the common understanding of student-centred learning, teaching, and assessment. The standards and guidelines are also incorporated into the Latvian higher education quality assurance regulations.
The authors of the present study are involved in the development and approbation of a new master’s study program, in which special attention is paid to the implementation of the principles of student-centred education. The central aim of the present study was to study the experience of lecturers in the implementation of the principles of student-centred education in the programme. The relevant literature and documents were surveyed and data from questionnaires (distributed to programme participants) were analysed.
Using the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area and the Science, Technology Development and Innovation Guidelines 2021−2027 approved by the Latvian Ministry of Education and Science, the present study sets out 10 basic principles of student-centred education. A survey was created for lecturers who are implementing the newly created master’s programme over one semester. Seventeen lecturers participated. The analysis of the questionnaire results indicated that promoting mutual respect in student−academic staff relations and students’ active engagement in the study process were considered to be the most important principles. The results also revealed that lecturers applied every student−centred principle, but it is necessary to promote a common understanding by developing a mechanism for evaluating them and to improve the competence of teachers in implementing them.
Keywords: academic staff, higher education policy, implementation, master’s study programme, student-centred education.

In: Human, Technologies and Quality of Education, 2021 = Cilvēks, tehnoloģijas un izglītības kvalitāte, 2021
Rīga, University of Latvia, 2021. 1148 p. Ed. L. Daniela
ISBN 978-9934-18-735-3