Author(s)Mendonça, Maria Cristina
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AbstractOpen and Distance Education (ODL) has enormous potential for freeing education from the traditional boundaries of school, college or university and making it available to all through the use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT). This has raised concerns amongst the academic community about the breakdown of the academic links between staff and students. Organizations are changing their new product development processes in order to introduce improvements to innovation performance. Change is the main feature of university education today: What the culture of higher education should be in the new, technological world? To form a convincing structure for the university in the new age, we must develop both the pedagogy and the means to produce quality material, the institutional policy and practice such that students are enabled to study on-line, to reward properly the academic staff, to involve all employees in the school organization, to develop partnerships with other institutions, etc. The purpose of this study is two-fold. First, we wish to characterize the changing process to examine whether the principles of TQM approach represents a continuous quality improvement in this new academic age. Second, we wish to consider some issues in this process, according to these principles. In Portugal, case studies in some institutions of higher education are being developed, in order to contribute to the quality improvement. We agree that the actual changing process tends to consider components of quality improvement, but we are finding some significant gaps between practice and theory.