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ERIC Number: ED562064
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Jan
Pages: 32
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 37
Is Big Brother Watching You? The Evolving Role of the State in Regulating and Conducting Quality Assurance. CIQG Publication Series
Salmi, Jamil
Council for Higher Education Accreditation
A recent report published in the United Kingdom proposed the image of "an avalanche" to describe the radical changes affecting tertiary education in many parts of the world (Barber, Donnelly and Rizvi, 2013). Indeed, powerful transformative forces of three kinds--rupture factors, crisis factors and stimulus factors--are challenging tertiary education systems all over the planet. First, a growing number of rupture factors are at play in transforming the ecosystem in which tertiary education institutions are operating, drastically influencing how they perform their teaching and research functions. Second, as a result of the 2007 financial downturn, the tertiary education sector in most regions of the world has been affected by serious crisis factors. The third type of factors are the stimulus factors that refer to the availability of significant additional funding for tertiary education in a small number of countries where governments consider that the role of universities in support of innovation and growth is so important that they deserve extra resources. Against this background of complex forces at play, tertiary education enrollment has continued to increase rapidly in most parts of the world. The main objective of this report is to analyze how the interplay among governments, quality assurance agencies and tertiary education institutions has evolved in the past decade. After a brief summary of the history of quality assurance, the report documents the evolution of the role of the State vis-à-vis quality assurance agencies in recent years, identifying significant developments, key issues and new challenges. Next, the growing importance of new forms of accountability, such as rankings and measures of learning outcomes are explored. The report concludes by proposing a few principles to help reach an appropriate balance between autonomy and accountability as they apply to the relationship between governments and quality assurance agencies.
Council for Higher Education Accreditation. One Dupont Circle Suite 510, Washington, DC 20016. Tel: 202-955-6126; Fax: 202-955-6129; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Postsecondary Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Council for Higher Education Accreditation