ERIC Number: EJ1063833
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 54
Self-Regulation with Rules: Lessons Learned from a New Quality Assurance Process for Ontario
Lang, Daniel W.
Quality Assurance in Education: An International Perspective, v23 n3 p216-232 2015
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to discuss how the province over time has addressed problems that are generic to many jurisdictions in assuring quality -- level of aggregation, pooling, definition of new and continuing programs, scope of jurisdiction, role of governors, performance indicators, relationship to accreditation, programs versus credentials, benchmarking and isomorphism. The paper will pay particular attention to the balance between institutional autonomy in promoting quality and innovation in contrast to system-wide standards for assuring quality. The Province of Ontario has had some form of quality assurance since 1969. For most of the period since then, there were separate forms for undergraduate and graduate programs. Eligibility for public funding is based on the assurance of quality by a buffer body. In 2010, after two years of work, a province-wide task force devised a new framework. Design/methodology/approach: The structure of the paper is a series of "problem/solution" discussions, for example, aggregation, pooling, isomorphism and jurisdiction. Findings: Some problems are generic, for example, how to define a "new" program. Assuring quality and enhancing quality are fundamentally different in terms of process. Research limitations/implications: Although many of the problems discussed are generic, the paper is based on the experience of one jurisdiction. Practical implications: The article will be useful in post-secondary systems seeking to balance autonomy and innovation with central accountability and standardization. It is particularly applicable to undifferentiated systems. Social implications: Implications for public policy are mainly about locating the most effective center of gravity between assuring quality and enhancing quality, and between promoting quality and ensuring accountability. Originality/value: The approach of the discussion and analysis is novel, and the results portable.
Descriptors: Quality Assurance, Educational Quality, Foreign Countries, Accreditation (Institutions), Institutional Autonomy, Standards, Educational Innovation, Educational Finance, Federal Aid, Advisory Committees, Guidelines, Higher Education, Accountability, Governance, Educational Policy, Graduate Study, Undergraduate Study
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada