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ERIC Number: EJ853782
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003
Pages: 18
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 10
ISSN: ISSN-0167-8329
Approaches to Quality Assurance and Accreditation of LIS Programmes: Experiences from Estonia and United Kingdom
Hartley, R. J.; Virkus, Sirje
Education for Information, v21 n1 p31-48 2003
Twenty nine European ministers have signed the Bologna declaration in June 1999 and committed their governments and their countries to create the European Higher Education Area by 2010. The European Commission is actively supporting the Bologna Process and has set out their own Action plan "From Prague to Berlin--the European contribution." In Europe interest in accreditation is a direct consequence of the increased interest in accountability of those people who are employed in the public sector. Globalization and the increased internationalization of the higher education market has led to attempts to compare the systems in place in different countries. For many European universities, however, accreditation is mainly seen as an opportunity to strengthen their image by demonstrating their quality. Therefore, it is also an opportunity to improve their market position internationally. The idea for this paper came from the authors' recent experiences of accreditation and quality assurance. Both their Departments have recently been through extensive external assessments so they have both experienced the process from the perspective of the assessed and one of them was one of the assessors of the Department in Tallinn Pedagogical University. Aware of the burgeoning interest in compatibility between the higher education systems within Europe, these experiences led them to attempt a comparison of the processes used in the two countries (Estonia and United Kingdom) and to seek to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the two approaches. For the purposes of this paper they take quality assurance to include any processes which are adopted to ensure and to continuously improve the quality of the educational provision which is offered. Therefore accreditation/validation is seen as a part of the quality assurance process which can also include mechanisms internal to a university. In order to share with the readers their views of the strengths and weaknesses of the differing approaches adopted by their countries it is necessary for them to outline the processes which are in use in each country. Having done that firstly for the United Kingdom and secondly for Estonia, the authors have then set out the strengths and weaknesses which the two approaches have in common and the specific strengths and weaknesses of the approaches adopted by their countries. (Contains 1 footnote.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Estonia; United Kingdom