European Quality Assurance and Accreditation

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Movements towards a European dimension in Quality Assurance and Accreditation: 

Movements towards a European dimension in Quality Assurance and Accreditation Don F. Westerheijden Conference Working on the European Dimension of Quality Amsterdam, 12-13.3.2002

Contents: 

Contents 1 The Context: the Globalisation Challenge 2 The European Response: the Bologna Declaration Intermezzi 3 National Responses 4 International initiatives

1 The Globalisation Challenge: The WTO Agenda: 

1 The Globalisation Challenge: The WTO Agenda GATS: General Agreement on Trades and Services Is education a service? Yes, but… Education has a public good character at least up to secondary education Private benefits outweigh public benefits for postgraduate ‘job training‘ Is higher education the borderline? Europe: higher education is a public good thinking of undergraduate higher education (‘initial’ higher education) USA: post-initial higher education is a service

1 The Globalisation Challenge: The WTO Agenda : 

1 The Globalisation Challenge: The WTO Agenda How to maintain the border between initial and post-initial? it depends on the situation of the student US proposal applies only to countries where private higher education is allowed If a higher education provider is allowed into one EU country, it is automatically allowed to operate in all EU countries?

1 The Globalisation Challenge: Who are the Actors?: 

1 The Globalisation Challenge: Who are the Actors? WTO is inter-governmental For a governmental task: regulate markets Actors on the higher education market are higher education institutions virtual/online universities corporate universities and their hybrids Actors decide autonomously to be ‘global players’ or not

2 The Bologna Declaration, 1999: 

2 The Bologna Declaration, 1999 Two main rationales for Bologna: Make European higher education competitive again in world market Simplify mobility within Europe: for labour market, for students Main mechanism: ‘bachelor’-‘master’-‘doctor’ model governmental reform of (public?) higher education public higher education institutions are instruments of government policy, not autonomous actors

2 The Bologna Declaration, 1999: 

2 The Bologna Declaration, 1999 Striving for ‘comparable degrees’ ‘Similar degrees’, or ‘degrees that can be compared’? Anyway, transparency is needed Role for quality assurance in Bologna process is to provide transparency but Bologna is vague about quality assurance ‘Promotion of European co-operation in quality assurance with a view to develop comparable criteria and methodologies’

2 Follow-Up Conference: Prague, May 2001: 

2 Follow-Up Conference: Prague, May 2001 No big changes from Bologna: ‘higher education is perceived as a public good and governments are the agents in society that are responsible for providing public goods’ ‘Ministers called upon the universities and other higher educations institutions, national agencies and the European Network of Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA) … to collaborate in establishing a common framework of reference and to disseminate best practice’

Intermezzo 1: Some Design Requirements for Q.A. After Bologna and WTO: 

Intermezzo 1: Some Design Requirements for Q.A. After Bologna and WTO Bologna: Object of evaluation: (comparable) degrees Consumer protection against substandard programmes Europe-wide transparency WTO: Fair competition national - foreign public - private

Intermezzo 2: Some Dilemmas in Accreditation: 

Intermezzo 2: Some Dilemmas in Accreditation For many, programme accreditation is the answer to the Bologna design requirements focus on degrees (programmes) more transparency, compared with (formative) quality assessment consumer protection, through minimum standards Dilemma: quality assessment without real consequences is not taken seriously, quality assessment with real consequences turns into a strategic game without regard for quality of education.

Intermezzo 2: Some Dilemmas in Accreditation: 

Intermezzo 2: Some Dilemmas in Accreditation Dynamics of external evaluation change: role of higher education institution: self-evaluation vs. self-selling role of external reviewers: peers/consultants vs. experts/judges

Intermezzo 3: How Might the European Higher Education Area Work?: 

Intermezzo 3: How Might the European Higher Education Area Work? secondary education “bachelor” “master” professional orientation “master”, research oriented professional doctorates Ph.D. Life-long learning Labour market Initial H.E. Local and Regional Inter-national

3 National Responses: 

3 National Responses Bachelor/Master structural reforms in many countries e.g. Germany, Italy, Netherlands not where two-cycle structure already existed e.g. UK, France not (so much) where two-level structures already existed e.g. Central/Eastern Europe but this is not our topic in this conference Regulation of transnational education export UK

3 National Responses : 

3 National Responses Changes to evaluation, quality assessment, accreditation Germany: Akkreditierungsrat ‘open accreditation system’ programme accreditation Netherlands: National Accreditation Organ like Germany Switzerland: Organisation for Accreditation and Quality institutional accreditation Flanders: too small for own accreditation?

3 National Responses: Potential Problems: 

3 National Responses: Potential Problems Do national responses lead to more European harmonisation? Or will only the differences stand out more clearly? One’s judgement depends on interpretation of ‘comparable’ Will national accreditation lead to less diversity within countries? While it is claimed that diversity is needed in the ‘knowledge society’… Should not be the case in an ‘open accreditation system’

4 International Initiatives: World-wide: 

4 International Initiatives: World-wide IQR: internationalisation quality review GATE: Global Alliance for Transnational Education changed character dramatically in 1998: online, for-profit only ‘Global Quality Label’ INQAAHE: Internatl. Network Q.A. Agencies IAUP: Internatl. Assoc. University Presidents UNESCO a label for quality agencies

4 International Initiatives: Platforms: 

4 International Initiatives: Platforms H.E. Providers Q.A. Agency Government Customers: Students Customers: Employers, Professions IAUP INQAAHE UNESCO

4 International Initiatives: World-wide: 

4 International Initiatives: World-wide Let us not forget private initiatives: professional bodies: EFMD’s EQUIS university associations: EUA Institutional Evaluation Programme university consortia: Universitas 21, CEMS, ECIU GATE post-1998 Are the Americans coming? More demand from universities than willingness of US accreditors to expand business?

4 International Initiatives: European: 

4 International Initiatives: European ENQA / EUA / ESIB talking about several projects a.o. setting up a European platform

4 International Initiatives: Platforms: 

4 International Initiatives: Platforms H.E. Providers Q.A. Agency Government Customers: Students IAUP INQAAHE UNESCO EUA ENQA ESIB Customers: Employers, Professions

4 International Initiatives: European: 

4 International Initiatives: European ENQA: Membership rules as quality ‘screening’? Cross-border evaluation pilot projects a series of them, started in ca. 1991 Tuning Project (Socrates) Joint Quality Initiative ENQA / EUA / ESIB talking about several projects a.o. setting up a European platform

Slide22: 

Thank you for your attention

Main References: 

Main References D. Van Damme (2002). Quality assurance in an International Environment, paper CHEA International Seminar, San Francisco F.A. van Vught, M.C. van der Wende & D.F. Westerheijden (to be published, 2002). Globalisation and Internationalisation: Policy Agendas Compared. M. van der Wende & D.F. Westerheijden (2001). International aspects of quality assurance with a special focus on European higher education. Quality in Higher Education, 7(3). D.F. Westerheijden & M. van der Wende (2001). Who says B also has to say A? From Bologna to Accreditation: Design Requirements for Quality Assurance in Europe. Paper presented at the INQAAHE Conference, Bangalore D.F. Westerheijden (2001). Ex oriente lux? National and Multiple Accreditation in Europe after the fall of the Wall and after Bologna. Quality in Higher Education, 7(1), 65-75