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

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Presentation on theme: "Movements towards a European dimension in Quality Assurance and Accreditation Don F. Westerheijden Conference Working on the European Dimension of Quality."— Presentation transcript:

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

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

3 © DFW | CHEPS 1The 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

4 © DFW | CHEPS 1The 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?

5 © DFW | CHEPS 1The 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

6 © DFW | CHEPS 2The 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

7 © DFW | CHEPS 2The 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

8 © DFW | CHEPS 2Follow-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

9 © DFW | CHEPS 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

10 © DFW | CHEPS 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.

11 © DFW | CHEPS 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

12 © DFW | CHEPS 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

13 © DFW | CHEPS 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

14 © DFW | CHEPS 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?

15 © DFW | CHEPS 3 National Responses: Potential Problems Do national responses lead to more European harmonisation? –Or will only the differences stand out more clearly? –Ones 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

16 © DFW | CHEPS 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

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

18 © DFW | CHEPS 4 International Initiatives: World-wide Let us not forget private initiatives: –professional bodies: EFMDs 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?

19 © DFW | CHEPS 4 International Initiatives: European ENQA / EUA / ESIB –talking about several projects a.o. setting up a European platform

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

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

22 © DFW | CHEPS Thank you for your attention

23 © DFW | CHEPS 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


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