Trends and models in international quality assurance in higher education in relation to trade in education

Institutional Management in Higher Education

Trade in higher education in its many diverse forms transcends and challenges the national regulatory frameworks in higher education, including national quality assurance and accreditation systems. New kinds of international quality assurance and accreditation are seen as the crucial elements of regulation in a more and more trade oriented international higher education market. In this paper four models of development of international quality assurance are analysed: 1) Strengthening the capacities of national quality assurance and accreditation systems; 2) Promoting cross-border quality assurance and the mutual recognition of quality assurance and accreditation; 3) Developing meta-accreditation of quality assurance and accreditation agencies on an international and global level; and 4) Establishing international quality assurance and accreditation schemes. Current developments and strategies in international quality assurance are situated within these four models and discussed with reference to the trade in education issue.

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