Quality Assurance in Higher Education

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1 Quality Assurance in Higher Education USAID/EGAT/ED Worldwide Education and Training Workshop August 20, 2009 Barbara Brittingham Commission on Institutions of Higher Education, NEASC

2 Overview 1. Accreditation in the U.S. 2. Americans abroad in accreditation 3. What other countries are doing 4. Some observations re: quality assurance in developing countries

3

4 1. Accreditation in the U.S.

5 Accreditation has 4 elements 1. Standards that form the basis of judgment 2. Institutional self-study against the Standards for Accreditation 3. Team visit peers for 3 days to validate the self study and be eyes and ears of the Commission 4. Commission makes a decision Non-governmental, peer-review process.

6 Source: CHEA Size of the U.S. accreditation enterprise 18,000 Accredited Programs 7,000 Accredited Institutions* 62 Specialized Accreditors 19 Institutional Accreditors *~3,000 regionally accredited Recognition by CHEA & USDOE

7 The Regions of Regional Accreditation

8 Variety in Institutional Mission A Sample of Public and Independent Institutions Harvard University Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute University of New England Berklee College of Music Hartford Seminary University of New Hampshire New England Institute of Art Community College of Vermont Williams College Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts Boston Architectural College Vermont Law School Naval War College Hult International Business School Maine Maritime Academy Rhode Island College Johnson & Wales University American University in Bulgaria Capital Community College Conway School of Landscape Design Bard College at Simon s Rock: The Early College

9 Accreditation = Standards + Mission Standards of higher education community + Mission of your institution evidence, evidence, evidence, evidence, evidence, evidence, evidence, evidence, evidence, evidence

10 Two minute history of American accreditation : New England Association of Schools and Colleges 2. Periodic review 3. Standards 4. Self-study and visit.... and decision 5. Link to federal government 6. Expectations rising

11 U.S. Features that Help Define Accreditation 1. Historical: Private institutions first 2. Political: U.S. federal system and the Constitution U.S. federal system and the Constitution Dartmouth College case No national university 3. Strong tradition of voluntary associations 4. Not really a system Decentralized Large Diverse Serves a mobile society Porous and forgiving

12 What are the standards for accreditation? An articulation by the higher education community of what a college or university must do in order to deserve the public trust A framework for institutional development and self-evaluation

13 What are the standards for accreditation? An articulation by the higher education community of what a college or university must do in order to deserve the public trust Quality assurance Quality improvement A framework for institutional development and self-evaluation candor candor candor candor candor candor candor candor

14 Development of Accreditation in the U.S. Input Are there enough books in the library?. Are the faculty well qualified? Is the curriculum appropriate?..

15 Development of Accreditation in the U.S. Input Process Are there enough books in the library? Are the faculty well qualified? Is the curriculum appropriate? Are students using the books?. Is there good instructional practice? Do students get practice and feedback?..

16 Development of Accreditation in the U.S. Input Process Outcome Are there enough books in the library? Are the faculty well qualified? Is the curriculum appropriate? Are students using the books?. Is there good instructional practice? Do students get practice and feedback?.. Are students gaining skills of information literacy? Are students achieving the learning outcomes of the program and institution?

17

18 2. Americans Abroad in Accreditation

19 U.S. Institutions Have Branch Campuses and Instructional Locations Abroad Substantive change Campuses vs. locations vs. contracts The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly e.g., in Qatar, Senegal, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Egypt, France, Mexico, Jamaica, Bolivia, Luxembourg,, Oman, Philippines, Trinidad and Tobago, Singapore, Spain, Russia, China, Japan, South Korea, Ukraine, Venezuela, Kuwait

20 Regionally Accredited Institutions Abroad Country List Armenia Austria Bermuda Bulgaria Canada Chile Costa Rica Egypt France Greece Hungary Italy Kenya Lebanon Mexico Switzerland United Arab Emirates United Kingdom Most are American-style AAICU Nearly all are English language Interest considerably greater

21 Selected Specialized Accreditors Abroad Engineering: Egypt, Turkey, UAE, Mexico, South Africa, Kuwait Teacher Education: (Arab countries) Pharmacy: Lebanon Theological Schools: 36, including in China, India, Russian Federation, Senegal, Sri Lanka Montessori Teacher Education: Dominican Republic, South Africa Business (AACSB): 96 programs including in Chile, China, Costa Rica, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, The Philippines, Turkey, UAE Sources: CHEA and ASPA

22 Accreditors Professional Involvement Hosting international visitors State Department sponsored visits abroad Fulbright Senior Specialist assignments Higher Education for Development Individual arrangements Service on local accrediting bodies (e.g., Ireland, Croatia, Dubai, Hong Kong)

23 3. What other countries are doing

24 First, some terms.... Licensure permission to operate or offer a program Quality Assurance establishing stakeholder confidence that provision (input, process, and outcomes) fulfills expectation or measures up to minimum requirements. Inspection direct, independent observation and evaluation of activities and resources by a trained professional Audit a process for checking that procedures are in place to assure quality, integrity, or standards of provision and outcomes Accreditation a process of peer review by which an institution or program is found to meet or exceed standards Adapted from INQAAHE

25 Greatly increased interest. Why? Higher education is more important for economies and therefore for individuals. As participation rates increase, governments can t foot the entire cost Enter: Private higher education Need to revitalize government universities Distance education, career education, international markets All the other kids are doing it.

26 RE: UNESCO s World Conference on Higher Education....the conundrum facing governments around the world: how much public money should go towards higher education and how much latitude should be given to private providers?

27 Quality Assurance Internationally INQAAHE: International Network of Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education 1991 = = 200+ Regional Networks of Quality Assurance Agencies Including: AfriQAN, ANQAHE, APQN, CANQATE, EAQAN, ENQA, RIACES GIQAC: World Bank and UNESCO Support for INQAAHE and the regional networks UNESCO World Conference on Higher Education 10/52 statements in the Communiqué related to quality Focus on Africa

28 The Rise of Regions Europe* Arab Network (how many are there?) African Network Asia-Pacific Eurasia Network Qualification frameworks Training Mutual recognition Support for other regions *Quiz: Which U.S. regional accreditor is closest to Europe?

29 QA Systems vary by: Autonomy: independence from government Control over admissions, curriculum, graduation, special local laws Assuring quality vs. promoting quality Focus on present vs. focus on future Focus on inputs, processes, outcomes Is it licensure or is it accreditation? Also: Private only or all institutions? Programs and institutions

30 4. Some observations re: quality assurance in developing countries

31 Challenges to Quality Assurance in Developing Countries in addition to money University structures and processes: IR, program review, strategic planning, orderly budgeting, project management Professional associations as feeders/partners, developers of common expectations Other peer review systems for grants, promotion, tenure Small states enough peers for disinterested review When it s a government system, government can change it often rather precipitously The challenge of private higher education

32 Additional supports for accreditation in the U.S. Established habits of institutional cooperation and competition Complementary systems of state regulation, financial aid, SHEEOs, licensure for institutions and individuals A system that is evolved, not designed Low constitutional role for federal government in education Strong tradition of independent higher education Tradition of volunteering

33 How Might U.S. Accreditors Be Helpful? 1. Challenges of quality education are universal 2. Standards are important so opinion doesn t rule 3. Quality assurance is patient capital 4. Learning is as important as judging 5. Competition can be a good thing and can be managed along with cooperation 6. The system needs to fit the local circumstances

34 Development of Accreditation in.... Input Process Outcome Are there enough books in the library? Are the faculty well qualified? Is the curriculum appropriate? Are students using the books?. Is there good instructional practice? Do students get practice and feedback?.. Are students gaining skills of information literacy? Are students achieving the learning outcomes of the program and institution?

35

36 For more information: NEASC. Feel free to call or write: , CHEA US DOE Accreditation and State Liaison and USNEI INQAAHE UNESCO Global Forum on Quality Assurance, Accreditation and the Recognition of Qualifications World Bank

37 Time for your comments and questions

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