Higher Education as an International Commodity: ensuring quality in partnerships

by Peter J Hodson, Harold G Thomas
Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education ()


Overseas collaborative activity has been particularly popular with many UK Higher Education Institutions over the past decade. As a result, it is attracting the attention of the Quality Assurance Agency and has created its own audit agenda. This paper argues that existing collaborative audit approaches lack cultural sensitivity and are open to manipulation. A broader range of performance indicators is needed to achieve reliable data that will be valid for the context in which they are taken. Without such a breadth of indicators, the existing strength of diversity will be constrained and the drive for standards will result in a compliance approach that delivers conformity. However, such conformity may be at the lowest secure level and at the expense of quality enhancement.

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