what is quality assurance in education sector
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Since the 1980s, quality assurance in higher education has grown dramatically, has come to affect every level of the sector and has become an accepted and integral part of academic life. Saarinen (2010, p. 55) has observed that ‘quality has turned from a debatable and controversial concept to an everyday issue in higher education’. Concomitantly, quality assurance has become, as Rosa and Amaral (2014, p. 9) describe it, a ‘professionalized’ and internationally networked activity. However, as higher education faces increasingly difficult challenges of globalization and marketization, so too quality assurance becomes increasingly complex. At the same time, the literature on quality assurance has also increased in scale and complexity. How are we to make sense of it all? This chapter reviews the key research relating to quality assurance in higher education. The focus of the chapter will be research conducted since the early 1990s, when quality became a key concern of the sector, what Newton has referred to (2002) as the ‘quality revolution’. However, earlier work, will be cited where relevant.
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