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A Study On The Models Of Quality Assurance In Higher Education

Posted on:2006-12-25Degree:DoctorType:Dissertation
Country:ChinaCandidate:E S TianFull Text:PDF
GTID:1117360182471697Subject:Higher Education
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Since the 1980s, there has been growing concern about higher education quality in the reform of higher education worldwide.Many countries and areas carried out reforms of higher education, established their unique higher education quality assurance system successively. In our country, along with the socialist market economy system gradually established and the reform of higher education system deepening unceasingly, especially with higher education massification speeding up, how to improve the quality of higher education also arouses social interests widespread. Consequently it ought to be an important mission for the reform and development of Chines higher education to assimilate the experiences of quality assurance in international higher education, and establish a quality assurance system with Chinese characteristics to enhance the quality of higher education. This dissertation believes that, as a kind of methodology, the pattern research approach is the intermedium which puts theory into practice and makes practice theorized.It can be said that the successfull experience will be difficult to be abstracted and sublimated into theories, and at the same time, theories will also lost their knowledge basis without pattern research. Based upon such understanding, this dissertation makes a thorough and systematical research into quality assurance in higher education by means of pattern research. Firstly the basic ideas about quality assurance in higher education,such as the connotation, the purposes, the content, the procedure and the methods,etc are defined and discriminated, providing a concept framework for the study. With the aid of pattern research,the main stakeholders' requirements, conflicts and the ways to coordinate are analysed, and three essential variables,the state power, market and institutional autonomy are induced and summarized, which exert their decisive impacts upon the formation and development of quality assurance in higher education. According to the dynamics and ways of these three strengths' functioning in different space and time, the models of quality assurance in higher education can be divided into five basic types, and the context, structure and characteristics, superiority and insufficiency of each model are analysed theoretically. In order to make a further analysis on the essence and evolution law of the models, the dissertation makes a comparative study on the the formation and the development of the quality assurance models in such representative countries as the UK,the US,France and the Netherlands,and summarizes certain common characteristics and tendency.Based upon a historical review of quality assurance in China ,and using the foreign experiences for reference,the paper finally proposes some strategies on the reform or reorganization of quality assurance in Chinese higher education. This paper proposes that quality assurance in higher education in essence is a process of value choice as well as value gambling,in which the government, the university and the society make great efforts to realize their respective value demands,and meanwhile the state power, the market and institutional autonomy interact and form different quality assurance models. In the self-regulation model, the university is responsible for the quality assurance matters,the superiority of this model is its capability of protecting the academic freedom and autonomy, but the deficiency is that the closing of the model results in difficulties to reflect the quality demands outsides.In the state-control model, the state power is the leading factor in quality assurance in higher education, and quality assurance becomes a policy tool for the state to control its higher education system,and the overall quality as well as the steady development of higher education can be guaranteed somehow,but this model is easy to hinder the academic freedom, and its unflexibility and bureaucratism lead to inefficiency.In the market-oriented model, market adjustment is the leading factor, and government, university and society all take market as intermedia to realize their respective quality demands. The market-oriented model may arouse universities' consciousness of responsibility and quality, facilitate diverse development of higher education,and enhance the entire higher education system to adapt to exterior demands,however, it tends to tolerate low quality institutions to exist,and too low and different standards for accreditation,obviously these are unfavourable to improve the qualiy of higher education. The collaboration model is referred to as one in which the government collaborates with universities on quality assurance,and to some extent,a balance is achieved between autonomy and accountability, however,because of absence of market mechanism,the complex process and the troublesome procedure make the model costly,and moreover,the social quality demands are hard to be reflected and satisfied promptly, institutions are lack of competition. As an ideal model,the multi-compounded model effectively coordinates the stakeholders'value demands and conflicts, and a balance is obtained between the state power, the market and the institutional autonomy.The comparative study on the UK,the US,France and the Netherlands arrives at a conclusion that models of quality assurance in higher education in these countries may close up to a multi-compounded model. The model of quality assurance in China belongs to state-control model,its deficiency includes sole subject, unbalanced authority structure, narrow-minded purposes or functions,unreasonable organizational system, organizational functions overlapping, unscientific methods, and so on.The reform should be aimed to establish a new model of quality assurance in higher education,in which the universities independently guarantee their own quality, the government is in charge of macroscopic management, the society participate in the supervision, and the market adjustment functions spontaneously.
Keywords/Search Tags:Quality assurance in higher education, Institutional autonomy, Comparative higher education
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