CHEA President Judith Eaton Addresses
Quality Assurance From A Global Perspective
In remarks delivered at a meeting on institutional evaluation in higher education, held February 2-3 in Morocco, Judith Eaton, President of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), stated "Worldwide, we are in a period of unprecedented growth and development for higher education quality assurance."
Eaton noted "The international growth of quality assurance is driven by a number of factors, including student access and mobility, the growth of multinational corporations and jobs, the desire for educational reciprocity among nations, a perceived need for a shared understanding of academic quality and the increased use of ‘rankings’ in such places as the United Kingdom, China and the United States."
Eaton’s remarks were made at a meeting on "Institutional Evaluation in Higher Education," held by the Moroccan Ministry of Education, Higher Education, Training and Scientific Research. To enhance the culture and practice of evaluation at higher education institutions, a project was launched in 2007 to develop a national system of institutional evaluation in Morocco. International participants at this meeting included CHEA, Indiana State University and the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement. Presidents from colleges and universities throughout Morocco also attended the meeting.
Among the issues that Eaton addressed in her remarks were accountability, transparency and commitment to student achievement; the differing roles of non-profit and for-profit educational institutions, as well as public and private institutions and distance-learning providers; and degree mills and accreditation mills.
"Another important issue is the ongoing discussion over the responsibility for higher education quality assurance," Eaton said. "The question is who has the primary responsibility for quality assurance – the government or higher education institutions – as well as what role regional or international agreements play in the quality assurance process."
Eaton concluded "This is a challenging time for quality assurance and accreditation – but also a time of growth and vitality for this important means of assuring that students around the world receive high quality educations."
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A national advocate and institutional voice for self-regulation of academic quality through accreditation, CHEA is an association of 3,000 degree-granting colleges and universities and recognizes 60 institutional and programmatic accrediting organizations. For more information, visit CHEA’s Website at www.chea.org.