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Synopsis

Interest in the quality of higher education provision has been steadily increasing over the last twenty years. This has been driven largely by the international creation of explicit policies and reporting requirements to review, audit and evaluate provision. The interest is associated in many countries with the granting by governments of greater autonomy to higher education institutions. This, crucially, comes bound with increased requirements for accountability in the exercise of such power. Enhancing provision, promoting innovation, cultivating exploration and adopting information-led approaches to practice are at the very heart of higher education. As such quality enhancement comes in many guises and is under constant scrutiny.

Enhancing Quality in Higher Education looks critically at recent developments in higher education, taking snapshots of changing practices around the world and analysing the varied theoretical perspectives of quality enhancement that are emerging. The opening section draws upon this theoretical base, whilst the second section contextualises it through the analysis of a diverse range of international case studies. The concluding section considers future prospects for the enhancement agenda in the light of the international pressures facing all systems of higher education in the future. Policy will inevitably be shaped by the historical contexts within which national systems are located.

The book draws on a wide range of international case studies, examined by a host of contributing experts. The movement towards quality enhancement can be seen as stimulating action at the grassroots of the academy to self-generate improvement. It is a counter to the prevalent view that change in higher education is essentially about the institutional response to increasing societal pressure and state control and, as such, is a welcome contribution to the literature. This comprehensive volume is essential reading for anyone involved in higher education and educational policy.

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