Chapter 36: Exploring the institutionalization of quality assurance in post-communist higher education
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This chapter explores the difficulties and challenges that two post-communist countries, Poland and Russia, have faced in establishing systems of quality assurance in higher education. We show that the efforts to institutionalize multifaceted forms of quality enhancement have been hampered by an array of historical, socio-economic and structural features inherent to post-communist higher education. However, the Europeanization of higher education and educational expansion have prompted governments in the region to implement new quality assurance structures and policies. Drawing on Perellon’s typology, we compare and contrast objectives, procedures, uses and forms of control in the emerging quality assurance regimes, while highlighting areas of progress and stagnation in various areas in both countries. The conclusion which can be derived from our exploratory analysis is that diverse structures and institutions of quality assurance have indeed been put in place, due largely to the Bologna Process, resulting in a visible convergence towards western European norms and standards. However, both countries still significantly lag behind many of their western counterparts when it comes to translating quality assurance into tangible quality enhancement.

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