The objective of this study is to discuss major characteristics and issues in the quality assurance of higher education in East Asia from international and comparative perspectives. It focuses on analysing key characteristics of national frameworks of quality assurance of higher education in major systems such as Japan, China and Korea, and major challenges and issues facing these countries. The first section makes a brief introduction to higher education systems and recent reforms on higher education in selected systems in Japan, China and Korea. The second section reviews recent changes and challenges to the quality assurance in these systems at both the policy and practice levels. The study reveals that more similarities can be found in the formation of quality assurance mechanisms in East Asian countries and societies despite their different higher education origins and traditions. However, the specific national contextual factors have also led to a varied picture of how different East Asian countries and societies respond to the growing demand for greater accountability and further enhancement of higher education; closer societal engagement; and the challenges and tensions that emerge during the process.