Handbook on Globalization and Higher Education
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Handbook on Globalization and Higher Education

Edited by Roger King, Simon Marginson and Rajani Naidoo

Higher education has entered centre-stage in the context of the knowledge economy and has been deployed in the search for economic competitiveness and social development. Against this backdrop, this highly illuminating Handbook explores worldwide convergences and divergences in national higher education systems resulting from increased global co-operation and competition.
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Chapter 25: Governing Quality

David A. Dill


David D. Dill Academic quality assurance, historically a national concern, has been evolving rapidly over the last several decades in reaction to the forces of globalization. The first response was the development in many countries of new national models for assuring academic quality in the context of the adoption of mass systems of higher education (Brennan and Shah, 2000; Dill and Beerkens, 2010), which itself was a national reaction to the economic impacts of increased global economic competition. More recent responses include the development of regional and increasingly international organizations and regimes for academic quality assurance as a consequence of the globalization of the higher education industry itself (King, 2009; Santiago et al., 2008a). This development of international institutions of academic quality assurance appears to be consistent with the ‘rational design’ theory of institutions (Koremenos et al., 2001). This would predict that as transnational exchanges involving students, faculty, services and university-produced knowledge grow, international institutions will emerge to help reduce the associated transaction costs of these exchanges, including bodies for making and enforcing necessary agreements. Practices for assuring quality are relevant to all the traditional academic activities of universities, including the quality of services such as academic consultancy and knowledge transfer, the quality of basic research and of teaching and student learning. While there have been significant new national policies designed to assure the quality of research (Dill and van Vught, 2010), the primary attention of academic quality assurance efforts at the national, regional and now global level has been...

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