Edited by Pierre Benckendorff and Anita Zehrer
Over the last few decades changes in funding and access to higher education in many developed countries have resulted in enormous changes that have impacted both directly and indirectly on teaching and learning. A shift in funding from the state to the learner and the escalation of university participation rates have resulted in increased scrutiny from governments, parents, students, employers and other stakeholders. In many countries government scrutiny has been facilitated by changes to regulatory frameworks and quality assurance processes. The combination of external scrutiny and competitive pressure has transformed the standards and quality assurance environment for all aspects of higher education, including tourism education. The aim of this chapter is to explore the background, nature and implications of some of these changes, particularly as they relate to standards and quality assurance for tourism education. The chapter will examine the notion of quality standards and will provide an overview of common approaches to quality assurance frameworks and controls in higher education. The focus is largely on teaching and learning standards in the United Kingdom and Australia, although reference will be made to other standards and countries. Attention is drawn to the performance of the tourism field against some of these standards and frameworks. Issues related to the development, integration and assessment of standards are explored and implications for teaching and learning in tourism are discussed.
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