Research Handbook on Quality, Performance and Accountability in Higher Education
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Research Handbook on Quality, Performance and Accountability in Higher Education

Edited by Ellen Hazelkorn, Hamish Coates and Alexander C. McCormick

As higher education becomes a key determinant for economic competitiveness, institutions face increasing pressure to demonstrate their fitness to meet the needs of society and individuals. Blending innovative research with richly contextualised examples this unique Research Handbook provides authoritative insights from around the globe on how best to understand, assess and improve quality, performance and accountability in higher education.
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Chapter 21: Quality efforts at the discipline level: Bologna’s Tuning process

Robert Wagenaar


The Tuning Educational Structures in Europe project (2000–), co-financed by the European Commission and by the universities directly involved, is a grass-roots response to the Bologna Declaration. It was inspired by the idea that system reforms, a prime responsibility of national governments, should be complemented by structural reforms regarding the way in which study programmes were offered, which is the responsibility of higher education (HE) institutions and their staff. Tuning designed a structure which allowed for the development of a toolbox to support the modernisation of degree programmes by offering a methodology for reform and international benchmarks at subject area level. It requires the change from expert-driven education to a student-centred approach which includes active learning. Tuning was indeed successful in involving many hundreds of universities and thousands of academics in developing its toolbox. However, the paradigm shift is still far from a widespread reality as a Tuning impact study and other studies have showed. Recently Tuning launched a new initiative to support the benchmarks with detailed assessment frameworks offering a basis for the transnational measurement and comparison of learning.

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