Over the last decade the structure of higher education in most countries has undergone significant change brought about by social demands for expanded access, technological developments, and market forces. In this period of change the traditional concerns with access and cost have been supplemented by a new concern with academic quality. As a consequence, new public policies on academic quality and new forms of academic quality assurance have rapidly emerged and swiftly migrated across continents and around the globe. The growing public debate about academic quality assurance within and across countries however has not always been well informed by analyses of the strengths and weaknesses of these new policy instruments. The Public Policy for Academic Quality Research Program (PPAQ) was designed to provide systematic analyses of innovative external quality assurance policies around the world. This volume presents the fourteen analyses of national policies on academic quality assurance conducted as part of the PPAQ Research Program utilizing the knowledge of informed international scholars. Each policy analysis examines the policy goals, implementation problems, and impacts of these newly developed national quality assurance instruments. The book concludes with an assessment of the lessons learned from these collected policy analyses and outlines the framework conditions that appear essential for assuring academic standards in the university sector.

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