Competitors of Rankings: New Directions in Quality Assurance and Accountability

  • Grant Harman
Part of the The Changing Academy – The Changing Academic Profession in International Comparative Perspective book series (CHAC, volume 3)


This chapter is concerned with the development of modern higher education quality assurance systems and how in recent years these systems have interacted with both national and global institutional ranking. Among various perspectives employed is that of organisational effectiveness which provides a theoretical orientation for the volume. Quality assurance, accountability and rankings can be viewed as different forms of assessment of organisational effectiveness. The chapter focuses particularly on recent fast-moving political and economic currents that are forcing substantial changes to existing quality assurance and accountability systems. These currents are being driven by a combination of stakeholder and government concerns about academic standards, global competition for education services and the impact of ranking systems. These recent changes are set within the broader context of the develo­p­ment of modern quality assurance since the 1980s. Unlike many discussions of quality assurance, this chapter sees assessments of research quality and impact as key elements of quality assurance. Accountability, however, is considered only in the narrow context as one purpose of quality assurance.


Quality Assurance High Education Institution Academic Standard Global Ranking Quality Assurance System 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Higher Education Management and PolicyUniversity of New EnglandArmidaleAustralia

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