Quality assurance: a mechanism for generating trust in HE on a global knowledge market
Paulina Mihailova (Stockholm University)
Higher education (HE) today is seen as a strategic resource in the hands of policy-makers. National governments and higher education institutions (HEIs) across Europe are encouraged to enter into processes of intergovernmental cooperation, committing themselves to a shared framework for high-quality education aimed at providing Europe with a competitive edge on the global arena. This opening-up of national HE systems to market-oriented policy initiatives has led to a view of HEIs increasingly as economic organisations, accompanied by the in-flow of managerial rhetoric and practices into HEIs and a subsequent shift in conceptions of academic quality. At a stage when society and policy-makers are ever more careful about the way HEIs are using their money, academics are faced with questions of the social and economic relevance of their disciplines. In this light quality assurance (QA) ultimately becomes a mechanism for market regulation aimed at ensuring that HE is delivering the kind of 'outputs' society values.
Markets, moneys, and mobilities: transnational organizing