|New Challenges and Trends in Quality Assurance
|Professor Alberto Amaral (President, Agency for Assessment and Accreditation of Higher Education, Portugal)|
Over the last few decades there were significant changes in Quality Assurance tools and mechanisms, with QA regimes becoming progressively the preferred government regulatory tools of higher education systems and of their institutions. A number of factors have influenced those changes, namely the progressive use of new public management, the importance of higher education in the emerging knowledge society, the inefficiency of traditional bureaucratic governance to deal with complex higher education systems and the growing centrality of student learning outcomes. New trends are emerging which include the increasing importance of the student voice, using ratings rather than rankings, the new risk assessment models and the pressures to force universities to comply with the needs of employers, which favours the use of learning outcomes. Additional challenges come from the development of e-learning and the reinforced presence of non-traditional education and training providers.
He is member of the editorial board of Quality Assurance in Education, Studies in Learning, Evaluation, Innovation and Development and the Springer series Higher Education Dynamics. He is editor or author of a number of books the most recent ones being Higher Education in Portugal 1974-2009. A Nation, a Generation (Springer), Quality Assurance in Higher Education. Contemporary Debates; Higher Education and Quality Assurance: Commerce, The Service Directive and Governing Higher Education and Analysing European Policy Implementation: The Bologna Process (all in Palgrave MacMillan). He is editor of a book Markets in Higher Education: Rhetoric or Reallity? (Springer) translated to Chinese. He has also published a large number of papers in international journals.