Tag Archives: Quality assurance

Quality assurance in times of crisis: example of Croatian Agency for Science and Higher Education

Higher education system in Croatia has in recent years been undergoing comprehensive reforms. In the period from 2005-2009, study programmes have been aligned with the Bologna process, regional public polytechnics have been established, there were significant investments in development of regional public university campuses and increase of private initiative in higher education, and the establishment of Agency for Science and Higher Education initiated the establishment of quality assurance systems at HEIs.
With recession, opportunities for investment in higher education and science have been reduced, which raised questions of the system efficiency and rationalization, as well as the introduction of new models of financing. Mergers of smaller, especially private higher education institution has been noted, and questions have been raised of the use of new learning and teaching technologies and better alignment of study programmes with labour market needs.
There is a strong emphasis on quality assurance in higher education and science. Agency for Science and Higher Education carries out various external evaluation procedures, in addition to other activities indirectly related to quality enhancement. Together, they provide better interconnection of data in science and higher education, and a base for evidence-based policy making.
In the next stage of the reforms, an emphasis should be put on further development of quality assurance systems in higher education, in accordance with the newly adopted Croatian Qualifications Framework Act, with the main goal of establishing a better link between supply of education and labour market demands.

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The life of "Internet Colleges": policies, problems, and prospects of online higher education in China

For the past two decades, China’s economy has known an astonishing growth, so as the consequent demand for more and better postsecondary education. In response, the Chinese government has adopted a number of measures, including the creation of “Internet Colleges”, which are units within existing universities, offering postsecondary educational programs online. In the highly centralized education system of China, besides CCRTVU, the Internet Colleges are the only institutions approved by the government to offer online postsecondary education. The Internet Colleges initiative, which went through many changes since its inception, reflects the government’s struggle to balance innovation and tradition, regulation and flexibility. Then, an analysis of the short evolution of these colleges may help understand larger aspects of online higher education in China.

Article originally appeared in: “EDUCAUSE Review”, V. 41(2006), n. 6, pp. 48-59. Reprinted with permission.