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Swiss Quality Assurance & Accreditation System in Higher Education: Perspectives for Southeast Asia. By Dr. Alexandre Dormeier Freire, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID), Geneva SEAMEO, Nha Trang 10-11 August 2009. 1.

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swiss quality assurance accreditation system in higher education perspectives for southeast asia
Swiss Quality Assurance & Accreditation System in Higher Education: Perspectives for Southeast Asia
  • By Dr. Alexandre Dormeier Freire, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID), Geneva
  • SEAMEO, Nha Trang 10-11 August 2009

1

slide2

Quality assurance and accreditation, the context

  • Consequence of ‘massification’ or democratization of higher education. Globalization => Increasing mobility, etc.
  • HE turned into a commodity: responsiveness of universities increases effectiveness
  • What is quality insurance? => attention on quality maintenance and improvement (Vroeijenstijn, 1995)
  • It’s not about benchmarking => compliance (with laws) and enhancement, it’s a process
  • What is accreditation? => legitimation of institutions to award degrees, granting quality mark indicating that certain standards are met (Vroeijenstijin, 2005)

2

slide3

Swiss Academic System Overview

  • Switzerland has 9 Cantonal Universities and 2 Federal technological universities
  • University law based on national (federal) legislation, but education is highly decentralized
  • Academic world is homogenous and small (100‘000 HE students), but sharp increase of enrollments in the 1980’s
  • Bologna process appeared in late 1990s
  • Quality assurance & accreditation established lately in 2000

3

slide4

Swiss Quality Accreditation System

European Network for Quality Assurance in HE (ENQA),

European Consortium for Accreditation (ECA)

in HE- ‘Code of good practice’

Federal State

Swiss Parliament

Quality Accreditation Organization (QAO)

Cantons

SUC mandate, decides. QAO recommends to SUC

Accreditation operations

Universities

Swiss University

Conference

(SUC)

= QAA

relations

Accreditation decisions

= Political

relation

= Financial

and/or political

4

slide5
3 stages for assessment:

Minimal norms are elaborated on structures and internal results (objectives definition, internal governance, infrastructures, curriculum, research results, stakeholders’ participation -students association, staff- etc.)

1.1 Self-assessment also requested

External experts assess whether minimal norms are reached (university visits)

2.1. Interviews with all stakeholders (students, professors, deans, etc.)

Report, verification, validation and position proposed to SUC

3 decisions possible: accreditation granted, accreditation subject to conditions, accreditation denied

Accreditation procedures/1

5

slide6
Some remarks:

Accreditation is limited in time (7 years)

Focus on teaching evaluation => ‘research results’ is gaining importance

SUC takes the final decision of assessment

Accreditation is not obligatory, but strong incentive by law suspicions of Cantons to Federal control

Accreditation for public and private institutions

Both institutes and course are accredited => flexibility

Accreditation procedures/2

6

slide7
On quality convergence:

National policies have to be integrated in a regional framework, need to overcome domestic approaches => mutual recognition

Recognition of antagonistic dimensions: self-determination, need of convergences => Is a ‘general model’ desirable?

Common elements in QA & A different national models. Convergence and emerging global consensuses on quality assurance & accreditation (Khawas 1998)

But: difficulties to define ‘standards’ of quality => 23 criteria on 3 dimensions of ENQA

Perspectives for SEA/1

7

slide8

Perspectives for SEA/2

  • On the QAA governance system:
  • Independence of the accreditation organization, non-profit oriented, combining national, international expertise => closed-circuit desirable?
  • Monopoly of one QAA agency
  • transparency of decisions
  • Accreditation organization doesn’t take political decisions separation between strategic and operational levels in QAA procedures
  • No automatic link between QAA results and financial support
  • Check and balances => Switzerland has found a compromise, not perfect though => flexibility
  • Who determines the assessment framework?

8

slide9
Thank you!

> Email:alexandre.freire@graduateinstitute.ch

> Website:

http://graduateinstitute.ch