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Learning, Teaching and Research in Global Times:Quality Assurance, Development of World-Class Universities and Promotion of Excellent Higher Education SystemsThe Role of Accrediting Agencies as Quality Assurance Gatekeepers and College Rankers in Building World Class Universities - A Taiwan Case

Dr. Angela Yung-chi Hou

Research Fellow & Director of International Exchange,

Higher Education Evaluation and Accreditation Council of Taiwan

Director of Faculty Development & Instructional Resources Center ,

Fu Jen Catholic University

Dr. Ya Lun Taso

Research Fellow

Higher Education Evaluation & Accreditation Council of Taiwan

June 4 , 2010

HEEACT, Taipei

  • Globalization in the 21st century presents universities and states with a number of challenges and opportunities.
  • No matter whether countries are developed or developing ones, they are immensely eager to build at least one world class university, but they don’t know exactly what they look like.
what does a world class university look like
What does a world class university look like ?
  • Philip Altbach
    • excellence in research, top professors, academic freedom and an atmosphere of intellectual excitement, governance, adequate facilities and funding.
  • Jamil Salmi (World Bank) based on two rankings
    • a high concentration of talent (faculty and students)
    • abundant resources to offer a rich learning environment and conduct advanced research
    • favorable governance (features that encourage strategic vision, innovation and flexibility, and enable institutions to make decisions and manage resources without being encumbered by bureaucracy)
role of quality assurance agency
Role of Quality Assurance Agency
  • Some organizations in many nations, as both roles of a quality assurance agency and a ranker, started to assist governments to develop world class universities and to promote excellent higher education systems, such as Pakistan, Malaysia, Kazastan and Taiwan
different quality assessment instruments of higher education
Different Quality Assessment Instruments of Higher Education
  • quality assurance, auditing, accreditation, evaluation, ranking, benchmarking with different purposes and processes
  • they are all the most common forms of accountability
evaluation vs ranking
Evaluation vs. Ranking
  • Evaluation” clearly “focuses more on how successfully the institution is achieving its goals and objectives”
  • “ranking”, as a kind of measurement tool for quality, is more debatable
    • an ordering of institutions, within each of the classification groups, on the basis of their performance as measured by selected indicators, including peer review and external judgment.
roles of accrediting agency as a quality assurance gatekeeper and a college ranker
Roles of Accrediting Agency as a quality assurance gatekeeper and a college ranker
  • the type of ranking providers is quite diversified
    • Mass media
    • Higher education institution
    • Governmental accreditor
qa agency as a ranker
QA agency as a ranker
  • Advantages
    • A higher acceptance within universities
    • fairness and objectivity
  • Disadvantages
    • conflicts between ranking and consulting in the context of QA.
taiwan experience heeact case
Taiwan Experience-HEEACT Case
  • Quality Assurance Framework in Taiwan Higher Education
    • quality assurance and international competitiveness
    • Higher Education Evaluation & Accreditation Council of Taiwan was established in 2005
  • HEEACT accreditation started in 2006
  • HEEACT national and global rankings in 2007
heeact accreditation model
HEEACT Accreditation Model
  • a five-year, program-based, nation-wide, modified accreditation of over 76 four-year comprehensive institutions
  • Participation is mandatory
  • three review outcomes
  • “accredited’, “conditionally accredited” and “denial”
  • the average rate for accredited status is 83.21%
heeact rankings
HEEACT Rankings
  • Purpose of developing a varying ranking
    • It is expected that each institution will be able to develop its own competitive edge and undergo self-positioning based on the features of different ranking tools
  • “Statistical Analysis on Taiwan WOS Papers,”
  • “Statistical Analysis on Taiwan ESI Papers and h(m) Indicators,”
  • “Analysis on Patents by Universities and Colleges in Taiwan,” and “Performance Assessment on University and Industry Collaborations.”
  • “Performance Ranking of Scientific Paper of World Universities,” in 2007
  • “College Navigator” in 2009
heeact 2009 global ranking
HEEACT 2009 global ranking

Source: HEEACT (2009). Performance ranking of scientific papers for world universities. Retrieved Sept. 26, 2009 from

5 year 50 billion research universities
“5 Year -50 Billion” Research Universities
  • In response to the quest for a world-class university, the Taiwan government launched the Five-year 50 Billion Program for Developing First-class University and Top Research Centers in 2005.
  • aims to develop at least one university as one of the world’s top 100 universities in five years
  • at least fifteen key departments or cross-campus research centers as the top in Asia in ten years
  • Eleven research universities were selected to be funded in 2007 compared with twelve in the first cycle of year 2005~2006.
outcomes of taiwan s universities in heeact performance ranking for world universities 2007 2009
Outcomes of Taiwan’s Universities in HEEACT Performance Ranking for World Universities (2007-2009)

Source: HEEACT (2009). Performance ranking of scientific papers for world universities. Retrieved Sept. 26, 2009 from

accreditation outcomes in the universities of 5 year 50 million second phrase
Accreditation Outcomes in the Universities of 5-year 50 Million (Second phrase)
  • none of the programs among 11 selected universities was denied
  • the pass rate of two institutions in the “Excellent” rank of 5 year -50 Billion Program is lower than 90%
  • National Chung Hsing University within a “Great” rank has the highest pass rate up to 98%
teaching excellence program
Teaching Excellence Program
  • locally prestigious and multi-purposed but not research-oriented. Under the “Teaching excellence Program”
  • they are given grants to improve their overall teaching quality.
  • In 2008, there were 31 institutions funded with a total of $ 2.2 billion grant.
  • HEEACT 2009 global ranking
    • none of the recipients of Teaching Excellence Program is ranked on top 500
  • HEEACT Accreditation
    • two of them have passed the HEEACT program –based accreditation completely
    • none of the programs in 31 institutions is located in the status of “denial”
    • The pass rate among 16 of out 31 institutions is all higher than 90%
several major findings following by some waging arguments
Several major findings following by some waging arguments
  • There is a high correlation between the global rank and governmental funding among the 5 year-50 billion institutions
  • some research universities with great academic reputation in the global ranking did not perform better in the HEEACT accreditation
  • the HEEACT accreditation gave recognition to many teaching-oriented universities granted with the MOE “Teaching Excellence Program”
responses from taiwan institutions
Responses from Taiwan institutions
  • the two quality assessment tools—accreditation and ranking developed by HEEACT, in some aspects, did provide most Taiwan institutions with some transparent information and clues in terms of how to become a world class research or a teaching-oriented institution.
  • some research universities are under great pressure to provide students with a good learning environment and some other teaching universities set their institutional long term goal of “Moving into Top 500”.
  • ranking, better than accreditation, can guide universities clearly how to develop themselves as world “research” universities.
  • Yet, it can not guarantee that they will become world class “teaching” universities. In this way, accreditation may still play a very important role in overall good teaching quality improvement of an
qa agency as a ranker1
QA agency as a ranker?
  • if some evidence of the adequate use of accreditation and rankings could be provided for educational policy makers, such as HEEACT, the duel missions of quality assurance agencies may become more and more recognized in the future.
Thank you for your attention

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