At the end of January 2014 European Commission published a „Report on Progress in Quality Assurance in Higher Education” depicting changes in the area of quality assurance in higher education within a 2009 – 2013 time – frame and the challenges that happened within that time – frame, such as greatly expanded number of students and higher education institutions, growing importance of external stakeholders or new, revolutionary technolgies (like Massive Open Online Courses).
– Higher education institutions have the ultimate responsilibity for the quality of their offering – authors of the report explain but at the same time they are pointing out the role of accreditation agencies which should support internal processess in HEIs through external activities – assessments, accreditations and benchmaring.
The conclusions of the report is that effectiveness of the quality assurance processess of the higher education institutions is not satisfactory yet and the document itself should serve as a signpost pointing out areas that still have untapped potential. Special emphasis, in authors opinion, should be put on activitites facilitating creation of internal quality culture as well as activities aiming at internationalisation of quality assurance.
It should be noted that due to given time – frame not all the data reflects most up to date information (for example changes in the Polish higher education system introduced in 2011 are not reflected and thus one should be careful when judging statistical data) but still the document is very interesting and surely worth reading.