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Ongoing tensions in quality policy processes: A meta level view

Vidovich, L. and Currie, J. (2006) Ongoing tensions in quality policy processes: A meta level view. In: AUQF 2006, 5 - 7 July 2006, Perth, Western Australia pp. 154-158.


This paper extracts key themes from empirical research conducted by the authors on accountability and quality policies in higher education in a number of different countries (Australia, South Africa, the UK, Norway, the Netherlands, the USA, Hong Kong, Singapore and China) over the last decade. We examine the changing nature of accountability of universities accompanying globalisation and then identify a series of contradictory tensions inherent in many of the accountability/quality policies in these countries, and discuss the implications for different forms of institutional autonomy. In the light of our broader analysis we briefly examine recent policies in Australian higher education – the Research Quality Framework and the Learning and Teaching Performance Fund – to reveal the ongoing presence of the policy tensions highlighted earlier. We conclude by arguing the need to actively negotiate a balance amongst the different forms of accountability and autonomy in the interests of forging more ‘authentic’ quality in higher education.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Centre for Social and Community Research
Publisher: ANQU
Conference Website:
Notes: Appears In: Proceedings of the AUQF 2006: Quality outcomes and diversity
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