Documents of IAC/EADI

Development Studies, Accreditation and EADI

A Vision Paper presented to the EADI Executive Committee

On request by the EADI Directors and the EADI Executive Committee, a task force composed of Jacques Forster, Richard Jolly and Hans Opschoor, assisted by Joost Mönks, was set up to draft a vision paper withrecommendations to EADI on where it wishes to go with quality management and accreditation guidelines especially with a view to the need of criteria for evaluating interdisciplinary programmes in development studies.

As a consequence of the Bologna process a certain sense of urgency exists among development institutes that are or will be going through an accreditation process, since they may have to face accreditation frameworks that are not (fully) adapted to the specific (interdisciplinary) nature of development studies (DS). In the emerging European Area for higher education, the EADI institutes wish, where possible, to influence proactively the options for accreditation and quality assurance as far as Development Studies is concerned. A vision on the demarcation of the field of Development Studies is, however, needed in order to be able to define specific accreditation criteria

The objective of the vision paper is

  1. to propose a demarcation of the field of developments studies and its distinctive and identifying characteristics as the "object" of accreditation, and
  2. to analyse how DS can fit into (existing) accreditation frameworks and identify in what areas specific criteria and standards for accreditation should be developed, taking account of the specific nature of DS.

The development of such an "adapted" accreditation framework should enable EADI institutes to comply with the likely results of the Bologna process.

The vision paper was presented at the EADI General Conference (Bonn 21-23 September 2005). The paper was well received and a general consensus has emerged to move ahead along the lines proposed in the vision paper. In amended form, it is hereby presented to the EADI Executive Committee for further action.

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Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area

This report has been drafted by the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA), through its members, in consultation and co-operation with the EUA, ESIB and EURASHE and in discussion with various relevant networks. It forms the response to the twin mandates given to ENQA in the Berlin communiqué of September 2003 to develop ‘an agreed set of standards, procedures and guidelines on quality assurance’ and ‘to explore ways of ensuring an adequate peer review system for quality assurance and/or accreditation agencies or bodies’. 2; a peer review system for quality assurance agencies; and future perspectives and challenges.

The report consists of four chapters. After the introductory chapter on context, aims and principles, there follow chapters on standards and guidelines for quality assurance

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The International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education

The International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE) was established in 1991 with only 8 members. Today the total membership exceeds 200 members. Higher education has dramatically changed over the last two decades. Distance education as well as vocational education, have become increasingly more important as is the need for recognition of prior learning. Higher education has become more global than ever before. Professional accreditation has become more important as more higher education institutions, delivering programs in different modes, enter the market. All these have thrust the quality assurance agencies into ever expanding roles.

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