The Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area state that a good-quality higher education should serve the interests of the major stakeholders: students, employers and the society at large. However, the interests of these stakeholders encompass different time perspectives and different needs, which often conflict. In today's knowledge-intensive economy, a university should not only meet the requirements of employers and students, but also serve as an active agent of development. Its mission should be to develop those competencies that will be most needed as society progresses, such as creativity, innovation and social responsibility. The paper discusses the challenge of balancing the various requirements of major stakeholders to ensure that the educational process simultaneously leads to the personal and professional development of graduates, the successful operation of companies, and the prosperity of society. The author challenges the traditional understanding of the roles of intended learning outcomes (ILOs) in quality assurance. The paper aims to provoke a discussion of how the achievement of such desirable elements as creativity and innovation can be measured against the pre-determined standards found in ILOs. The paper illustrates these challenges by looking at the experiences of the Lomonosov Moscow State University Business School in its efforts to enhance educational quality.
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