In this article, the author shows the expectations of stakeholders regarding the aims of external quality assurance in higher education. The definition of stakeholders is based on Burke’s (2005) accountability triangle where the three angles are academia, market and state. Looking for balance among these actors’ expectations should be one of the objectives of higher education quality assurance schemes. Since 2010, the external quality assurance system in Estonia has been revised. Accreditation of study programmes is replaced by institutional accreditation and assessment of study programme groups. This study is based on focus group interviews with representatives of academia, market and state to map their expectations about the purpose of external quality assurance. The findings of this study pose several aims which have been taken into account during the development of a new external quality assurance system in Estonia and can be considered as well in other countries using similar assessment models.
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