External quality assurance and accreditation: Is there still room to think outside the box?

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Author(s)Evelyn Knoors
In 2005 a formal accreditation system was added to Flanders’ long-standing external quality assurance system. This turned the external reviews from a fruitful exchange of ideas among peers into a high stakes assessment. Many feared that this would ruin the improvement oriented atmosphere of the peer reviews. The University of Antwerp reflects on four years of experience and presents a few cases. The examples show that – depending on circumstances – the prospect of gaining or losing a formal accreditation can either have a stimulating or paralyzing effect on programme directors and staff in their preparation for a peer review. The University of Antwerp has added new elements to its internal quality assurance system in order to provoke the stimulating effect of accreditation and promote creativity.
CategoriesQuality of HE » 2009 4th EQAF