The United Kingdom's quality assurance framework for higher education has been characterised by relative policy stability over the last 20 years. But far reaching and significant reforms to the funding of undergraduate education have increased the pace and scale of marketisation. This has placed the regulation of higher education centre stage. Common approaches to quality assurance, for all providers delivering English higher education, enable the performance of different types of provider to be analysed via QAA's external quality reviews. This paper considers the learning from a common review method and assesses whether this is appropriate for all providers. The findings for England raise issues that may be relevant for other countries and policy contexts.
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