The new qualification framework‟s stress on learning outcomes indicates a „new paradigm‟ for our way of assessing higher education. With this in mind, the presentation discusses the very concept of learning outcomes, how they may be assessed and their suitability as a steering parameter. A quick survey of how some „pioneering‟ national QA agencies have adapted to the new orientation offers some hints about likely trends in the future. The main part of the presentation is a discussion of what changes may – or should – be expected in quality assurance, given the new orientation. It is argued that reference frameworks as well as processes must be affected, as will the relationship between direct and indirect approaches, creating a modified „hierarchy‟ of quality indicators. As QA is drawn closer to didactic concerns, more prominent roles must be taken by the teaching academics. The relationships between the programme and the institutional levels and between internal and external quality assurance may change as a result of this.
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