Equity and quality assurance. A marriage of two minds

Edited by Michaela Martin

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Policy-makers in higher education need to formulate coherent and effective overall policies for  higher education. They are thus looking for opportunities to create synergies and a stronger  consistency in their policy-making.

Equity and quality are two long standing but separate strands in higher education policy  agendas in terms of policy targets and implementation mechanisms. Equity is the older, yet persistent policy issue. Quality has recently moved up on policy agendas and finds itself materialized through the creation of numerous quality assurance schemes worldwide.

This publication explores whether there is scope for equity and quality to come together on higher education policy agendas and under what conditions they can do so. Authors from countries as diverse as Australia, Brazil, India, and South Africa discuss the relationships between equity policies and the quality assurance systems.

Their analysis focuses on: 1) the equity problematic in their respective countries from a historical and sociological perspective; 2) the current policy framework for equity in higher education; 3) how the national quality assurance systems reflects equity (including main mechanisms for quality assessment, equity concerns expressed in the quality model and equity friendly process elements); and 4) the presumed impact that the quality assurance system has had on equity in higher education in terms of institutional policies and practices.

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