2016 Policy Forum: internal quality insurance in Higher Education

9 June 2016 to 11 June 2016


Within a context of globalization and the knowledge economy, the quality of higher education is increasingly regarded as strategically important for national economic development and competitiveness. As a result, countries and development partners are more willing than ever before to invest in quality higher education.

To help assure stakeholders of quality standards, many countries have created quality assurance (QA) bodies that regularly assess the quality and relevance of their higher education institutions (HEIs) and programmes. At the same time, HEIs have developed their own internal quality assurance (IQA) systems, both to meet the requirements of QA bodies and to boost their internal management.

Rapidly seen as a key vehicle for institutional change, IIEP is dedicating its upcoming 2016 Policy Forum to IQA, and more specifically, how it can contribute to quality and employability in higher education.

Policy Forum
Higher education quality and employability:
How internal quality assurance (IQA) can contribute
Xiamen University, China, 9-11 June 2016

What is internal quality assurance?

Internal quality assurance allows for a continuous internal dialogue on quality improvement through the collection and analysis of feedback from multiple stakeholders, development of internal evaluation methods, and monitoring of selected quality indicators. In addition, IQA has the potential to enhance linkages between academic programmes and the labour market, by collecting information from both graduates and employers on the relevance of the academic offer in light of job market realities.

To ensure that IQA systems can function sustainably for the enhancement of the quality and relevance of higher education services, good principles and innovative solutions must be identified which will work in both developed and developing countries.

8 universities reflect on their IQA systems

IIEP launched in 2014 an international research project on effective IQA solutions for HEIs. The case studies, which will soon be available online, were conducted in eight public and private universities in Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America – HEIs whose IQA systems could clearly demonstrate good practices and innovative features.

These case studies will also be in the spotlight in the upcoming Policy Forum. It will explore the results and their overall contribution to IQA in terms of enhancing higher education and employability, in addition to complementary evidence provided by renowned international experts in the field.

Policy forum participants

Participants will include national and institutional decision-makers for higher education, such as directors for higher education, vice-chancellors or academic vice-rectors, and quality assurance officials from higher education institutions – with representation expected from Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Participants will also include renowned experts and researchers, particularly those quality assurance professionals and researchers who have contributed to the IIEP research study.

Provisional agenda

Thursday, 9 June 2016

a.m. Opening session
         Regional development of IQA
p.m.  IQA as an interconnected system – designing effective structures

Friday, 10 June 2016
a.m.  IQA in support of quality and employability
p.m.  IQA in support of quality dialogue and a culture of quality
Saturday, 11 June 2016
a.m.  Making IQA more effective
          Linking EQA with IQA


Working languages

Working languages will be English and Chinese, with simultaneous interpretation into both languages. All papers drafted for the Policy Forum will be available in both languages.