Accreditation for Quality Assurance: What is at stake?
The processes of accrediting the quality of university education in the world was the central theme of the debate papers at the Third International Barcelona Conference on Higher Education. The plenary papers by Carlos Tünnermann, Federico Mayor Zaragoza and Edgar Morin provided the counterpoint to a conference which saw the presentation of the second GUNi Report on Higher Education in the World.
More than 400 people from over 80 countries came to GUNi’s Third International Barcelona Conference on Higher Education, held from 27 to 29 November 2006 at the Technical University of Catalonia (UPC). The central theme of the conference was the role and processes of accreditation as a way of conserving, guaranteeing and even improving the quality of teaching in universities. The title of the conference, “Accreditation for quality assurance: what is at stake?”, accurately reflects this theme and hints at the ramifications of a debate that is becoming increasingly urgent and relevant. In the common debate on accreditation processes throughout the world, it was made clear that, in addition to adopting a technical approach to accreditation, one must tackle the problems from a plural, diverse and global perspective, as the consequences will largely define the future of universities.