Starts from the premiss that the Government White Paper of 1991 and the Further and Higher Education Act of 1992, in concentrating their attention on accountability, paid insufficient attention to enhancing the quality of provision in higher education. Suggests that whilst the present arrangements for the external scrutiny of quality in higher education (quality audit and quality assessment) have led to some improvements, the future demands on the sector – well articulated in the MacFarlane report of 1993 – are likely to require a much more proactive approach to the enhancement of quality. Proposes that a funding agenda, explicitly oriented towards enhancement, could act as an inducement to the sector to respond in strategic ways to the challenges posed in the MacFarlane Report. A consequence of the approach would be the establishment of revised arrangements for external quality scrutiny at national level.
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