Quality and quality assurance in Chinese private higher education

Yingxia Cao (College of Business and Public Management, University of La Verne, La Verne, California, USA)
Xiaofan Li (The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC, USA)

Quality Assurance in Education

ISSN: 0968-4883

Publication date: 28 January 2014



The paper aims to establish a quality assurance framework for Chinese private higher education (PHE) in particular and for any newly-established higher education sector in general.


This research relied on published qualitative and quantitative data, existing literature, historical documents, and the authors' observations. It described the PHE growth context, analyzed the quality issue from three dimensions (academic, administrative, and relationship quality), and examined its quality assurance practice through three players.


The paper provides empirical insights about how quality and quality assurance issues have impacted on PHE development. To approach the issues, it suggests a “quality assurance triangle” framework that is composed of three PHE players (government, market, institution) and their joint association.

Research limitations/implications

Because of the relative position of each player in current quality assurance, the success of its implementation in China depends on how the government establishes the triangle system and balances its dominating roles to ensure each of the players act independently and collaboratively.

Practical implications

This framework provides directions for establishing an appropriate quality assurance system for PHE in China.


This paper fulfills an identified need to setup a sound quality assurance system for PHE in China and contributes to quality assurance literature with a new framework.



Cao, Y. and Li, X. (2014), "Quality and quality assurance in Chinese private higher education", Quality Assurance in Education, Vol. 22 No. 1, pp. 65-87. https://doi.org/10.1108/QAE-09-2011-0061

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