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The purpose of this paper is to examine how the Japanese and Taiwanese national quality assurance (QA) agencies, National Institution for Academic Degrees and Quality…
The purpose of this paper is to examine how the Japanese and Taiwanese national quality assurance (QA) agencies, National Institution for Academic Degrees and Quality Enhancement (NIAD-QE) and Higher Education Evaluation and Accreditation Council of Taiwan (HEEACT), transform their respective frameworks in response to social demands, and analyze and compare the respective approaches for the key concepts of autonomy, accountability, improvement and transparency.
Using a qualitative document analysis approach, this paper initially examines the higher education system, major policies and QA developments, after which the methods associated with the QA restructuring transformations are outlined in terms of motivations, expectations and challenges. Finally, the NIAD-QE and HEEACT evaluation policies and frameworks are compared to assess how each has prepared to respond to emerging challenges.
During the QA framework restructuring, both the NIAD-QE and HEEACT struggled to achieve autonomy, accountability, improvements and transparency. While the new internal Japanese QA policy is assured through the external QA, the Taiwanese internal QA, which has a self-accreditation policy, is internally embedded with university autonomy emphasized. The QA policies in both the NIAD-QE and HEEACT have moved from general compliance to overall improvement, and both emphasize that accountability should be achieved through improvements. Finally, both agencies sought transparency through the disclosure of the QA process and/or results to the public and the enhancement of public communication.
This study gives valuable insights into the QA framework in Asian higher education institutions and how QA has been transformed to respond to social needs.