This text provides an analytical account of the changes to quality
assurance of UK universities and colleges from 1992 to 2003. It
documents the shift from institutional self-regulation to increased
involvement of the state and examines the accompanying debate about
the purposes, forms and ownership of quality assurance, as well as
a wider consideration of the best means of regulating professional
activities. All the key developments and issues of quality
assurance are covered, including the background to the ongoing
debate, the evolution of the post-1992 regime, the role of the
Higher Education Quality Council (HEQe, changes to assessment, the
creation of a single system and the formation and likely evolution
of the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA). Roger Brown writes with
authority derived from his experiences in the thick of quality
assurance and proposes that the external quality regime has
hindered regulation of higher education. He draws from the lessons
learnt during the 1990s to assess the conditions required for
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