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Regulatory intermediation and quality assurance in higher education: the case of the auditors

Williams, Ruth; King, Roger and Griffiths, Paul (2007). Regulatory intermediation and quality assurance in higher education: the case of the auditors. Oxford Review of Education, 33(2) pp. 161–174.


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The paper takes the external quality assurance of English universities and colleges as an example of regulation in higher education as undertaken by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA). Regulatory scholarship generally has been largely disinterested in higher education and the paper applies a 'regulatory lens' to higher education quality assurance. It reports the findings of a research project on the role identities and perceptions of the auditors recruited by the QAA from the academic community for undertaking institutional audits. It suggests that such a group may be regarded as 'regulatory intermediaries', facing both 'upwards' to the regulator, and 'down' to those being regulated. As such, they have an important function in the delivery of external quality assurance regulation and the paper reports on how they mediate and understand a range of frequently conflicting pressures.

Item Type: Journal Article
ISSN: 0305-4985
Keywords: Higher Education; Postsecondary education; Education; Universities and colleges; Learning and scholarship; Quality assurance; Industrial management; Auditors; Research
Academic Unit/Department: Centre for Higher Education Research and Information (CHERI)
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET)
Item ID: 15292
Depositing User: Ruth Williams
Date Deposited: 17 Mar 2009 17:37
Last Modified: 05 Dec 2010 05:44
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