External quality auditing: strengths and shortcomings in the audit process

Bjørn Stensaker


This chapter discusses the benefits and challenges related to external quality auditing of higher education. By reviewing literature on the topic, and by presenting some recent results from a meta-review of an audit process in Norway, it is shown how audit can be a fruitful tool for enhancing reflection and discussion on a number of issues. Still, the article concludes that external quality auditing could be improved, not least with respect to linking such processes to broader strategic and developmental processes in higher education institutions. In this way, an audit will be an opportunity not only to look back at past achievements but ...

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