I was trying to answer the above question during my presentation at the 4th QS-Maple Conference held in Abu Dhabi this year. The main point I stressed was about a period of time between accreditation and re-accreditation referred as an accreditation cycle.
I have no doubt how important role accreditation plays when it comes to assuring an acceptable and minimum level of quality. It is very much visible in the national accreditation systems whereby all higher education institutions in a given country are expected to adhere to local requirements. I call it Mc-reditation, meaning that all experience the same – minimum and acceptable level of quality for a long period of time and regardless of the delivery site. And don’t get me wrong – I find it very positive (at least as something to begin with). Nevertheless, I strongly believe we are here for more – to aim for some sort of continuity in quality improvement.
Except for meeting the minimum standards, and therefore improving at the initial stage of the accreditation process, does accreditation really make us strive for excellence?
I don’t think so. I dont’t think we can rely on the accreditation standards nor accreditation procedure in this matter. It rather depends on our quality culture – the maturity of our quality management system…
For more information, please refer to my presentation here.