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Nice post. A totally different perspective on accreditation. The author has rightly pointed out that accrediting standards and policies should pay attention on increasing excellence in higher education.The current structure need overhauling.

Lloyd comments: thanks for your comment. I agree about increasing excellence- with the caveat that many customers of higher ed do not agree with many of the definitions of excellence used by most top universities of the world. We are self referential in our definitions of quality, and happily tell customers ( students,parents, governments, employers) that only we know what they need.


I un derstand that accreditations Works like this .

A college applies to a region al acc. agency saying
I will do education like A, B, C, D, E, F .

Agency checks if college is really doing A, B, C, D, F, as it was told to them. They do not evaluate if A, B, C, D, E, F are good practices or not . Acreditations has nothing to do with quality .
It is just checks of specs claimed to be .
Please enlighten me . [email protected]

Lloyd Responds: Actually, the accrediting agency sends in a team of respected academics with knowledge of the areas that fit within the stated mission of the college, and asks them to evaluate whether minimal standards are being met in those areas. The team also discusses with the college ways in which the college can improve its performance. Thus accreditation is a statement that minimal standards are being met, and a process for encouraging improvement. The standards, however, very seldom have much to do with outputs (how much did the students learn), and have a lot to do with inputs (number of faculty, resources available for programs, etc).

Stephen Powell

Hi, "so business models cannot be frozen in time.". I suggest that by and large the the HE business model used by established institutions is very static, it is just the numbers that change a little.

Lloyd comments: actually, there have been lots of changes in the business model over the past few decades, but they have been sustaining ones - which do hold the core structure of the business model constant. For example, compared to the 1960's we see that faculty in a larger fraction of institutions are expected to do research, a larger fraction of the total budget is spent on student residences, athletic facilities, etc, a larger fraction of the faculty are non-tenure track, more technology has been brought into the classroom, and the mix of various humanities and science fields has changed. These and other changes in resources and processes have come about because of changes in the value propositions of students and government and the resulting pressures on balancing the budget in the profit formula.

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