Does relevance in higher education equate with quality? Every programme in higher education attracts the interest of a range of stakeholders with a multiplicity of conflicting concerns about relevance and a multiplicity of conflicting criteria of quality. Accreditation, accountability and quality assurance criteria often seem to be contradictory or even mutually exclusive, and national Quality Assurance agenda seem to exacerbate the problem for all fields of higher education. This paper outlines one outcome of a series of international collaborative research and development projects addressing apparent inconsistencies between accreditation requirements, perceptions of good teaching principles, and the accountability expectations of various stakeholders including faculty teaching staff, students, employers and the community. The collective outcome of these projects included development of a Transitional Criteria Framework that allows formal recognition of multiple value systems for assessment, evaluation, accreditation, accountability and quality assurance within a single system.
25th Annual Conference of the Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia (HERDSA 2002). Quality Conversations : 2002 Annual International Conference of the Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia, 7-10 July, Perth, Western Australia [Research and Development in Higher Education, Vol. 25] (Perth, WA 7-10 July, 2002) p. 168-176