Directorate of Quality Assurance
Quality assurance is a new term that has come into the higher education vocabulary over the past decade or so. While there are many definitions of quality assurance in the literature (eg, see Ball, 1985; Birnbaum, 1994; Lindsay, 1992; van Vught and Westcrheijden, 1992), in essence, quality assurance refers to systematic management and assessment procedures adopted to ensure achievement of specified quality or improved quality, and to enable key stakeholders to have confidence in the management of quality and the outcomes achieved. Stakeholders are individuals and groups who have a major interest in the higher education institution or system and its achievements. Some authors (eg Brcnnan, 1997) prefer use of the term quality assessment instead of term quality assurance.