Award Date

2009

Degree Type

Dissertation

Department

Educational Leadership

Advisor 1

Bob Ackerman, Committee Chair

First Committee Member

Gerald Kops

Second Committee Member

Vicki Rosser

Graduate Faculty Representative

LeAnn Putney

Number of Pages

352

Abstract

European tertiary education became an important topic of the main leaders of the world academia a decade ago, when 29 European countries voluntarily signed the Bologna Declaration of 1999. This intergovernmental European initiative of educational reform, known as the Bologna Process, defines a common framework for higher education systems, and encourages the development of quality assurance within and between institutions of higher education. The purpose of this dissertation was to examine the implementation process of quality assurance policy, The Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in Higher Education, in two European countries: the United Kingdom and Poland, including the quality assurance policy adaptation process on national level, modifications, and its impact on changes in national education systems and institutions in both countries. The institutional quality assurance policies of the University of Cambridge and Uniwersytet Jagieloñski were evaluated and discussed here as well. This qualitative research followed a single comparative case study design with embedded multiple units of analysis guided by Fischer's theoretical framework for policy evaluation. The researcher presented a detailed quality assurance policies' analysis by utilizing event mapping, content analysis, and modified for this study, the Complementary Analysis Research Method Application (CARMA) as the data instruments. By examining and comparing the quality assurance policies, and their implementation processes, the researcher provided a broad perspective of different approaches to educational reform in European countries, their obstacles and successful initiatives. The study unfolded a picture of a regular, secure, and momentarily resistant approach in the UK, as one of the initiators of the reform, compared to Polish fast paced movement, as a participant, towards the European Higher Education Area. Despite diverse approach and progress made in each examined case, both countries still demonstrate a need for more proceedings and changes, especially on a national level. By evaluating the aforementioned policies in further detail, the quality assurance's significance was emphasized as a link that connects all remaining objectives of the Bologna Process, and set the background to harmonize diverse education systems in institutions of higher education in Europe, and, what has been already explored, in other countries world-wide.

Keywords

Bologna Process; Educational policy analysis; European Higher Education Area; International education; Poland; Quality assurance; United Kingdom

Disciplines

Higher Education and Teaching

Language

English


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