Guidelines for Quality Provision in Cross-Border Higher Education : Where Do We Stand?
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The Guidelines for Quality Provision in Cross-Border Higher Education were developed and adopted to support and encourage international cooperation and enhance the understanding of the importance of quality provision in cross-border higher education. The purposes of the Guidelines are to protect students and other stakeholders from low-quality provision and disreputable providers (that is, degree and accreditation mills) as well as to encourage the development of quality cross-border higher education that meets human, social, economic and cultural needs. The Guidelines are not legally binding and member countries are expected to implement them as appropriate in their national context. Based on a survey about the main recommendations of the Guidelines, this report monitors the extent to which OECD countries and a few non-member countries comply with its recommendations. The Survey was sent out in June 2010 to all OECD countries. The Secretariat has also collaborated with the UNESCO Secretariat to have the questionnaire sent to all UNESCO non-OECD country delegations. Twenty-three responses were obtained from 22 Members: Australia, Austria, Belgium (Flemish and French communities), Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Netherlands, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States; and 9 non-Members: Bulgaria, Colombia, Fiji, Indonesia, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Lithuania, Oman, Rwanda. Government representatives were asked to co-ordinate with the other stakeholders covered to answer the survey. The main conclusion of the survey is that (responding) countries report a high level of compliance with the Guidelines recommendations. On average, responding OECD countries conform to 72% of the main recommendations made to governments, tertiary education institutions, and quality assurance and accreditation agencies. The level of compliance decreases to 67% when recommendations to student bodies are included, but the level of missing information, and thus uncertainty about actual compliance, increases significantly.