Towards a reformed quality assurance system in the People’s Republic of China: Lessons from Russia and the United Kingdom

Ruixue Chen, Damaris Clark, Sofya Kopelyan


China’s higher education system has long been renowned for its centralised management and state control; however, the massification which started in the late 1980s impacted the developing pattern of the framework. Meanwhile, the system started expanding rapidly in both the quantity of the institutions and the number of students. During the process, private institutions and cross-border education cooperation emerged as complementary providers to the public ones in order to help meet the demands created by higher education expansion. As a result, the central government of China does not have the capacity to conduct quality assurance on all the higher education institutions, while at the same time it tries to establish the sector. This paper focuses on how to enhance the performance of the external quality assurance bodies in China’s higher education by examining the practices from the U.K. and Russia. The suggested quality assurance model expects to meet the demand of the transformation period, and to minimise the possible resistance usually encountered by any reform in higher education.

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