There is a growing interconnection between higher education and economic development, according to Judith Eaton, President of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
“Higher education in the service of economic development is a major global trend,” Eaton said in remarks delivered at the North East Asia Conference on October 1, 2009 in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. “The major actors are institutions, government and industry, and the major actions are around investment for research for innovation, competitiveness and social development.”
The North East Asia Conference is held by the International Association of University Presidents, an association of university chief executives from higher education institutions around the world.
“The growing role of higher education in global economic development raises a number of important questions,” Eaton stated. “These questions address what we do when local responsibilities may not align with international activity; how to further strengthen ties between economic development and social commitment; the extent to which quality judgments are about standards as well as process; and how to combat degree mills.”
Eaton pointed out “Higher education institutions that have primarily engaged in the service of educating students and as sources of national pride and cultural development are now also emphasizing economic capacity-building and focusing on success in economic competitiveness, equity and robust international engagement.”
“Quality assurance is an integral part of higher education’s economic development activity,” Eaton concluded. “As higher education increasingly operates regionally and internationally, there is a commensurate interest in accountability and quality assurance tools that encompass this activity.”
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A national advocate and institutional voice for self-regulation of academic quality through accreditation, CHEA is an association of 3,000 degree-granting colleges and universities and recognizes 60 institutional and programmatic accrediting organizations. For more information, visit CHEA’s Website at www.chea.org.