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China: Nation-wide association seeks to improve evaluation system

China established a National Association of Quality Assurance and Evaluation Agencies in early November to improve the higher education evaluation system in the country. The association was initiated jointly by the Higher Education Evaluation Centre of the Ministry of Education; regional educational evaluation institutes in Shanghai, Chongqing, and Jiangsu; and leading universities, including Peking University and Tsinghua University. It is officially registered as a non-governmental professional body with 200 institutional members.

There has been mounting concern over higher education quality in China since the country started to expand higher education enrolment in 1999. Quality assurance and evaluation are therefore identified as key priorities in the next stage of the development of China’s higher education sector. Currently, 12 independent provincial evaluation institutes and 300 institutional evaluation institutes in China are involved in educational evaluation. The new nation-wide body is expected to address quality issues by improving the organisation and performance of the existing educational evaluation institutes in China, and enhancing exchange and cooperation efforts between Chinese and international quality assurance and evaluation organisations.  

The Association will work in consultation with the Chinese Association of Higher Education, a professional association with a membership comprised of colleges and universities from across the country. It first Chairperson, Dr. Wu Qidi, is former Vice-Minister of Education. She is a graduate of Tsinghua University, where she obtained her bachelor’s and master’s degrees, as well as ETH Zurich, where she obtained her PhD in electronic engineering.        

Chinese Ministry of Education (in Chinese)