The International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE) was established in 1991 with only 8 members. Today the total membership exceeds 250 members. Higher education has dramatically changed over the last decades. Distance education as well as vocational education have become increasingly more important as is the need for recognition of prior learning. Higher education has become more global than ever before. Professional accreditation has become more important as more higher education institutions, delivering programs in different modes, enter the market. All these have thrust the quality assurance agencies into ever expanding roles.
Purposes of the Netwoork are presented in the Constitution:
- To create, collect and disseminate information on current and developing theory and practice in the assessment, improvement and maintenance of quality in higher education;
- To undertake or commission research in areas relevant to quality in higher education;
- To express the collective views of its members on matters relevant to quality in higher education through contacts with international bodies and by other means;
- To promote the theory and practice of the improvement of quality in higher education;
- To provide advice and expertise to assist existing and emerging quality assurance agencies;
- To facilitate links between quality assurance agencies and support networks of quality assurance agencies;
- To assist members to determine the standards of institutions operating across national borders and facilitate better-informed international recognition of qualifications;
- To assist in the development and use of credit transfer and credit accumulation schemes to enhance the mobility of students between institutions (within and across national borders);
- To enable members to be alert to improper quality assurance practices and organisations;
- To organise, on request, reviews of the operation of members.