Who was Marjorie Peace Lenn?

The primary purpose of the MPL Center is to carry on the vision and the work of its namesake, Dr. Marjorie Peace Lenn, a founding board member of INQAAHE and a visionary higher education leader. Dr. Lenn had a profound impact on the development of networks for cross-border and cross-cultural understanding in higher education quality assurance. The MPL Center attempts to foster the goals communicated by Dr. Lenn in her lifetime.


"Dr. Marjorie Peace Lenn was one of the founders of INQAAHE in 1991, and she has been a strong participant in and supporter of the Network throughout the years. Sadly, she died October, 2010.

Long before many in her field, Dr. Marjorie Peace Lenn recognized that in a shrinking, increasingly interdependent world, countries who are serious about economic growth should not only educate more women and men at higher rates, but be able to address the growing global demand for better higher education. She observed that this is precisely why “[t]he assessment and enhancement of quality, and attempts to define and measure quality, are major issues for higher education in many countries.”

Very early on, in the late 1980’s, Dr. Lenn witnessed first hand countries grappling with these important concerns and worked to make sure their quality demands were met. The Association of American Colleges and Universities in Japan and the Hong Kong Council for Academic Accreditation were the direct result of this initial push to set and streamline standards.

As global demands for quality grew, she knew there was no time to waste in expanding this work.

Dr. Lenn launched the Center for Quality Assurance in International Education (CQAIE) in 1991 to help countries envision and implement standards and systems to embrace these growing demands at home and abroad. From the outset, the Center was at the cutting edge of three quality-focused strategies, which are alive and well today thanks to the work of INQAAHE members and partners:

1) national and institutional capacity building in quality assurance and accreditation;
2) advocacy and planning for the globalization of the professions; and
3) ensuring the quality of transnational education.

Over the last two decades, these strategies, at the core of her pioneering vision for quality assurance, paved the way for new and improved systems and programmes in over 50 countries throughout Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America.

As the quality assurance movement continues to grow in influence throughout the world, countries, institutions, and agencies are confronting new and often difficult challenges. That’s why Dr. Lenn valued international networks like INQAAHE – a network devoted to providing the space, time, and resources for key players to dialogue, strengthen relationships across borders, and most importantly, spur innovative strategies to meet new demands.

In December 2011, INQAAHE demonstrated once again what Dr. Lenn valued most in bringing quality assurance stakeholders together. As a tribute to her life and work, the Network hosted a conference in Brussels to explore the intersections of internationalisation and quality assurance, especially connecting European experiences with others throughout the world. The first day was dedicated to the quality of internationalisation in the professions and the second on mutual recognition and disciplinary accreditation initiatives with the third focused on European Quality Labels and external quality review procedures."

Rebecca Peace Lenn
Rebecca Peace Lenn, daughter of Dr. Marjorie Peace Lenn, is a strategic writer and outreach coordinator at Media Matters for America. She is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College and Yale University and lives in Washington, D.C.