The role of universities in quality assurance
Canadian universities are dedicated to ensuring the quality and continuous improvement of their academic programs in a transparent and accountable manner. This means each institution has developed and maintains periodic internal quality assurance policies and procedures that foster a culture of quality at the university. As responsibility for the quality of Canadian university programs is shared with respective provincial governments, these internal policies take place in the context of external reviews by provincial or regional authorities.
Internal quality assurance policies and procedures vary among institutions, but they largely centre on academic program reviews that are based on self-evaluation and peer review. These may include:
- A mandatory review of all new and substantially revised programs by the university senate or another university governing body
- Curriculum evaluations
- Periodic self-study reviews
- Student satisfaction surveys
- Peer reviews of programs by external disciplinary experts
- The process and quality assessment results are public
Membership in Universities Canada requires each university to have such formal and comprehensive quality assurance policies. Members must also affirm their commitment to the Association’s principles of institutional quality assurance in Canadian higher education.