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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Trust, Markets and Accountability in Higher Education: A Comparative Perspective


In recent years problems have emerged around the American system of accrediting colleges and universities - a peculiar system involving voluntary regional associations of colleges and universities, public and private, which appoint committees of academics to make visits to their member institutions and report first on whether they are reasonably decent institutions of higher education, and secondly, on how they might improve themselves. This paper explores these issues comparatively in the American and European contexts.

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