Quality assessment for higher education in Europe pages:27-41
A few decades ago, it was not taken for granted that university staff should be formally and regularly assessed, except when they were candidates for promotion. Most universities saw this as a task that had to be done by peers, with other stakeholders seldom being included in this process. Senior colleagues assessed whether a young colleague was fit to move up in the academic ranks. His or her teaching and research behaviour was certainly discussed, but very seldom, if ever (depending on the country or university), was there any formal assessment by other stakeholders. This has now changed completely. There are probably very few HEIs (higher education institutions) today where there is no formal assessment of teaching and research procedures of the staff by peers and/ or students, although this practice is not always accepted and is certainly regularly criticized. In this chapter, I am interested in answers to questions concerning the social circumstances in which these assessment procedures have been created, the kinds of instrument used, the advantages and disadvantages of the assessment procedures, their introduction by university managers and the resistance they encounter.