On Thursday, November 9, Martin Kurzweil and Wendell Pritchett, Provost and Presidential Professor of Law and Education at the University of Pennsylvania, are speaking on “Quality Assurance in U.S. Higher Education: The Current Landscape and Principles for Reform.” The talk will be held in the Bernard Segal Moot Court Room at Penn Law at noon.

From the event website:

The U.S. system of higher education continues to be vital to our country, but over the last decade it has come under increasing scrutiny and criticism. Significant annual investments of federal funds in higher education and growing levels of student debt, combined with substantial rates at which students fail to complete degrees, have raised the issue of quality assurance to one of prominence. This has led to an intensifying debate among government officials and policymakers about the best ways to regulate the sector to increase its productivity.  In this seminar, Martin Kurzweil and Wendell Pritchett will draw on their recent work focused on current debates about higher education quality assurance and will present a possible path forward to  accelerate improvement. Offering an overview of the current accreditation system and other quality assurance mechanisms for higher education, they will explain how some recent efforts to improve quality assurance using performance-based assessment ultimately accommodate poorly the institutional diversity of higher education and do little to support improvement. They will introduce management-based regulation and offer a number of examples from the U.S. and elsewhere, in higher education and other fields, to chart possible avenues for future reform. Drawing on these examples, they will conclude by elaborating on several broad design principles for reforming the higher education quality assurance system in the U.S to make it more rigorous, consistent, and supportive of innovation and improvement.