The influence of political power and ideology on quality evaluation policies in higher education

Vaia Papanikolaou, University of Thessaly, Greece, Yiannis Roussakis, University of Thessaly, Greece, Panagiotis Tzionas, International Hellenic University, Greece
Published online: 30 October 2020, JCETR, 4(2), pp. 26-34.

DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.4256783

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Purpose: The diversity of political views provides great opportunities for sound evaluation methods in higher education, since these are defined, enacted upon and funded through governmental processes; their implementation is constantly subjected to political pressures –This paper explores how results are evaluated as intended to occur many years after implementation of education policy and what is the role of critical political institutions such as accountability and transparency. 

Methods: We present as a case study the evolution of evaluation concepts in Greek universities, through a 35-year period, characterized by the shifting of political power. These observations are generalized by the results of interviews conducted with an international group of academics.

Results: There is a strong link between political power and ideology and the determination of quality evaluation, leading to distinct and different outcomes, as implemented in national strategies for higher education, strongly affecting HEI’s in all aspects.

Implications: In this paper we show how the state political control shapes the context of QA in universities. Universities must have the courage to protect their core values, democracy, transparency, accountability and the creation of knowledge.


Education policy, quality assurance, higher education

JEL Classification: I23, I28