Assessment, Accountability, and Educational Quality in the United States and Sweden

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In both Europe and the United States, accountability pressures have continued to increase, spurred by the higher-level policy groups represented by the EC in Europe and by the federal government in the US, forcing institutions to measure their effectiveness in ways that are more transparent to governmental bodies and the general public. These ways are increasingly focused on student learning outcomes, the outputs of the educational process, an approach that is different from the historical norm of looking at input measures. This article compares the progress of such accountability pressures on higher education institutions in Sweden and the US, with a particular eye toward changes in educational policy.

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