Quality through regulation? towards quality provision in the South African private higher education sector
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Nearly five years have elapsed since the onset of implementation of a process for regulating private higher education provision in South Africa. While the accreditation and registration processes have certainly heightened awareness of issues of quality, it is by no means clear that regulation in and if itself assures quality. It is argues that a culture of quality needs to develop within institutions themselves as they see the need for accountability to their learners and responsiveness to the labor market and to society more broadly. Regulation may be a catalyst for such development, but it does not necessarily ensure the sustainability of quality measures. This article considers the regulatory framework within which accreditation is located, assesses the impact of the accreditation process under the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) and the Higher Education Quality Committee (HEQC) of the Council on Higher Education (CHE) and explores the relationships between accreditation and quality. It challenges the assumption that compliance with statutory regulatory requirements necessarily enjoins quality.