The Role of Assessment and Quality Management in Transformations towards Sustainable Development: The Nexus between Higher Education, Society and Policy

Research output: Contributions to collected editions/worksChapterpeer-review


Local as well as global challenges including financial crises, climate change, poverty, social inequalities and loss of biodiversity can only be addressed successfully through initiatives and innovations that take a long-term perspective and are developed and implemented holistically and inclusively. This requires taking into account a variety of values and perspectives, and figuring out how best to link the disciplines and create relevant and feasible scenarios for sustainable development. This, in turn, requires people with systems thinking, interpersonal, anticipatory, strategic as well as normative competences (Wiek et al., 2011). As higher education institutions (HEIs) are the incubators of innovation and the producers of future decision-makers, they have the potential to become transformational institutions for society as a whole — to address not only the needs of today but the needs of tomorrow and the development of a sustainable future. But to do this they need to transform themselves (Rio+20 Treaty on Higher Education, 2014). And this poses a major change agenda as it requires them to develop a ‘fit for purpose’ institutional management, shared leadership through inclusive governance and open processes and education and learning programmes that enable people to take agency and undertake innovation through transdisciplinary research.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSustainable Development and Quality Assurance in Higher Education : Transformation of Learning and Society
EditorsZinaida Fadeeva, Laima Galkute , Clemens Mader, Geoff Scott
Number of pages18
Place of PublicationHoundmills
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Publication date11.2014
Article number4
ISBN (Print)978-1-349-49873-4
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-137-45914-5
Publication statusPublished - 11.2014