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2020, Cilt 10, Sayı 3, Sayfa(lar) 381-390
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DOI: 10.5961/jhes.2020.398
An Analysis of Current Trends in Higher Education: The Place and Importance of Students’ Learning Experiences in Quality Assurance
Nilüfer ÜLKER
Istanbul Technical University, School of Foreign Languages, Istanbul, Turkey
Keywords: Accreditation, Higher education, Student evaluations, Student feedback

Asking for students’ feedback concerning different constituents of learning is regarded as an important indicator of quality in today’s higher education. As higher education has become more internationalized, quality assurance and its implementation in different forms have gained significance. This study explores current trends in higher education which developed as a consequence of globalization and internationalization. Accordingly, the study analyzes the driving factors behind the current state of accreditation as a widely utilized quality mechanism leading to an emphasis on student evaluations. Relevant literature was reviewed to offer a comprehensive analysis of the role and importance of customer-orientation, quality, accreditation, students’ learning experiences and student evaluations in higher education. The situation was specifically elaborated on for the Turkish context. Also, examination of standards of a number of programs with national and/or international accreditation in accordance with the Council of Higher Education (YÖK) regulations concentrating on student evaluations demonstrates that student evaluations are implemented as part of the quality criteria specified by accrediting agencies, and thus, they are already a constituent of quality assurance mechanisms for many universities. Therefore, it is of prime importance for Turkish universities to eliminate any potential irregularities with regard to different aspects of student evaluations to enhance the transformative power of higher education as well as assuring quality for higher education as a whole.

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