This contribution focuses on quality assurance (QA) agencies in the sphere of higher education. It develops a theoretical framework that interrelates systems theory with Gramsci's theory of hegemony with a view to situating this new control of universities in the broader context of a further differentiation of society and emerging heterarchical modes of governance. A closer study of the emerging European market of QA agencies highlights the European dimension of this differentiation and the role of the market in advancing a variable geometry in the context of the European Higher Education Area.
- Higher education
- Quality assurance
- Transnationalisation of the state
- Private governance