Joint degree programs have gained popularity in East Asia, due to the growth of transnational higher education in the region since 2000. However, the external quality assurance (QA) and accreditation of joint degree programs is a challenge for QA agencies, as it normally involves the engagement of several institutions and multiple national accreditation procedures. The purpose of this study is to explore current QA approaches to joint degree programs in Europe and East Asia from the perspectives of QA agencies. There are four major findings from the study. First, East Asian countries tend to stipulate national regulations for a joint degree program. Second, an external QA mechanism for joint degree programs has not yet been developed in East Asian nations. Third, the adoption of international accreditation as the popular approach for joint degree programs in business fields in Asia raises the serious issue of national jurisdiction over higher education. Fourth, the European Consortium for Education's (ECA) single accreditation mode is highly recommended by QA agencies.
Higher Education Research & Development, Vol.35, No.3, pp.473-487