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Title: A critical analysis of higher education accreditation policy processes in the emerging CARICOM Single Market and Economy Territories
Author: Ali, Eduardo Raoul
ISNI:       0000 0004 2702 3405
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2010
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This thesis addresses the question: 'How do Higher Education Accreditation Policy Processes Compare Among Emerging CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) Territories?' I investigate the perspectives of accreditation policy experts, namely researchers, analysts, text writers and implementers, through written materials and interviews, to be able to answer the research question. I begin by discussing the new regionalism as a theoretical backdrop to the study and explain how the philosophy and approaches to new regionalism relate to the development of Caribbean higher education accreditation policy framework, as articulated by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). In this discussion, I refer to Jules' (2008) postulate of harmonization of regional education policies within CARICOM. His study was analyzed as a suitable frame of reference for my study. In this study, I used a critical policy analysis to assess the policy production processes in five countries in the Caribbean region as they relate to regional accreditation. These policies are measured against the draft model legislation for accreditation proposed by the CARICOM. In addition to this, I focused attention on three policies -Barbados, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago- to understand the mechanism of harmonization. The study focuses on the new development on regional sustainability called the CSME, the central aim of the policy within the CSME and corresponding processes by which higher education accreditation policies were being formulated and enacted. I applied theoretical thematic analysis to analyze data from documentary sources and experts' perceptions to interpret how accreditation policy production processes were applied in three stages in policy analysis; `defining policy', `researching policy' and `negotiating policy'. These stages were examined in relation to globalization contexts, nation state policy making within a federal context and the roles of politics, empirical policy research and stakeholder participation. Data analysis revealed that accreditation policy production and implementation showed a tendency to exhibit what Jules referred to as `harmonization' at the CARICOM level, whereas `policy borrowing and dissemination' seemed to have occurred at the national level due to contextualization pressures. The political negotiation process was al voured approach during policy production. Conversely, inadequate emphasis was placed on empirical policy research. Although stakeholders were consulted, their views were considered much less than the state's role in policy production. Following from this analysis, the thesis argues for the need to emphasize an empirical approach to the study of accreditation policy and practice that utilizes culturally appropriate education policy frameworks as tools for education policy making in the Caribbean region.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available