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Revista Electrónica Educare

On-line version ISSN 1409-4258Print version ISSN 1409-4258


TORRES-SALAS, María Isabel; GARCIA-ROJAS, Andrea  and  ALVARADO-ARGUEDAS, Andrea. The External Evaluation: A Mechanism to Ensure the Quality of Higher Education in Costa Rica. Educare [online]. 2018, vol.22, n.2, pp.286-301. ISSN 1409-4258.

This study aims to show that the accreditation involves a dynamic and complex process. The accreditation allows the improvement of higher education because it ensures and promotes quality in all the aspects that compose this educational level. This bibliographic review article considered a range of criteria concerning the standards accrediting bodies use to have self-assessments made. These criteria are associated with different experiences carried out both in Costa Rica and in other Latin American countries. In addition, this article proposes a reflection on the different mechanisms used to evaluate the quality in higher education institutions, as well as an analysis on the role of accreditation in these public universities versus the quality systems and the ways to promote the development of an institutional culture that leads to quality processes in Costa Rica. Among the main findings, the study showed that these processes put in evidence the strengths and weaknesses of the careers or institutions that undergo the accreditation, which allows the implementation of improvement plans leading to a continuously improving process that is subject to external verification following established criteria and standards.

Keywords : Higher education; accreditation; educational quality; educational evaluation.

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