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The paper examines global developments in quality assurance (QA) in higher education and the imperatives that are driving these. It argues that universities need to respond to the growing calls for accountability, national and international competition in higher education, availability of quality open courseware and expectations that graduates should demonstrate the generic attributes required for the twenty-first century. The paper discusses how quality should be monitored and measured. It posits that quality can never be taken for granted, but has to be continually worked for. It also suggests that innovators in on- and off-campus pedagogy and e-learning need to evidence that they can achieve better outcomes than the more time-honoured approaches. At a time when Turkish universities are becoming increasingly engaged in QA and there is an ongoing debate on the governance issue, the paper is designed to raise issues for further consideration by managers and academics.