The evolution of Chilean assessment of higher education institutions is described and analysed. Focus is put on a systemic description of assessment subjects, so that different evaluation approaches can be compared. This paper stresses the relevance of the quality assurance approach, which
has been taken as a model for the now oncoming institutional accreditation. Its foreseeable impact on engineering schools is stressed. The new accreditation approach brings in new challenges for engineering schools, related with improving knowledge about causal relationships among stated purposes,
activities, resources, outcomes and social impacts.