This is a list of recognized higher education related accreditation organizations. The list includes agencies and organizations that play a role in higher education accreditation and are recognized by the appropriate governmental authorities.
The International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE) is a global association of quality assurance organizations, both governmental and non-governmental. It was founded in 1991 with 8 member organizations and now has over 280. It defines its role as "to promote and advance excellence in higher education through the support of an active international community of quality assurance agencies". Its membership list is available online.
The United States-based Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) (a non-governmental organization) maintains an International Directory which "contains contact information about 467 quality assurance bodies, accreditation bodies and Ministries of Education in 175 countries. The quality assurance and accreditation bodies have been authorized to operate by their respective governments either as agencies of the government or as private (nongovernmental) organizations."
The European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA) disseminates information, experiences and good practices in the field of quality assurance (QA) in higher education to QA agencies, public authorities and higher education institutions in the European Higher Education Area. It is a membership organization, comprising 51 agencies in 28 countries, and was established in 2000 following a recommendation from the Council of the European Union in 1998.
The European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education (EQAR) was established by ENQA, the European Students' Union (ESI), the European University Association (EUA) and the European Association of Institutions in Higher Education (EURASHE) – the European representative bodies of quality assurance agencies, students, universities and other higher education institutions – to increase the transparency of quality assurance in higher education across Europe. EQAR publishes and manages a register of quality assurance agencies that substantially comply with the European Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance (ESG) to provide the public with clear and reliable information on quality assurance agencies operating in Europe. The register is web-based and freely accessible.
ENIC – NARIC comprises all countries of Europe (including the Holy See and thus all Pontifical Universities worldwide) as well as Australia, Canada, Israel, the United States of America and New Zealand. The website also provides information on the higher education systems of the member countries and the accreditation agencies
To implement the Lisbon Recognition Convention and, in general, to develop policy and practice for the recognition of qualifications, the Council of Europe and UNESCO have established the ENIC Network (European Network of National Information Centres on academic recognition and mobility). The Council of Europe and UNESCO/CEPES jointly provide the Secretariat for the ENIC Network. The ENIC Network cooperates closely with the NARIC Network of the European Union. The Network is made up of the national information centres of the States party to the European Cultural Convention or the UNESCO Europe Region. An ENIC is a body set up by the national authorities. While the size and specific competence of ENIC may vary, they will generally provide information on: – the recognition of foreign diplomas, degrees and other qualifications; – education systems in both foreign countries and the ENIC's own country; – opportunities for studying abroad, including information on loans and scholarships, as well as advice on practical questions related to mobility and equivalence.
The NARIC (National Academic Recognition Information Centre) network is an initiative of the European Commission and was created in 1984. The network aims at improving academic recognition of diplomas and periods of study in the Member States of the European Union (EU) countries, the European Economic Area (EEA) countries and Turkey. The network is part of the Community's Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP), which stimulates the mobility of students and staff between higher education institutions in these countries. All member countries have designated national centres, the purpose of which is to assist in promoting the mobility of students, teachers and researchers by providing authoritative advice and information concerning the academic recognition of diplomas and periods of study undertaken in other States. The main users of this service are higher education institutions, students and their advisers, parents, teachers and prospective employers. The NARICs were designated by the Ministries of Education in the respective countries, but the status and the scope of work of individual NARICs may differ. In the majority of States, institutions of higher education are autonomous, taking their own decisions on the admission of foreign students and the exemption of parts of courses of study programmes that students may be granted on the basis of education undertaken abroad. As a result, most NARICs do not take a decision, but offer on request information and advice on foreign education systems and qualifications.
Universities may be founded or accredited only by an Act of Parliament. Vocational universities may be accredited by the Government of Finland, and governed through the Ministry of Education.
The Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany (Kultusministerkonferenz or KMK) was founded in 1948 by an agreement between the states of the Federal Republic of Germany. Among its core responsibilities, the KMK ensures quality development and continuity in tertiary education. Bachelor and Master programs must be accredited in accordance to a resolution of the Kultusministerkonerenz.
The German Council of Science and Humanities (Wissenschaftsrat) was founded on September 5, 1957, and conducts institutional accreditation of private and religious universities since 2001.
The Foundation for the Accreditation of Study Programs in Germany or Accreditation Council (Akkreditierungsrat) was created in a KMK resolution on October 15, 2004. The Accreditation Council certifies accreditation agencies and establishes guidelines and criteria for program and system accreditation. There are currently ten certified agencies.
These agencies accredit programs of study for Bachelor and master's degrees and quality management systems (system accreditation) from state or state recognized Higher Education institutions in Germany and abroad. AKAST only accredit programs of study.
Quality and Qualifications Ireland was established in 2012 as the single agency responsible for external quality assurance of higher education institutions in Ireland, replacing predecessor agencies responsible for different sectors of higher education. It is responsible for the quality assurance of education and research within HEIs. Higher education institutions have been subject to statutory quality assurance since the 1990s and the country has been an active participant in the development of the European model of quality assurance.
Since at least 1933 ( "R.D. 31 agosto 1933, n. 1592.",Law of higher education) the Italian state controls the use of the name "Universita" for an institution. This law, and successive modifications, report a list on University, Schools, budget and human resources for each University. Table D, and successive modifications, reports the exact number of lecturer for each University and School. The Universities were under the control of Government and Parlament, e.g. all new lecturerships must be established by law. The Law "8_marzo_1999,_n._50" (called Bassanini Quater) delegate to the Minister of University and Investigation the supervision of Universities. The system involves two separate but correlated programs that were instituted at the same time: First, each University went through a four-step process to adopt and approve its own Regolamenti Didattici di Ateneo (RDA). The RDA establishes the rules for the organization of teaching at the university, including establishing the requirements and objectives of each degree program, the curricula, credits awarded and requirements and objectives of examinations. The RDA's were developed in consultation with representatives of the individual university, the regional coordinating committee (CRC), employers and the National University Council and are ultimately approved by the Ministry of Education (MIUR). Second, a series of formal, objective standards was adopted as minimum requirements for approval of any programs.
In Spain, ANECA or Agencia Nacional de la Evaluación de la Calidad y Acreditación (National Agency for Quality Assessment and Accreditation) is the authorised national body responsible for the quality of the Spanish high education system. It was created as a foundation in 2002 by the Cabinet of Spain under the Organic Law of Universities. Different regional agencies assume the accreditation (and quality levels) of university programs in their respective regions:
Under the Education Reform Act 1988 it is illegal to offer a degree or qualification that implies it is a degree, unless the institution offering it is authorised by a Royal Charter or by or under an Act of Parliament, or is acting on behalf of an institution so authorised, or the award has been specifically designated by order of the Secretary of State. The government maintains lists of "recognised bodies" that have the right to grant UK degrees, and of "listed bodies" that offer courses validated by a recognised body and leading to degrees of that body. UK institutions offering courses leading to degrees are subject to quality assurance by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA). The QAA is a member of INQAAHE and ENQA. Higher Education Degree Datacheck is the official service for validating British degrees and authenticating universities.
Professional degrees may be accredited by professional, statutory and regulatory bodies to ensure they meet the educational standards for professional licensure; a list of accrediting bodies recognised by the government is maintained by the Higher Education Statistics Agency.
For non-degree qualifications, including courses at the higher education level, there are four public accrediting bodies for the four countries of the United Kingdom. These are:
All qualifications accredited by these bodies will have a level and a credit value on the Regulated Qualifications Framework (England and Northern Ireland), the Credit and Qualifications Framework for Wales, or the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework. Bodies with accredited qualifications, such as City & Guilds, may themselves accredit education providers to deliver courses leading to these qualifications.
There are, additionally, four bodies offering institutional accreditation for private colleges that are recognized by the UK government for visa purposes:
Additionally, the Open and Distance Learning Quality Council (ODLQC) was established by the government in 1969 as the Council for the Accreditation of Correspondence Colleges and took its current name in 1995. It is now an independent body that accredits home study, distance learning and online learning providers.
EduQua – Swiss quality label for further education institutions
It is the Swiss national quality assurance body and the first Swiss quality label geared towards adult continuing education founded in 2000. EduQua is an accreditation body recognized and supported by the Swiss Confederate Government.
The Independent Security Council (ISC), Ghana Medical Association (GMA), Pharmacy Council, and General Legal Council (GLC) are the most notable and recognised professional bodies in Ghana. Though the GMA and GLC may effectively represent the government of Ghana, the Independent Security Council is the official non-governmental Body established with the mandate to provide security training; award and accredit security programs. Unlike the GMA and GLC, the Independent Security Council academically partner with universities with security-focused departments with the aim of offering such universities courses to local citizens.
Other government recognised professional Bodies like Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COTVET), Engineering Council of Ghana, National Board for Professional and Technician Examination, and National Council for Tertiary Education are mandated with level of regulatory status in specific fields of respective practices.
In Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications (HKCAAVQ) conducts accreditation under an ordinance that took effect on 1 October 2007. The former Hong Kong Council for Academic Accreditation was replaced by this new authority. The HKCAAVQ maintains a list of accredited programs and programs accredited by the HKCAAVQ also may be entered into Hong Kong's Qualifications Register.
Universities in India are created constitutionally, through government action. Institutions "which are not established under either Central or State or UGC Act" are labeled "fake universities/vishwavidyalayas" and lack authority to grant degrees.
Recognition or accreditation of courses of study is under the authority of a set of professional councils established by statute and other autonomous coordinative or regulatory bodies established or recognized by the University Grants Commission:
In Malaysia, the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) is a statutory body to accredit academic programs provided by educational institutions providing post secondary or higher education and facilitate the accreditation and articulation of qualifications.
There are also some other recognized organizations who regulate their specific technical fields, which includes:
Universities in Nepal are established through government action. Four current universities, Four being established universities and Three other technical institutes are recognized by the government body "University grants commission" There are almost 1435 colleges in all over 77 districts in Nepal. The current status of the Quality Assurance & Accredited (QAA) certified higher education institution is 20 college.
University Grants Commission (UGC) has circulated a notice to all other colleges to start the process by Mangsir 2079 B.S.
The National Education Policy – 2076 (clause 10. 14) envisions University & Higher Education Council in the chairmanship of Honorable Prime Minister to regulate and supervise higher education policies, universities, and University Grant Commission (UGC).
Other than that, the Council For Technical Education and Vocational Training (CTEVT), established in 1989, by the Government of Nepal is the national autonomous apex body of Technical and Vocational Education and Training regulation. There are also some other recognized organizations who regulate their specific technical fields. They are:
The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA).
A university in Nicaragua (public or private) can only be established with evaluation and approval (authorisation) by the National Council of Universities (CNU Consejo Nacional de Universidades) as precursor to being founded by Act of Parliament. Such recognised universities enjoy the full Anglo-Saxon-style autonomy and require no programme accreditations. The National Council of Evaluation and Accreditation (CNEA) is the quality assurance agency. All recognised universities must participate in the quality assurance programme including mandatory auto-evaluation and reporting to CNEA, and may pursue deliberate institutional accreditation by CNEA or an accreditation agency recognised by CNEA. However, CNEA accreditation does only apply to already recognised universities and does not substitute the required CNU authorisation (first accreditation).
In 2003, Canada began helping Pakistan develop an accreditation system. As stated in "Ordinance No. LIII of 2002, Para 10, Clause e", the Higher Education Commission (HEC) may set up national or regional evaluation councils or authorize any existing council or similar body to carry out accreditation of institutions including their departments, facilities and disciplines by giving them appropriate ratings.
Main article: Higher education accreditation in the United States
Institutional accreditation applies to the entire institution, specific programs, and distance education within an institution. The U.S. Department of Education recognizes the following organizations as institutional accreditors:
These accreditors typically cover a specific program of professional education or training, but in some cases they cover the whole institution. Both the US Department of Education and CHEA maintain lists of recognized US programmatic accreditors: