Accreditation is a review of the quality of universities, educational institutes, vocational institutions, colleges, schools, distance learning centers, lifelong learning centers, online courses, corporations, agencies, professionals, and instructors. All over the world, accreditation is a major way that students, families, government officials, and the press know that an institution or program provides quality education.
Accreditation may be either institutional or programmatic and is a voluntary, comprehensive, and objective process of outside peer review to determine whether an institution or program meets the standards of the accrediting body in institutional and/or educational quality and effectiveness. The EAHEA provides institutional accreditation for its members.
Whether a college, school, university, distance learning center, or program is accredited is important:
- Students who want governmental (and sometimes association, organization) grants and loans need to attend a university, school, college, distance learning center, online course, or program that is accredited.
- Employers ask if a university, school, college, distance learning center, online course, or program is accredited before deciding to provide tuition assistance to current employees, evaluating the credentials of new employees, or making a charitable contribution.
- The government requires that a university, school, college, distance learning center, online course, or program be accredited to be eligible for grants and loans or other funds.
- Governments require that a university, school, college, distance learning center, online course, or program be accredited when they make state funds available to students or institutions and when they allow students to sit for government licensure examinations in some professional fields.
Accreditation is a complicated subject. "Informing the Public About Accreditation" is an effort to reduce this complexity and provide the public with answers to these basic questions:What is Accredited? Why is Accreditation Important?
What Is Accredited?
Universities, educational institutes, vocational institutions, colleges, schools, distance learning centers, lifelong learning centers, online courses, corporations, agencies, professionals, and instructors are accredited. Around the world, schools, colleges, universities, and distance learning centers are accredited by one of the hundreds of international accrediting organizations. Programs are accredited by one of approximately some programmatic accrediting organizations.
The Database of Institutions and Programs Accredited by EAHEA contains information about thousands of institutions and programs around the world links to the websites of these institutions are also available.
When using the database; To learn about a specific school, college, university, or distance learning center, go to the Accredited Members Directory page and type in the name of the institution. To learn about an institution in a specific country, type in the name of the country.
Why is Accreditation Important?
Accreditation is important because it gives the assurance to the public, in particular to prospective students, that you, as an education provider, meet education quality standards in the global market.
Prospective students usually feel insecure accessing the international market when they need to measure the quality of a foreign education provider with the standards known to them (set forth by their own country). European Agency for Higher Education and Accreditation accreditation may provide a global education quality reference not limited or constrained by local regulations or idiosyncrasies.
The comprehensive compilation of institutions provided by the European ENIC-NARIC Network (National Academic Recognition Information Centers) and the UNESCO IAU (International Association of Universities) is usually limited to traditional universities recognized by their corresponding Ministry of Education. What happens then with many higher education initiatives and institutions that do not fit in this category? What happens with those who provide innovative pedagogical approaches, programs of study not yet recognized by the traditional education establishment, or simply those who are responding to the current global market demands? EAHEA accreditation becomes the best way to endorse them.
It is essential to recognize that in a global market, accreditation does take on many forms. The perception of government accreditation as the "gold standard" dismisses the growing and major impact that many international schools are having on the future of global higher education. The question is not who or what accredits the school, rather, it is - How much accreditation does the school need to have? What institutions of higher learning should be considering is not adding more local accreditations in their home nation, but a truly international accreditation standard that may serve in the global market arena.
1. Full Accreditation: This institutive accreditation type is for universities, educational institutes, vocational institutions, colleges, schools, corporations, etc. that use traditional education methods. Full Accreditation accredits only the institution (administrative, organizational, financial, educational system, student/alumni services, etc.) and does not contain degrees and programs.
2. Online Accreditation: This institutive accreditation type is for open universities, distance learning centers, lifelong learning centers, online courses, etc. that use online education methods. Online Accreditation accredits only the institution (administrative, organizational, financial, educational system, student/alumni services, etc.) and does not contain degrees and programs.
3. Program Accreditation: This accreditation type is only for accredited universities, educational institutes, vocational institutions, online courses, etc., and includes a specific program/course (MA, MS, MBA, LLM, DBA, etc.) that has a curriculum.
Important Notice: Full / Online Accreditation does not contain institution´s programs that have the curriculum. If you want to get an accreditation for your programs, you must apply for Program Accreditation for each program after applying for Full / Online Accreditation.
Accreditation Application Steps
European Agency for Higher Education & Accreditation has worked throughout the years to establish itself as one of the most credible accreditation agency in the world. With EAHEA, hundreds of institutes have received accreditation based on the quality of education they are providing without any biases regarding location or financial standings. The Points Profile System along with the representatives present worldwide ensures credibility. The three-step process is as follows:
Step 1: Institutes submit their applications via www.eahea.org and get a free consultation from one of our secretariat representatives. Once the application is reviewed by the Secretary, they move to the next step.
Step 2: The second step of the process is to visit (or video call) institutions and inspect their facilities, faculty, education standard, etc.
Step 3: Once the visit inspection report is submitted, our commission members review it and, if qualified, the institute gets EAHEA’s accreditation (full accreditation, online accreditation, or program accreditation).
About the EAHEA Accreditation Status
1. EAHEA Accreditation isn´t a Substitute of Legal Regulations: Accreditation is a voluntary, non-governmental peer review process. Accreditation by the EAHEA shall be understood to convey only that the higher education institution meets the EAHEA´s educational standards. Such recognition is not in any way intended to substitute legal authorization, recognition, or regulation, through compliance with local government laws. Legal authorization, recognition or regulation, and government accreditation occur in the context of different reviews.
2. Institutional Accreditation: The EAHEA accredited institution is evaluated as a whole entity or in every specific program offered. Thus, the EAHEA accreditation status is programmatic and it may be useful for the approval of specific programs (not for licensing of professions).
3. Global & International Scope: The EAHEA accreditation focuses primarily on educational quality from a global and international perspective, not narrow interests, political action, or educational fashions. The EAHEA is aware of the differences among countries that may arise in regards to fulfilling the quality standards set forth, so EAHEA will examine each higher education institution expecting their institutional autonomy and following a non-discriminatory policy. Due to this global policy, the EAHEA is not part of any country´s governmental agencies. Academic mobility and credit transferability of accredited institutions will always be subject to the receiving country or institution´s policy.
Rights of The EAHEA Accredited Institutions
The EAHEA accredited institutions are entitled to:
Claim Accreditation by the EAHEA.
Use the EAHEA name and seal.
Receive an accreditation certification.
Be listed on the EAHEA website as an accredited member.
The EAHEA website will provide a link to the accredited member website.
Use the EAHEA monitoring and feedback services.
Be periodically informed of any comments received on its behalf.
Get an invoice for tax deduction purposes.
Promote your institution through the EAHEA Education Network.
Access EAHEA News Alerts and Newsletter.
Get discounts for all EAHEA sponsored events.
Legal Notice and Disclaimer
EAHEA grants accreditation to educational institutes, vocational institutions, distance learning centers, online courses, and corporations, and certification to professionals, qualified individuals, instructors, and students. EAHEA can´t give any titles or degrees to the accredited institute´s students, or can´t give authorization about the diploma, work, opening an office, etc. Also, EAHEA does not control or oversee the documents, certificates, diplomas, titles, degrees, rights, and authorizations issued (given) by the accredited institution. All rights and legal liabilities of these belong to the institution that carries out the transaction. EAHEA periodically checks the educational quality of the institution and the up-to-dateness of the curriculum of the course/program and reports to the relevant institution.