Accredited or Non-Accredited
The Importance of Accreditation " That is the Question "
The Importance of Accreditation
Each year, millions of people are asked the same question "where to study?"
What are the downsides of Non-Accredited?
Benefits to students and graduates pursuing an accredited education
By enrolling in an externally accredited institution, as opposed to others that are not equally certified, or worse only self-certified, students can feel confident that they are being properly prepared for the business world of the twenty-first century. Equally important is the fact that students studying in an accredited institution are eligible for transfer considerations to other equivalently accredited Universities and Colleges.
Further, when applying for government or large company employment, graduates from non-accredited institutions may be excluded from the application process. To make matters worse, when applying for immigration or working permission consideration to certain countries, the educational credits from an unaccredited institution may not be counted, thus losing important points needed to qualify for emigration or working permission in that country.
Why you should only study for an accredited Bachelor, Master, or MBA degree?
Accreditation is an external status granted to an educational institution or program that has been found to meet or exceed stated standards of educational quality.
It is awarded based on an intensive multi-year process, both of internal self-study by faculty, administration, and associated stakeholders on the one side; and students, alumni, and industry stakeholders on the other. In this study, the institution must demonstrate continuous improvements in learning outcomes over a minimum of three or more years and it is culminated by a rigorous and extensive external peer-review process and audit by business stakeholders and experts from higher education. The entire process is designed to measure and validate the quality of the educational program the learning experience- and the learning outcomes offered to students.
There's a lot of literature available online about higher education accreditation standards and students do well to read as much as possible about these before undertaking their studies. This is to ensure, that they are not falling into the trap of a degree mill.
Prospective students are cautioned, that degree mills often spin a web of deceit, making the appearance of being internationally accredited by fellow institutions, that after some diligent research on the net turn out to be owned by the same organization. Or, are accredited by dubious privately owned accreditation organizations, that front groups of unaccredited schools, designed to make the appearance of being accreditation-granting bodies. Be warned, many of these schools are woefully underfinanced, and offer only no-refund contracts to their students, making it near impossible for students to recover already paid fees when they realize that they have been falling prey to a degree mill.
Signs that indicate a degree mill are often born out by the fact that they are lacking typical campus facilities like libraries, dedicated teaching laboratories, and other services expected from a school. They are often located in business- or trade centers sharing facilities with other businesses, or in office buildings where they rent just a few rooms, or for hotel schools, are located in small run-down hotels, often also in remote locations. Many times they are Mamma and Papa outfits, lacking a proper management set-up, and have only a minimum of (often unskilled) administrative staff and part-time faculty with dubious academic qualifications from even more dubious or even unknown institutions. To this has to be said: A good school will be proud to give information about the quality and valid qualifications of their faculty; and that includes that they have relevant degrees, in relation to what they teach and they publish the name of the university from which they obtained their qualifications. Beware also of schools that have faculty that the sports industry only experiences, without accredited complementary academic credentials.
To help prospective students wanting to study for a school that offers an EU, British, or US degree we list below some key information that will ensure that bad surprises are kept to a minimum.
The International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE) is a worldwide association of 300+ organizations
Regional Accreditation in the USA / Worldwide
Regional accreditation means that an institution has been accredited by an agency that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), CHEA International Quality Group (CIQG).
Membership vs. Accreditation
Don’t confuse the term “Membership” with accreditation status. An institution can say they are a “member” of AA..., IA..., and/or AC... and not be accredited by any of these professional accrediting bodies. The AA..., IA..., and AC... list both accredited and members-only institutions accordingly on their websites.
Accreditation of Universities and Higher Educational Institutions in the UK
Bona fide universities in the UK are created in the following ways:-
By Royal Charter – on the Recommendation of the Privy Council
By an Act of Parliament – on the recommendation of the Privy Council
By Registration as a Company Limited by Guarantee – which is approved by the Privy Council
By Registration as a Private or Public Limited Company with Share Capital – which is approved by the Privy Council
Other Publicly Funded Educational Institutions and Listed Bodies
There are many other publicly funded higher educational colleges and institutions that are regulated by the Privy Council. They may not have degree awarding powers, but they can establish a partnership arrangement with a UK university to deliver courses that will lead to a degree(s) awarded by the partner UK university. These institutions that have partnership arrangements with university degree awards are known as LISTED BODIES. The listed Body's status is not restricted to publicly funded institutions. Private colleges that have degree-awarding arrangements with UK degree-awarding institutions are also classified as LISTED BODIES.
In closing, before students sign-up at any school they should research their choice thoroughly. Ask to talk to existing students and alumni at their working place and ask if the diploma/degree is granted by an reputable body , national government, or the above-mentioned accreditation agencies. Alas, even with all the above information easily available, many students still get caught every year in the webs that fraudulent schools are spinning. The caution of “Buyer Beware” cannot be told enough to prospective students.
A degree mill university is an institution that offers degrees without requiring significant academic work or demonstrating the necessary academic standards. These institutions often offer degrees in exchange for a fee, without requiring students to attend classes or complete coursework. Spotting a degree mill university can be challenging, but there are several signs to look out for.
Lack of accreditation: One of the key signs of a degree mill university is a lack of accreditation. Accreditation is a process that evaluates an institution's academic standards, faculty qualifications, and curriculum. Legitimate universities are accredited by recognized accrediting bodies, while degree mills often lack accreditation or are accredited by unrecognized accrediting bodies.
Unrealistic claims: Degree mills often make unrealistic claims, such as offering degrees in an unusually short period of time or guaranteeing a degree without any academic work. Legitimate universities have academic requirements and standards that students must meet in order to earn a degree.
Lack of faculty information: Degree mill universities may not provide information about their faculty or may have a limited number of faculty members. Legitimate universities have qualified faculty members with academic credentials and experience in their field.
High-pressure sales tactics: Degree mills may use high-pressure sales tactics to convince students to enroll and pay for a degree. Legitimate universities provide information about their programs and requirements, but do not pressure students to enroll or pay for a degree.
Lack of physical presence: Degree mill universities may not have a physical presence, such as a campus or offices. Legitimate universities have a physical presence and often have established reputations within their communities.
In summary, spotting a degree mill university can be challenging, but there are several signs to look out for. These include a lack of accreditation, unrealistic claims, a lack of faculty information, high-pressure sales tactics, and a lack of physical presence. It is important to do thorough research and due diligence before enrolling in any university or program.