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List of recognized higher education accreditation organizations

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 which are recognized by the appropriate governmental authorities.

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."[1]


ENQA (European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education) disseminates information, experiences and good practices in the field of quality assurance (QA) in higher education to European QA agencies, public authorities and higher education institutions.

  • "ENQA | European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education". Retrieved 2014-05-07. 

EQAR (European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education) has been founded by ENQA, ESU European Students Union, EUA European Universities Association and EURASHE European Association of Institutions in Higher Education, the European representative bodies of quality assurance agencies, students, universities and other higher education institutions, respectively, to increase the transparency of quality assurance in higher education across Europe. EQAR is publishing and managing 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.

  • "EQAR: Home". Retrieved 2014-05-07. 

ENIC - NARIC comprises all countries of Europe plus Canada, Israel, United States of America, New Zealand. The website also provides information on the higher education systems of the member countries and the accreditation agencies

The ENIC Network (European Network of Information Centres) 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 Network (National Academic Recognition Information Centres) The NARIC 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 (see University Act).[2] Vocational universities may be accredited by the Government of Finland, and governed through the Ministry of Education.


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.[3] It was created as a foundation in 2002 by the Cabinet of Spain under the Organic Law of Universities.

United Kingdom

Under the Education Reform Act 1988 it is illegal to offer a degree or qualification that implies it is a degree, without permission from the Secretary of State, a Royal Charter or an Act of Parliament.[4] Some qualifications relating to particular professions are regulated by the government,[5] but most non-degree qualifications are unregulated.

The accreditation status of an institution, and the accreditation status of the qualifications it offers, are awarded separately, often by completely different organisations; an institution that has one does not necessarily have the other. The Department for Education maintains a list of all bodies that have their own degree awarding powers ('recognised bodies'), all bodies that currently teach a course which leads to the award of a degree from a recognised body ('listed bodies'), and 'recognised awards' which are awarded by bodies who have very specific degree awarding powers.[6] Prospective students can also consult the National Database of Accredited Qualifications,[7] maintained by all three UK accreditation bodies. All bodies who award UK degrees are subject to a regular external quality assurance reviews by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA). Non-accredited qualifications given by professional bodies (e.g. those of the Institute of Directors) can be prestigious, and should not be automatically discounted.

Organisations involved in the accreditation of further and higher education institutions and/or qualifications in the UK are:

Hong Kong

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.[8] The former Hong Kong Council for Academic Accreditation was replaced by this new authority. The HKCAAVQ maintains a list of accredited programs[9] and programs accredited by the HKCAAVQ also may be entered into Hong Kong's Qualifications Register.[10]


Universities in India must be created 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.[11]

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:[12]


INQAAHE The International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE) was established in 1991 with only 8 members. Today the total membership exceeds 250 members. Higher education has dramatically changed over the last two decades. Distance education as well as vocational education have become increasingly more important as is the need for recognition of prior learning. Higher education has become more global than ever before. Professional accreditation has become more important as more higher education institutions, delivering programs in different modes, enter the market. All these have thrust the quality assurance agencies into ever expanding roles.

  • "INQAAHE - Members". Retrieved 2014-05-07. 


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".[15][16]

Other than that, Council For Technical Education and Vocational Training (CTEVT)[1] established in 1989 by 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,

Nepal Engineering Council [2]
Nepal Nursing Council [3]
Nepal Medical Council [4]
Nepal Pharmacy Council [5]
Nepal Bar Council [6]

New Zealand

The New Zealand Qualifications Authority(NZQA) [7]


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).

  • "CNU.::.CONSEJO NACIONAL DE UNIVERSIDADES". Retrieved 2014-05-07. 


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 of Pakistan 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.

United States

Regional accreditors

Regional accreditation map

There are six regional accreditors involved in higher education accreditation in the United States.[17]

Additionally, the Board of Regents of the State of New York is recognized as an accreditor for degree-granting institutions of higher education in the state that designate the agency as their sole or primary accrediting agency.[18] New York is the only state that is eligible to be federally recognized as an accreditor under a grandfather clause in federal law that allows recognition for state agencies if they were recognized as accreditors before October 1, 1991.[19]

National accreditors

The national accreditors get their name from their common (but not universal) practice of accrediting schools nationwide or even worldwide.

Programmatic accreditation

These accreditors typically cover a specific program of professional education or training, but in some cases they cover the whole institution.

National faith-based accreditors

There are four recognized nationwide faith-based accrediting bodies in the United States.[17]

See also


  1. ^ "CHEA International Directory introduction". Retrieved 2011-05-24. 
  2. ^ "Yliopistolaki 24.7.2009/558". Finlex. Retrieved 2010-09-30.(in Finnish)
  3. ^ "ANECA". Retrieved 2014-08-24. 
  4. ^ "See the Education Reform Act 1988, sections 214 to 217". Retrieved 2011-05-24. 
  5. ^ See this page on the DfES website for a list
  6. ^ See for all three lists.
  7. ^ "Accredited Qualifications". Retrieved 2013-04-05. 
  8. ^ "Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications". Retrieved 2011-05-24. 
  9. ^ "List of Programmes Accredited by the HKCAAVQ". 2007-12-12. Retrieved 2011-05-24. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ Press Release Precautions against "Fake Universities/Vishwavidyalayas" (F.No-7-3/97(MPC)), University Grants Commission, December 2011 
  12. ^ "Higher Education in India". Government of India Ministry of Human Resource Development Department of Higher Education. Archived from the original on 2011-07-18. Retrieved 2011-05-24. 
  13. ^
  14. ^ "AICTE to revamp its approval system next week". Retrieved 2011-05-24. 
  15. ^ [8] University Grant Commission, Nepal
  16. ^ [9] Academic Mobility and the Education System of Nepal by WES
  17. ^ a b "Recognized Accrediting Organizations". Council for Higher Education Accreditation. August 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-18. 
  18. ^ Accreditation in the United States, US Department of Education
  19. ^ Alan L. Contreras, Why States Shouldn’t Accredit, Inside Higher Ed, Aug. 30, 2005
  20. ^ """State Bar of California, CBE, "Title 4. Admissions and Educational Standards, Division 2. Accredited Law School Rules. Retrieved 2011-05-24. 
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