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List of recognized accreditation associations of higher learning

Accreditation is a certification of the academic quality of an institution of higher learning. Some countries have independent/private organizations that oversee the educational accreditation process, while other countries accredit through a government agency. Some countries require accreditation and others consider it voluntary. In either case accreditation denotes academic quality and schools that lack recognized accreditation often claim accreditation from unrecognized sources. Unrecognized accreditations are meaningless to the academic community.

Below are several lists of recognized accreditation associations of higher learning according to the corresponding government. See school accreditation for lists of various databases for accredited schools.

Hong Kong

In Hong Kong a school does not have to be accredited, but "It is up to your employer or institution to recognize your qualifications. The Hong Kong Council for Academic Accreditation can make recommendations. Currently, accreditation in Hong Kong and China are jointly recognized.


Accreditation for universities in India are required by law unless it was created through an act of Parliament. Without accreditation " It is emphasized that these fake institutions have no legal entity to call themselves as University/Vishwvidyalaya and to award ‘degree’ which are not treated as valid for academic/employment purposes.

Accreditation for higher learning is overseen by autonomous institutions established by the University Grants Commission:


In 2003, Canada began helping Pakistan develop an accreditation system. Currently, these accreditors must be recognized by the Higher Education Commission.

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. Some qualifications relating to particular professions are regulated by the government, but most non-degree qualifications are unregulated.

It is important to distinguish between the accreditation status of an institution, and the accreditation status of the qualifications it offers. These two aspects will often be dealt with by completely different organisations, and an institution that has one does not necessarily have the other. The Department for Education and Skills 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. Prospective students should also consult the National Database of Accredited Qualifications, 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:

United States

The United States Department of Education does not directly accredit educational institutions and/or programs. However, the U.S. Secretary of Education is required by law to publish a list of Nationally recognized accrediting agencies in the United States that the Secretary determines to be reliable authorities as to the quality of education or training provided by the institutions of higher education and the higher education programs they accredit, within the meaning of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended.

In 2006 it was reported that Bush Administration officials in the Department of Education were calling for accreditors to make increased use of measurable "learning outcomes," such as graduation rates, in their processes, but the department's National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity expressed reservations about adding this type of requirement.

The following list of recognized accreditation associations of higher learning in the United States is taken from the United States Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education and the Directory of Council for Higher Education Accreditation Recognized Organizations 2005-2006.

Regional accreditation

''Regional accreditation is considered the standard accreditation for the vast majority of public and private universities:

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. New York is the only state that is eligible to be federally recognized as an accreditor due to a grandfather clause in federal law that allows recognition for state agencies if they were recognized as accreditors before October 1, 1991.

National accreditation

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

Professional accreditation

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

Religious accreditation associations

Nonspecialized accreditation

These recognized accreditation organizations provide accreditation to whole institutions for diverse educational programs:

See also


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