UK : Higher Education Accreditation Bodies

Published On: 22 Jul 2009

 | Last Updated On: 28 May 2014

If you are focusing on studying abroad then you need to make sure that several critical points are in factored in before deciding on your courses and institution which you plan to study in. After all, you are placing your career on line and also spending huge amounts of money to get that quality education. So you need to make sure that the institution you are applying has all the right accreditations which in turn helps bring value to your degree.

As most of aware, education accreditation is the process of quality assurance for colleges and universities, the focus being the courses and infrastructure they offer. The evaluation is done by an external agent to determine and mandate an acceptably high standard of education. In the UK, it is mandatory for all qualifications to be approved by the Secretary of State under the Education Reform Act 1988.

If the UK is the most sought after destination for education today, the reason is without doubt the quality of education provided by its institutes of higher learning. With these accreditation bodies aiming to ensure high-quality education, a degree obtained from the UK is a sure shot to success.

A list of all recognized bodies, including those that impart a course leading to accreditation, is maintained by the UK Department of Education.

Here we list the organizations involved in the accreditation for UK educational institutions:

Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA)

Established in 1997, the QAA protects public interest by checking whether universities and colleges maintain good academic standards. It also regulates the Access to Higher Education Diploma – a qualification that enables individuals without A-levels or its equivalent to enter higher education.

The Engineering Council UK

The Engineering Council (formerly Engineering Council UK) is Britain's regulatory authority for registration of Chartered and Incorporated engineers and technicians, holding a register of these and providing advice to students, engineers, employers and academic institutions on the standards for registration and procedures for registration. It is responsible for the accreditation of educational and training programmes, delegating this responsibility to Licensed Member institutions.

Standards and Testing Agency (STA)

The STA was formed in 2011 to take over the functions of the Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency. It is now responsible for developing and delivering all statutory assessments for school pupils in England. The Ofqual examinations regulate the STA.

The British Accreditation Council for independent HE and FE institutions across the UK

The British Accreditation Council for Independent Further and Higher Education is an educational accreditation agency recognised by the British Government for international students entering the United Kingdom on student visitor visas. The British Accreditation Council was established in 1984, making it the oldest national independent accrediting body for non-EFL independent further and higher education providers in the UK.

The British Council for English language schools

The British Council is a British organization specializing in international educational and cultural opportunities. It is registered as a charity both in England and Wales and Scotland. Founded in 1934 as the British Committee for Relations with Other Countries, and granted a royal charter by King George VI in 1940, the British Council is "sponsoring department" within the United Kingdom Government is the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, although it has day-to-day operational independence.

Qualifications, Curriculum and Assessment Authority for Wales (ACCAC)

ACCAC, based in Cardiff, was an exempt charity and an Assembly Sponsored Public Body responsible for advising the National Assembly for Wales on matters relating to education and qualification. With the exception of NVQs, which QCA is responsible for; all external qualifications in Wales were regulated by ACCAC.

City and Guilds of London Institute

The City and Guilds of London Institute (City & Guilds) is a leading UK vocational education organization. It offers more than 500 qualifications, covering the whole range of industry sectors, through 8,500 colleges and training providers in 81 countries worldwide.

Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment

The Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA) is an examination board in Northern Ireland. Besides setting examinations, the CCEA advises the Government on what should be taught in Northern Ireland's schools and monitors the standard of qualifications and examinations in that country.

The Association of MBAs

Headquartered in London, the Association of MBAs (AMBA) was set up in the year 1967. AMBA is among the most commonly recognized accreditation for MBA courses offered by top B-schools in the UK and several other nations. At present the Association accredits MBA, MBM, and DBA programs at more than 145 business schools in over 60 nations.

The European Quality Improvement System

The European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS) is an important international accreditation body for business schools in the UK and several other countries in Europe. The primary objective of EQUIS is to elevate the standard of management education in European countries. Having an EQUIS accreditation is an indication of the quality of an institution’s staff, programs, research, and students.

The Accreditation Service for International Colleges (ASIC) for independent colleges in UK and colleges and universities worldwide

Accreditation Service for International Schools, Colleges and Universities (ASIC) is a private accreditation body based in the United Kingdom. It is one of the accreditation bodies recognized by the UK Border Agency, permitting educational institutions with ASIC accreditation to sponsor Tier 4 immigrants to study in the UK.

The Institution of Engineering and Technology

The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) is the largest multidisciplinary professional engineering institution in the world. The IET was formed in 2006 from two separate institutions: the Institution of Electrical Engineers (IEE), dating back to 1871, and the Institution of Incorporated Engineers (IIE) dating back to 1884. Its worldwide membership is currently in excess of 153,000. The IET's main offices are in Savoy Place in London, England and at Michael Faraday House in Stevenage, England.

The Open and Distance Learning Quality Council (ODLQC)

ODL QC is the UK guardian of quality in open and distance learning. Set up originally by government in 1968 and is now an independent body.

The Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) for publicly funded institutions

The Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills (Ofsted) is the non-ministerial government department of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Schools In England (HMCI).[2] HMCI and Her Majesty's Inspectors of Schools (HMI) are appointed by Order in Council and are thus office holders under the Crown.

The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (OFQUAL)

The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) is a non-ministerial government department that regulates qualifications, exams and tests in England and vocational qualifications in Northern Ireland.

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