Understanding accreditations in Higher Education can be a challenge, especially for those people who are not familiar with the accreditation system of a specific country. Universities, business schools, technical institutes and colleges all co-exist side by side and offer unique opportunities to each individual learner. To better comprehend how accreditations work in the Swiss Higher Education system, we have put together this article which begins with the Bologna accord:
The Importance of Bologna
In 1999, education ministers from 29 European nations signed a declaration that came to be known as the Bologna Process. That process aimed at ensuring comparability in the standards and quality of higher-education qualifications across Europe, the notion now adhered to in 48 countries. As part of that process the aim was to tightly integrate higher education and continuing adult learning with the increasingly globalised labour market.


Each country implemented the Bologna principles in its own way. In Switzerland, publicly funded universities and institutes were both regulated and accredited, while private schools and institutes, though they were licensed and flourishing, were not recognized by the state because they did not conform to the traditional university structure.


SSBR embraces and conforms to the Bologna system in terms of its course programming and course credits. Students who graduate from SSBR will find that their transcripts are presented in the same way as those of all institutions who follow the Bologna process.


Higher Learning, vs Continuing Adult Education


A year after Bologna, in 2000, in cooperation with the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), the State Secretariat for Vocational Training and Technology (BBT), the German speaking part of the Swiss Conference of Occupational Training (DBK) and the Swiss Federation for Adult Learning (SVEB), the government brought into being eduQua, a quality education label, that would conform to the uniform standards agreed to under the Bologna process.


In keeping with the Swiss model of public-private institutions, the assessment and certification of private schools and institutes under eduQua was entrusted to conformity assessment bodies (CABs), private firms on whose certification the Swiss Accreditation Service SAS would fix their accreditation seal to signify the individual institution qualified under eduQua standards. Today over 1,000 institutes of learning qualify and are certified under eduQua standards.
Maintaining Quality Standards of Learning
The Swiss School of Business Research qualified for certification under the eduQua quality label shortly after it opened and the school’s audit and certification were awarded SAS’s seal of accreditation. Since that time, the school has been through exhaustive audits every year to certify that they are complying with all of eduQua’s academic requirements and that its commitment to continuous quality improvement is being met.


In that same month in 2020, SSBR also became an approved centre of learning in the United Kingdom as well as globally under othm, the UK based Awarding Organisation regulated by Ofqual (Office of the Qualifications and Examinations Regulation). As with eduQua, othm also subjects SSBR to a number of very exhaustive annual audits, not just about academic requirements but also about the faculty and their practical methodology when it comes to teaching.


Despite being a fairly new educational institute, SSBR has also been moving aggressively to expand recognition and accreditation in other key educational markets.


Why isn’t SSBR a University?


Dr. Stephen Harrison, Dean of the Zurich-registered SSBR, was quite emphatic that the school was definitely not designed to conform to a traditional university model. That would have been the default option, but it would have restricted the school to the rigid curriculum and out of date methods of teaching, that characterized most institutions of higher learning.


Instead, since SSBR is focused on a single category of continuing education – Business Management – he wanted the school to be international in a globalized business world, in terms of students, faculty and content; to be nimble and keep up with changing trends in educational methods, to be as flexible as possible in terms of enrollment and course completion.


But most of all, he wanted a school that encouraged the gathering, analyses and dissemination of specialized knowledge from students across the world that would act as a bridge between academia, science and industry. Hence the emphasis on research, right from the name itself and all the way up to curriculum and every degree and doctorate SSBR awards.
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