Accreditation for higher education institutions (HEIs) is often a top priority for prospective students, but quite a difficult area to fully understand. Here, we explain what higher education accreditation is and how it can affect your degree.
Put simply, higher education accreditation is a stamp of quality set by an external accrediting body. The accreditation can be awarded for individual courses or institutions as a whole, and we will discuss the differences later in this article.
Each accrediting body has a process that institutions go through on a voluntary basis. The body analyzes a range of categories, from teaching quality and student success to quality assurance and future development plans. Although each accreditation process is different, they typically involve three steps:
- Evaluation by the accrediting body itself
Earning an accredited degree or studying at an accredited institution has a vast array of benefits for students. For example, when applying for jobs – especially internationally – accreditation is proof of quality education. Similarly, within the world of education itself, an accredited degree can also help students to transfer credits if they choose to continue studying.
There is no universal accreditation system that works worldwide, so when choosing your tertiary education, you have to consider national or regional bodies. Therefore, this article will outline the difference between public and private HEIs in Switzerland, what it means for your education, and the accreditation we have at the Swiss School of Business Research.
Accreditation of Public HEIs in Switzerland
In Switzerland, as in most countries around the world, institutional accreditation comes from an agency that is part of the ministry of education. This means that public universities are recognized by the government, while private institutions, generally, are not.
With this kind of accreditation, an institution can legally call itself a university. This has been the traditional path for higher education institutions, but it can come with drawbacks. In general, Swiss public higher education institutions are more focused on academics, with larger classes and full-time professors who do not actively work in their fields. Also, the fact that public HEIs are subsidised and regulated by the government means that they can be slow to react to innovation in the education sector and generally offer one-size-fits-all degrees.
Accreditation of Private HEIs in Switzerland
Private institutions, such as the Swiss School of Business Research, are not part of Switzerland’s public higher education sector. This does not indicate a lack of quality, rather a different style of teaching. Private HEIs usually focus more on practical education with smaller classes and teaching staff who are active in their industries. This creates a more personal learning environment where faculty share their personal experience in addition to the curriculum. Learn more about private HEIs here.
Traditionally, in Switzerland, institutional accreditation from government agencies was only open to public universities. Programmatic accreditation is a more common option for private institutions, such as business schools and polytechnics. However, in recent years, the dynamic has been changing and the Swiss Agency of Accreditation and Quality Assurance (AAQ) has opened up the possibility for private institutions to apply for institutional accreditation.
Higher Education Accreditation at the Swiss School of Business Research
The Swiss School of Business Research strives for excellence in all areas of its teaching and innovation, and is globally recognized by two accrediting bodies. Both of our accreditations are institutional accreditations, and the autonomy that comes with being a private business school is a great advantage.
SSBR can quickly adapt to changes and trends in the education sector. As an online school, it was way ahead of the game as the coronavirus crisis hit more traditional universities. With the systems and technology for online learning already in place, we have been able to continue offering students the same top-quality business education with no interruptions.
Below, we will outline both accrediting bodies that back our school and how they boost opportunities for our students.
The Swiss School of Business Research is accredited by EduQua, which guarantees a Swiss quality education for all its students.
EduQua is the Swiss national quality assurance body for adult further education. It is the first certification of quality that covers both public and private Swiss educational institutions and is recognized by the Swiss Conference of Cantonal Ministers of Education (EDK). To maintain its high standards, EduQua accreditation focuses on six key criteria areas:
Arrangement of the six EduQua criteria. Alice.ch
The first four criteria are aimed at the customer and ensure that students get a quality education across the board. The last two are more focused on the organization itself, including the future plans and sustainability of the school.
Aside from guaranteeing a quality business education, our accreditation from EduQua is widely recognized by other HEIs and employers.
The Swiss School of Business Research is a registered OTHM center. This gives SSBR students an even more solid degree, especially when transferring to further education and employment in the UK.
All courses accredited by OTHM are approved and regulated by Ofqual, the Office of the Qualifications and Examinations Regulation in the UK. For OTHM to recognize a course, it must provide a continuing thread of professional qualifications that are designed for learners to develop the skills and knowledge that will help them in their careers.
Being an OTHM center shows that SSBR takes the practical aspect of learning just as seriously as the academic. The skills needed in today’s world are constantly changing and we quickly adapt what we offer to match the most in-demand capabilities.
You can rest assured that the degrees at the Swiss School of Business Research will stand you in good stead for both employment and continued education.
Recognized by two leading accrediting bodies, we offer students the confidence that comes with a quality business education, and adapt quickly to the latest trends.