Officially launched yesterday, the Independent Higher Education Scheme has been drawn up in line with the requirements of the ENQA – the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re in the UK or if you’re overseas, it’ll still be accredited as the same scheme”
It will be available to any independent UK or overseas university that wishes to gain BAC accreditation.
Until now, the BAC has offered two accreditation schemes.
“This scheme brings both of these together,” Paul Fear, CEO of BAC, told The PIE News. “So it doesn’t matter if you’re in the UK or if you’re overseas, it’ll still be accredited as the same scheme.”
The BAC currently accredits 260 institutions in 12 different countries. Just last month, the BAC announced it was working with Bahrain and there has already been interest in the scheme from other regions in the world.
“I think Africa is a potentially new market, where there seems to be a great deal of interest in good quality, quality assurance,” said Fear.
“We are also looking at the Far East where there seems to be some real interest coming from certain regions within that area – and of course the Middle East,” he added.
The scheme “provides reassurance for British universities in partnering with overseas institutions, because their accreditation is thorough and transparent”, Fear explained.
“That’s giving confidence to forming partnerships with overseas institutions,” he added.
The scheme also takes into account the student’s voice, an aspect which is seen more prominently in the UK.
Fear added that the new scheme will further support the UK higher education export drive as many countries look to the UK for good quality assurance.
“Britain has got a reputation for rigour in its quality assurance,” he said. “Whether it’s at schools, further education or higher education, and I think that’s very attractive for overseas or international institutions and countries which are at the very early stages of developing their own quality assurance systems.”