The BAC, which accredits independent higher and further education institutions in the UK and overseas, has announced that it is now a full member of the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA).
An umbrella organisation of quality assurance agencies, ENQA, represents its members at a European level as well as internationally.
In addition to accrediting institutions, the BAC also consults with foreign governments and education ministries to develop accreditation and inspection services for independent higher education.
“Overseas institutions started coming to us because they wanted to ensure that there was a quality control process for independent higher education institutions”
Speaking to The PIE News, Paul Fear, CEO of the BAC, says membership will be help the organisation to expand international projects.
“ENQA is really important for us because many of those governments will go and check the ENQA register to make sure the body they work with is recognised,” he said.
“That’s really important from their point of view because they see ENQA as a quality control mechanism to make sure that we’re doing our jobs properly and they know they have confidence in us.”
The BAC is only the second UK institution to gain full membership alongside the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education.
“We’re one of the very few independent inspectorates accepted for membership,” said Fear. “Most of them are state inspectorate bodies.”
The BAC has accredited over 250 independent further and higher education institutions in 13 different countries, including Greece, Mongolia and South Africa.
Although the BAC began as a national accreditation body, it has seen an increase in demand from private institutions internationally.
“The overseas institutions started coming to us because effectively what they wanted to ensure was that there was a quality control process for independent higher education institutions,” said Fear.
“In many of these countries, their own organisations are developing so they don’t have the same oversight systems that exist in the UK.”