Un Recognized Higher Education


List of unrecognized higher education accreditation organizations

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This is an incomplete list, which may never be able to satisfy particular standards for completeness. You can help by expanding itwith reliably sourced entries.

This is a list of unrecognized higher education accreditation organizations, as identified by the organizations themselves, government authorities in their respective countries or other independent authorities. These are entities that are engaged in higher education accreditation or have been identified as being accreditors, but that lack appropriate recognition or authorization.

Prerequisites and rules for higher education accreditation vary from country to country. In most countries, the function of quality assurance for higher education institutions is conducted by a government ministry of education.[1] In the United States, educational accreditation is performed primarily by private nonprofit membership associations,[2] the legitimacy of which is validated through recognition by the United States Department of Education (USDE), the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) or both.[3]USDE and CHEA recognize many of the accrediting organizations, but not all. Accreditors seek USDE or CHEA recognition for different reasons: USDE recognition is required for accreditors whose institutions or programs seek eligibility for federal student aid funds. CHEA recognition confers an academic legitimacy on accrediting organizations, helping to solidify the place of these organizations and their institutions and programs in the national higher education community.[4] Often a school claiming accreditation from an unrecognized accrediting body will not be viewed as legitimate in the academic community.[5] Institutional accreditation is usually required by U.S. institutions to receive federal government funds.[1] Also, students who attend institutions of higher education that are accredited through organizations not recognized by the USDE or CHEA do not qualify for U.S. government financial aid.[1] Similarly, employers or graduate programs cannot be confident that graduates of an unaccredited institution or program will be appropriately prepared.[6]

To assist consumers, several national and international bodies publish lists of recognized accreditation bodies and accredited educational institutions, as well as accreditors that are known to lack the necessary legal authority or recognition, and higher education providers known to lack accreditation.[7] The United States organization CHEA maintains an international directory of education ministries and other recognized higher education quality assurance bodies worldwide. The 2007 version of that directory lists 467 recognized bodies in 175 countries.[8]

Many, but not all, of the entities in the list below are considered to be fraudulent accreditation mills that were set up to help diploma mills lure students and whose "accreditation" has no legal or academic value. Some other listed entities are religious accreditation bodies, whose accreditation may have doctrinal significance but lacks recognized academic value.[9] Also included are some organizations that do not offer educational accreditation but have been falsely identified as accrediting bodies by organizations that claim to have been accredited by them. A notable example of this last type is UNESCO. UNESCO has no authority to recognize or accredit higher education institutions or agencies.[7] Nonetheless, because diploma mills have claimed false UNESCO accreditation, UNESCO itself has published warnings against education organizations that claim UNESCO recognition or affiliation.[7][10]