Accreditation and recognition

The gateway to offering higher education or tertiary vocational education is accreditation pursuant to the Academic Supervision Regulations or recognition pursuant to the Regulations on Supervision of Tertiary Vocational Education. It is also governed by the Regulations on Quality Assurance in Higher Education, which apply to higher education institutions and tertiary vocational colleges.

NOKUT grants accreditation to study programmes and institutions, recognition of study programmes and subject area accreditation at tertiary vocational level.

Purpose of accreditation and recognition

Accreditation and recognition shall ensure that all new study programmes and tertiary vocational education meet national quality requirements. The University and University Colleges Act and the Tertiary Vocational Education Act provide legal authority for NOKUT to grant accreditation of study programmes and recognition of tertiary vocational education and to grant the institutions authorisation to accredit or recognise programmes themselves.

NOKUT always uses experts, meaning individuals with expertise in the subject area and type of education concerned, to assess whether the institution is qualified to offer high-quality education. Institutions authorised by NOKUT to accredit or recognise study programmes must carry out an assessment of whether the requirements are met.

Self-accreditation or recognition

Universities are authorised to accredit new study programmes themselves at all levels.

Specialised university institutions and accredited university colleges may also accredit study programmes at all levels in subjects in which they have been granted the right to award doctoral degrees. In addition, these institutions can accredit study programmes at bachelor’s degree level in all subject areas. Over and above the doctoral degree subject areas, specialised university institutions and accredited university colleges must apply to NOKUT for accreditation of new master’s degree and PhD study programmes.

Non-accredited university colleges must apply to NOKUT for accreditation of all new study programmes.

Qualified educational providers are authorised to recognise tertiary vocational education in limited subject areas.

Tertiary vocational education institutions must apply for recognition of all new study programmes.

When accreditation or recognition has been granted, it is valid until NOKUT revokes, or the institution itself withdraws, the accreditation as a result of a supervision that finds that the quality does not meet the requirements of the Academic Supervision Regulations or the Regulations on Quality Assurance in Higher Education. The institution may also withdraw the accreditation without a supervision having been carried out.

The accreditation and recognition process

Accreditation process