Accreditation, periodic reviews, and supervision

NOKUT supervises the quality of Norwegian higher education and tertiary vocational education and stimulates to quality enhancement. NOKUT accredits higher education study programmes and higher education institutions, as well as study programmes and academic disciplines in tertiary vocational education. NOKUT also conducts supervisions of once accredited programmes and institutions and carries out periodic reviews of institutional quality assurance practices.

Accreditation of study programmes

NOKUT receives applications for study programme accreditation from university colleges and vocational colleges which do not have self-accrediting rights. With the help from appointed expert committees, NOKUT assesses whether these study programmes comply with existing rules and regulations. Based on the assessments, study programmes may or may not be established. A site visit is included if it concerns the establishment of PhD programmes.

Accreditation of institutions and academic disciplines

Accreditation of institutions

Higher education institutions without full self-accrediting rights may apply for status as accredited university college, specialized university, or university. An expert committee assesses whether the institution meet the formal requirements for self-accreditation rights, based on the application and a site visit. In case of a positive decision by NOKUT, the institution can then apply for the change of its institutional status. Such a change will be formally approved by the King in the Council of State.

Accreditation of academic disciplines

Vocational colleges may apply to NOKUT for disciplinary accreditation. An expert committee assesses whether the college’s academic discipline meets the formal requirements, based on the application and a site visit. In case of a positive decision, the college receives self-accreditation rights within a defined academic discipline. A vocational college may apply for the accreditation of several academic disciplines and in this way receive more comprehensive self-accreditation rights.

Periodic reviews and supervision

NOKUT has the mandate to conduct periodic reviews and supervisions to ensure quality assurance and quality enhancement at the institutions. This includes supervisions of different accreditations at institutional, discipline and programme level and periodic reviews of institutional quality assurance practices. The decisions stemming from these supervisions can result in mandatory revisions for the institution, loss of self-accreditation rights and/or the right to apply to NOKUT for the accreditation of study programmes, a different institutional status or academic discipline.