The Role of Accrediting Agencies: GCC Perspective

The Role of Accrediting Agencies: GCC Perspective

Hesham Magd, Henry Jonathan Karyamsetty
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-8085-1.ch004
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Accrediting agencies are autonomous bodies commissioned mainly to grant accreditation to academic institutions that meet the prescribed quality standards. The accreditation process takes through a detailed systematic procedure that considers reviewing of the academic institution operations, whether teaching and learning offered to meet the quality standards, and encourages improvement to international standards. All accreditations offered by accrediting bodies call for institutional accreditation before any other type of accreditation is granted. Accreditation can be classified as international and national, where the process in both the methods have some common and different steps. Each accrediting body under the designated government authority has prescribed procedures, terms, and conditions to be fulfilled by institutions for the accreditation process. OAAA, CAA, and the NCAAA are the more active accrediting bodies operational in the GCC region commissioned in Oman, UAE, and KSA, respectively.
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Every academic organization including the higher education institution is currently embarking to improve the provision of quality education and achieve academic excellence. In the present century, as education is increasingly becoming more affordable to the masses, there is tremendous growth and raise in the educational sector from the growing demand. In the upfront, the provision of quality education is also crucial to academic institutions to sustain the competition within the global market. Importantly accreditation is one such mechanism to facilitate academic institutes to provide quality education by following through a set of criteria standards brought out by accrediting agencies.

According to Blauch (1959), accreditation is the “recognition accorded to an institution that meets the standards or criteria established by a competent agency or authority”.

In such a context, accrediting agencies play a crucial role in serving the purpose of evaluating the academic institutions from their performance against the quality standards to approve them as centers for excellence. Not to mention, all academic organizations are deemed to satisfy the quality criteria standards and remain approved by a regional or international accrediting authority as a benchmark for global recognition.

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