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  1. #1
    SteveFoerster is offline Resident Gadfly
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    ATHEA: Association for Transnational Higher Education Accreditation

    Someone mentioned this organization on a LinkedIn group, and I'd never heard of it, so I thought I'd share.

    ATHEA: Association for Transnational Higher Education Accreditation

    Looks like an effort to work around some of the problems with Ministries of Education , etc., by replacing them with a private organization. In other words, it looks like a competitor for ASIC.

    It doesn't look like they've actually accredited anyone yet; they still only have members, which include some demonstrably real schools.
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  2. #2
    TomE is offline Registered User
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    Looks interesting, but hopefully its not just a cash grab.

    Per the formation meeting minutes:

    Changed the fee structure for founding members and non-founding members. Fees are 3000
    Euro for Membership, 15000 Euro for accreditation fees, and 2000 Euro for accreditation
    maintenance fees. Over 4 years, this would look like: 3000 + 3000 + 3000 + 15000 + 3000 +
    2000 = 29000 Euro.
    That being said...how can I get into the accrediting business??!!

  3. #3
    SteveFoerster is offline Resident Gadfly
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    I didn't see that, but yeah, that's an awful lot of money for an accreditor with no track record of international recognition.
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  4. #4
    Johann is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveFoerster View Post
    In other words, it looks like a competitor for ASIC.
    I note that one of the ATHEA member schools, Horizons University, is currently ASIC accredited. Although a member kindly verified for us, a while back, that the French Ministry of Education does not recognize the degrees of Horizons U., a legally-established private university, as having the same standing as those of a (French) State University, Horizons does offer fully ACBSP-accredited programs at Bachelor's, Master's and DBA level.

    I don't know to what degree ASIC accreditation influenced the decision, but Horizons obviously met the ACBSP test of "sufficient degree-granting authority in its own country." It will be interesting to see whether Horizons seeks additional accreditation from ATHEA or simply remains a member.

    J.
    Last edited by Johann; 10-12-2016 at 02:17 PM.

  5. #5
    TomE is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveFoerster View Post
    I didn't see that, but yeah, that's an awful lot of money for an accreditor with no track record of international recognition.
    I agree. To be honest, I'm not sure how much more established accrediting bodies charge member institutions, but I would think that it would be a bit more, but to think that a group of 10-15 people with professional sounding titles and letterhead could convince 20-40 institutions to go in on something like this over a 5-year period...well...not a bad pay day, especially if it starts to pick up some steam (particularly with institutions who may be more desperate to get some type of accreditation as a means to attract skeptical students).

  6. #6
    SteveFoerster is offline Resident Gadfly
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    IIRC, ATHEA charges a bit more than ASIC charges for accreditation, but not a lot more.
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  7. #7
    Johann is offline Registered User
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    According to the ASIC website, fees vary, depending on country and size of institution. One is asked to contact ASIC to determine the fee by individual quote.

    Full accreditation may cost between £3,500 and £15,000 and annual fees range from £1,000 to £3,000

    It's all here: http://asicuk.com/documents/ASIC-Int...l-Handbook.pdf

    J.
    Last edited by Johann; 10-13-2016 at 02:39 PM.

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  9. #8
    Bruce is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveFoerster View Post
    Someone mentioned this organization on a LinkedIn group, and I'd never heard of it, so I thought I'd share.

    ATHEA: Association for Transnational Higher Education Accreditation

    Looks like an effort to work around some of the problems with Ministries of Education , etc., by replacing them with a private organization. In other words, it looks like a competitor for ASIC.

    It doesn't look like they've actually accredited anyone yet; they still only have members, which include some demonstrably real schools.
    I'm curious why Embry-Riddle has chosen to cast their lot with this group?
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  10. #9
    BIGA is offline Registered User
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    ATHEA and up and coming accreditation organization

    The ATHEA organization had several principals and members attend the ACBSP Intl Conference in Barcelona November 2015.

  11. #10
    TomE is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce View Post
    I'm curious why Embry-Riddle has chosen to cast their lot with this group?
    I was wondering the same thing. It does seem a bit odd, considering that they have SACS accreditation. Maybe they figure that there "Worldwide" brand would be better represented (at least in the short-term) by quickly grabbing an international accreditation?

  12. #11
    BIGA is offline Registered User
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    ACBSP has a meeting in Dubai November 2016, ATHEA will have several reps present, Embry-Riddle is sending in a speaker from Singapore. These things are all intertwined.

  13. #12
    Johann is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomE View Post
    quickly grabbing an international accreditation...
    The phrase, "international accreditation" has long been considered somewhat of an oxymoron. Institutional accreditation, that is. Programmatic accreditation is another matter.

    Quickly grabbing accreditation? Sounds ominously like quickly grabbing a degree!

    I'll believe in this accreditation - IF and WHEN it's taken seriously by agencies / academics /evaluators who are heavyweights in their field. Not that it will matter what I think. It never does.

    And yes - of course I believe in Embry-Riddle. My high regard for the school will not change one bit - whether or not it decides to become ATHEA-accredited. A good ship is a good ship, no matter what flag it flies. And as for a bad ship -- well, you know. A new flag won't change anything.

    J.
    Last edited by Johann; 10-14-2016 at 01:52 PM.

  14. #13
    TomE is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johann View Post
    The phrase, "international accreditation" has long been considered somewhat of an oxymoron. Institutional accreditation, that is. Programmatic accreditation is another matter.

    Quickly grabbing accreditation? Sounds ominously like quickly grabbing a degree!

    I'll believe in this accreditation - IF and WHEN it's taken seriously by agencies / academics /evaluators who are heavyweights in their field. Not that it will matter what I think. It never does.

    And yes - of course I believe in Embry-Riddle. My high regard for the school will not change one bit - whether or not it decides to become ATHEA-accredited. A good ship is a good ship, no matter what flag it flies. And as for a bad ship -- well, you know. A new flag won't change anything.

    J.
    I agree with everything here. I would just venture to guess that Embry-Riddle is trying to create the association with "worldwide" (in reference to their worldwide campus) and "international" (in terms of the accreditation) in prospective students' heads. Good persuasion technique? I guess we'll see in 5 years (or we could just ask Scott Adams! :) ).

  15. #14
    SteveFoerster is offline Resident Gadfly
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johann View Post
    The phrase, "international accreditation" has long been considered somewhat of an oxymoron. Institutional accreditation, that is. Programmatic accreditation is another matter.
    Well... as always with accreditation/QA there are edge cases. There are quite a few universities in un-American places that become accredited by U.S.-based accreditors. And as you said, a number of programmatic accreditors are deliberately international in scope.

    Quickly grabbing accreditation? Sounds ominously like quickly grabbing a degree!
    Well, perhaps not so quickly -- to be eligible for accreditation they do say that an institution "must have at least 2 years of graduates from their institution."

    I'll believe in this accreditation - IF and WHEN it's taken seriously by agencies / academics /evaluators who are heavyweights in their field. Not that it will matter what I think. It never does.
    That's fair.

    For additional background, they say their goal is to be recognized within four years by the European Quality Assurance Register, and are pretty open that one reason for this is that there is new Swiss legislation requiring all Swiss universities to be accredited by an EQAR-recognized accreditor within the next six years. So clearly they have an explanation for their existence that supports the notion this is a serious effort with a reasonable goal.

    That doesn't explain Embry-Riddle's enthusiasm, but who knows, maybe someone is friends with someone, or something. When humans are involved, one never knows.
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  17. #15
    Johann is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveFoerster View Post
    ...there is new Swiss legislation requiring all Swiss universities to be accredited by an EQAR-recognized accreditor within the next six years.
    Good! That'll put an end to much of the controversy surrounding Swiss Canton-authorized schools. The good ones will attain EQAR-recognized accreditation and as for the others... it'll be like Wyoming, accredit-or-die (or up stakes and move.)

    We can sit around and make bets - which ones will make it and which won't.

    J.

  18. #16
    SteveFoerster is offline Resident Gadfly
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    I'd rather be in neighboring Liechtenstein anyway. I've heard from mutual acquaintances that Prince Hans-Adam II is a fascinating guy and much more down to earth than one might expect from a scion of old European royalty.
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