German FIBAA Accepted by the US Dept of Education ?

Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by jmcvicar, Jun 5, 2011.

  1. jmcvicar

    jmcvicar New Member

    As I finish my BA degree at Penn State, I'd like to earn a Masters in International Business (MIB) from a German University. Much of them are accredited by the FIBAA (Foundation for International Business Administration Accreditation).

    I can find a lot of information on what the FIBAA is and how they operate as a State accrediting agency, in addition to how it is similar to US accrediting bodies. What I can no find is if this accreditation agency is recognized by the US Department of Education. If anyone can help me out with this, that would be nice. I'm looking for a definitive yes or no answer here. I know that CHEA doesn't even acknowledge they exist but I'm wondering about the US Dept. of Education. To us Americans, going to a foreign school is nice, especially when earning a degree but when we return to the USA there is only one thing that matters, the question of whether our foreign degree will be recognized by the US Department of Education. If not, the degree is no good to put to work in the US, especially when considering civil/federal employment.

    P.S. I've tried links to the US Department of Education yet can't find the answer regarding the FBIAA as their method of organization, and ease of use to US citizens are emblematic of all that is wrong with our Government.
  2. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    No one knows the answer to your question. It has never come up before. If you've looked and you can't find it then the answer is "no." Just out of curiosity, why are you so set on a German university? And if you are so set on a German school, why do you care what CHEA thinks?

    Finally, most people who earn non-US degrees and plan to use them in the USA utilize a degree equivalency service after the fact.
  3. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    The US Dept. of Education has a page on "Recognition of Foreign Qualifications" :

    Basically, you are greatly overestimating the importance of the US Dept. of Education with statements like the following:

    The reality, as stated above, is that "there is no single authority in the United States for the recognition of foreign degrees and other qualifications." In practice, US schools, employers, and professional boards make their own determinations as to the validity of foreign degrees. They don't expect the USDoE to have the answers. If they want an opinion, they will ask for an review by a private credential evaluation service.


    By the way, this issue doesn't only affect foreign schools -- there are universities in the US that have legal authorization to operate under state laws, yet which are not accredited by any accreditation agencies recognized by the US Dept. of Education. For example, Frederick Taylor University in California has state authority to issue MBA degrees, but you won't find it in the USDoE's database of recognized schools -- because it is not accredited by any USDoE-recognized accreditation agency.

    You can still look for a job with an FTU MBA, despite its complete lack of USDoE recognition. It's up to your potential employers to determine if the degree has value. The same is true for foreign degrees.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 6, 2011
  4. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    P.P.S. The US Government provides a full answer right here:

    The bottom line is that the USDoE does not evaluate foreign degree programs, or provide opinions as to their acceptability.

    If you want that kind of opinion or evaluation, your best bet is to consult a private credential evaluation service.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 6, 2011
  5. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    This is a great answer.
    I resided in the immigrant community for number of decades in USA and issues of this type is common. Especially among Licensed professions such as Engineers or Social Workers etc.

    The majority of NACES member Evaluation services usually first check for Institutional Accreditation or equivalent recognition by ministry of education of the country.

    Then if your program is also accredited "Programmatic Accreditation" by additional accrediting body like in UK it can be IET or other EC UK approved accreditor of Engineering program.
    So FIBAA accreditation is a question to such experts like NACES or AAORCO to guide you.
    At first glance this is a system/program accreditation not replacing the Ministry of Education as Institutional "accreditor".

    FTU example is really good, people do get jobs with such degree. There are limitations and also continuing education can be a challenge.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 7, 2011
  6. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    In the case of licensed professions, there may be mutual recognition agreements between accreditation agencies in different countries. For example, accredited engineering programs in the US, Canada, UK, Ireland, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand recognize each other as substantially equivalent, under the Washington Accord. Note that this agreement has nothing whatsoever to do with the US Dept. of Education; the Washington Accord was signed by ABET, a private US accreditation agency. ABET itself has no special legal power, but in practice ABET's opinions are widely respected by the US engineering community, including employers, universities, and licensing boards.

    As far as I know, there is no similar agreement for MBA programs (which are not associated with professional licenses). One option that would help to ensure acceptance of a German MBA degree in the US would be to look for a German program with accreditation from a US agency. For example, several German business programs are accredited by AACSB, which is the most respected business school accreditor in the US. It's certainly possible that FIBAA's accreditation may be equally rigorous, but if you want to use your MBA degree in the US, then the reality is that AACSB is much more widely known and recognized here.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 7, 2011
  7. Woho

    Woho New Member

    In my opinion you should start with the University itself and find out if the degrees issued by them are accepted by the Department of Education.
    FIBAA is to my knowledge just some foundation which approves new degree plans. There are a bunch of others of these accreditation foundations, but FIBAA is the one oriented towards business and management programs. The intention is somewhat to keep a certain level of quality among public and private Universities - which are in turn forced to comply with this form of certification in order to keep up their operation license and to legally grant degrees.
  8. jmcvicar

    jmcvicar New Member

    Kizmet, to answer your question it really doesn’t matter what CHEA thinks so much as the US Department of Education. In essence what I’m trying to do is put this specific degree to work for the US government. If you’ve ever worked for the US government or applied for jobs which require higher education, they require credentials to be from a “recognized and accredited” university if earned abroad. I was under the assumption that they mean accredited or recognized by the US Department of Education yet they are not specific.

    That being said, the answers provided by many here have helped me a lot. I am grateful for all the input received. I think the smart thing to do is pursue a degree in Germany from a school that is recognized by AACSB, ACBSP, EQUIS, or even the Association of MBA’s. In this way, a degree is more likely to be qualified as equivalent in the USA when using an education evaluation service.
  9. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    OK, I get it, I guess. A German Masters in International Business in order to work for the US government. OK. Why German? I guess that my first thought would be to get the best US degree I could afford, one with a concentration in international business and then not have to worry about acceptance at all. There are over 150 US MBA programs that would work but you need a German degree. OK. Do you think that a German degree is going to give you an advantage? Don't get me wrong, I'm happy for you to do it your way, I'm just curious.
  10. GeneralSnus

    GeneralSnus Member

    Here is what the Office of Personnel Management says about the use of foreign degrees to qualify for federal employment:

    General Policies: Application of Qualification Standards - Part 4

  11. mba_expo

    mba_expo New Member

    From the FIBAA website, it appears that FIBAA is the German equivalent of a US regional accreditor reporting - as it were - to the Akkreditierungsrat, or a CHEA equivalent, which is as high up as you can get in the German higher education accreditation arena.

    From the FIBAA "About Us" page (originally in German):
    "Since the start of the Bologna Process, the switch to bachelor and Master's degree programs, and with the increasing independence of universities in Germany in designing their programs, universities are facing increasingly requirements to implement and develop more solid and more transparent quality assurance systems.

    With the implementation of an accreditation system in Germany, FIBAA was one of the first agencies to be accredited by the Accreditation Council and has been authorized since 2002 to award the seal of the Accreditation Council for degree programs in Germany. It is authorized since 2007 to award the seal of the Accreditation Council for system accreditation at German universities.

    The accreditation is an internationally established process for quality assurance in higher education. It serves to monitor the adherence to standards in the content and structural development of the educational offerings, to ensure that different study programs can be compared at the national and international level and thereby facilitate the international recognition of course credits and degrees."​
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 9, 2011

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