Accreditation is a review process intended to ensure that an institution or program meets minimum standards of quality. Accreditation provides an opportunity for programs and institutions to demonstrate their quality to their peers and to the public, while also serving as an accountability mechanism for governments or national higher education oversight entities.

Quality in higher education is a contested concept. In the high-stakes and ambiguous environment of higher education quality assurance, accreditation provides a set of agreed-upon standards of quality and accepted processes to ensure compliance with such standards in ways that are consistent with academic values. In contrast to rankings and ratings, accreditation compares programs and institutions against a set of standards that enjoy the consensus of the field, rather than against each other. This ...

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