What is Accreditation?

Accreditation is a formal and transparent process of quality control, during which an independent body, based on internationally recognized defined standards, examines whether institutions and/or programmes offered at university level comply with minimum quality requirements.

The accreditation process decides on the status and recognition of institutions and academic programmes for a certain period of time. Accreditation in the field of higher education guarantees to society and to all involved stakeholders, the security that the quality of teaching and learning meets the minimum international standards. At the same time, accreditation increases the transparency in the increasingly complex offers of national and international educational providers. 

Core functions of accreditation are the following:

  • Protection of students against offers which are not provided to lead in achieving the foreseen results (employability, international recognition of degrees etc.);
  • Transparency, comparability and therefore increased opportunities for choices in the educational and the labour market both at home and abroad;
  • Facilitation of international mobility through mutual recognition of studies and improvement of opportunities for the graduates at the European labour market; 
  • Establishment of a fair basis of competition between institutions of higher education for students, namely for public and private funds. 

Why Accreditation?

All interested parties willing to provide services in the higher education (public and private) in Kosovo, leading to an academic degree, must be recognized (approved) by the state. This recognition is made through accreditation by Kosovo Accreditation Agency. 

Only degrees and diplomas issued by an accredited institution will be recognized and may be used for employment and international recognition.

Accreditation from a foreign accreditation agency does not replace the accreditation from Kosovo Accreditation Agency. 

Who can apply for accreditation?

  • A new institution of higher education intending to offer programs in the public or private sector of higher education 
  • An accredited institution of higher education willing to offer new study programs or willing to extent the accreditation to another branch or campus of the same institution                                                   
  • An accredited institution of higher education willing to extend or renew its accreditation for a further period of time (re-accreditation).

Accreditation Procedure 

The applicant can obtain information about the application form, content of the application and other information concerning the procedure and time limits of the accreditation process through preliminary discussions with the Office, as well during the project presentation to the KAA. The application should be submitted to the KAA office. 
 
Before the content of the application is reviewed, a careful check should be made to ensure that the formal criteria have been met. If necessary, additional documents may be requested within the assigned deadline.  
 
To evaluate the quality of the applicant institution, international experts (2 to 7) will be appointed. The institution has the right to make opinion in written form about the expert’s team. The experts will be required to sign a confidentiality agreement. 
 
All details of the organization and date of the site visit will be given to the applicant institution. The visit will usually take one day and a half. The site visit will include the team of experts one member of the SCQ, and the representative of the KAA.   Sometimes a foreign observer may join the team of experts.
The experts shall compile a joint evaluation report. The report will be sent to the applicant institution for any comments.
 
The State Council of Quality (SCQ) shall make the decision on accreditation based on submitted documents (including the self-evaluation report), experts’ report and institution’s presentation. 
 
KAA shall issue the Certificate of Accreditation. The accreditation shall become effective upon the date of the official decision.
 

The Procedure of Accreditation in Four Steps 

 
To meet international standards the accreditation procedure must undergo these steps:
 

01Internal evaluation - self-evaluation by the institution that is the subject of evaluation on its quality assurance procedures and outcomes, resulting in the submission to the Agency of its Self-Evaluation Report; 

02External evaluation by a group of experts, including a site-visit to the institution that is being evaluated in accordance with the Agency’s procedures;

03Accreditation decision by State council of quality and publishing of the Evaluation report

04Follow up Procedure, Improvement plan in the light of given recommendation by the Evaluation team