Public cautioned about the operation and existence of bogus or unaccredited institutions of higher learning
Namibia Qualifications Authority (NQA) has cautioned the public about existence of bogus or unaccredited institutions of higher learning operating in the country and elsewhere in the world.
Accreditation refers to confirmation by the NQA that an institution has the capacity to provide specified courses and assess the performance of persons enrolled in such courses.
According to NQA Manager: Marketing and Communications, Catherine Shipushu, in the case of unaccredited institutions, due to the fact that these institutions have not been quality assured, it is impossible to validate the quality of educational outcomes and thus the employability of graduates from such institutions.
“The value of studying at accredited institutions is that it provides assurance to students that the institution has met the required national quality standards and that the qualifications obtained will be recognised by employers and other training providers,” Shipushu added
Additionally, students are able to move freely between accredited institutions and have their learning recognised or cross-credited, she said.
“Conversely, studying at bogus or unaccredited institutions has severe consequences for students, primarily any qualifications obtained will not be recognised for any purpose, be it for employment or further studies. Essentially, these students would have invested time and money in qualifications that holds absolutely no value. It is therefore critical for prospective students to always verify the accreditation status of both the institution and the course or programme they wish to enrol for,” she added.
Shipushu said it is important to note that, it is possible for an accredited institution to offer courses that have not been quality assured and therefore do not form part of its scope of accreditation.
“This means that, even though the institution is accredited, it if offers courses outside its accreditation scope, then such qualifications will still not be recognised for any purpose. Both the institution and the course must be accredited in order for a qualification to be recognised,” she said.
Shipushu said the NQA offers a free service to assist prospective students and funding institution to verify the accreditation status of any institutions or course anywhere in the world.
“This process takes a maximum of seven working days and the public can simply download the ‘Request for accreditation status of an institution form’ from the NQA website and email it to: [email protected]. The NQA has also compiled a list of all accredited Namibian institutions and the courses they are authorized to offer, which is available on its website,” she said.
Furthermore, she appealed to all institutions that are currently unaccredited to apply for accreditation in order for their programmes to be recognised. This will ensure that students, funding institutions and families that invest their hard-earned money in the education of their loved ones get a return on their investments, she concluded.