New Higher Education accreditation association, ATHEA, kicks off in Paris

New Higher Education accreditation association, ATHEA, kicks off in Paris

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Marcel van der Ham, Business School Netherlands' Director of Accreditation and DBA programmes, just returned from a trip to France, where he attended ATHEA's Spring conference. ATHEA - the Association for Transnational Higher Education Accreditation – was launched in May 2015 and is a non-profit, membership-based association that seeks to advance quality in international higher education through institutional accreditation based on the European standards and guidelines.

ATHEA-board-of-commissioners 350The three-day conference marked the first official gathering of the Board of Commissioners, where they decided on accreditation applications from several candidates. The Board spent two days researching the application criteria. Various representatives from the following countries, the United States, Canada, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland and Ukraine, attended the conference representing the nine business schools and universities that have joined ATHEA so far, amongst which the largest university of its kind is the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

ATHEA aspires to be the preeminent resource for institutions of higher education striving to achieve excellence in fulfilling their missions. ATHEA is a voluntary, non-governmental, membership association that is dedicated to quality assurance and improvement through accreditation via peer evaluation. Accreditation by a Board of Commissioners instils public confidence in the institutional mission, goals, performance, and resources through its rigorous accreditation standards and their enforcement of those standards. Amongst its current members are Maastricht School of Management, Business School Netherlands, UIBS (USA – Europe), Horizons University (France), ISM (France), Embry Riddle Europe (USA – Europe) and Monarch Business School (Switzerland).

Part of the conference’s goals was for the Board to come to a joint decision-making process with regards to candidate accreditations. “We spent two days studying and discussing the exact criteria an application must meet in order to qualify,” says Marcel van der Ham, upon his return. “To have such lively and in-depth debates about the quality of higher education with twenty experts from so many different countries was fantastic,” Van der Ham stated. The Board will soon decide about the candidate accreditations of the first three institutes that have requested to join ATHEA.

Read more about ATHEA and its mission.