Evaluation, International

Evaluation/accreditation of foreign institutions and study programmes: new Hcéres standards and criteria!

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Hcéres evaluates and accredites foreign heigher education and research institutions and foreign study programmes.
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Hcéres around the world

The Act dated 22 July 2013 on higher education and research states that Hcéres “may also take part in evaluating foreign or international research and higher education organisations, under European or international cooperation programmes or at the request of the competent authorities”.

This legal mandate, and the fact that it is a member of ENQA and registered on EQAR, the European register of higher education evaluation and quality assurance agencies, means that Hcéres regularly receives requests to evaluate and accredit foreign study programmes and institutions.

Hcéres uses specific standards and criteria for these foreign evaluation and accreditation activities. The Board adopted the latest version on 3 October 2016. These standards and criteria use Hcéres principles and methods that are applied in France for French institutions, in line with the European Standards and Guidelines. They are based on:

  • 6 areas for the evaluation and accreditation of foreign higher education and research institutions:
    -    Strategy and governance;
    -    Research and education;
    -    Student academic pathways;
    -    External relations;
    -    Management;
    -    Quality and ethics.
  • 4 areas for the evaluation and accreditation of foreign study programmes:
    -    Aims of the study programme;
    -    Position of the study programme;
    -    Study programme teaching structure;
    -    Study programme management.


Accreditation: the Hcéres stamp of approval

Hcéres is sometimes asked to provide accreditation for foreign study programmes or institutions, based on its own foreign accreditation criteria. The accreditation decision issued by Hcéres does not grant any rights whatsoever, whether in France or abroad. The decision to accredit an institution confers an accreditation label and does not infer recognition in France of the qualifications issued by the accredited institution. The Hcéres accreditation process is not related to the process of having the qualifications of accredited institutions recognised in France.