CONSIDERING the amount of money and time you will be spending in the final University of your choice it is vital that you check and ensure that the institution is accredited or recognised by the correct governmental bodies. Here are some indicators to keep in mind while assessing the validity of your degree.
Look for reciprocity: Examine if your institution has a reciprocal arrangement with Indian universities wherein they validate each others’ degrees. If your prospective university has a tie-up with reputed Indian institutions, it scores high on validity.
Institutional prestige: Degrees are worth the prestige of the institution that you earn it from. A Harvard or an Oxford doesn’t need accreditation.
Look for Accords: The Bologna Protocol is an agreement which attempts to validate and provide equivalence to European degrees across countries.
The Washington Accord validates engineering degrees in at least eight countries and the members accept to recognise each others’ degrees. India is yet to become a full-fledged member.
Accreditation helps: Find out if the university of your choice is accredited by the local/international accreditation agencies. Refer to the list on page number 52.
Role of AIU: Association of Indian Universities (AIU), provides equivalence certification for foreign qualifications. The respective professional councils like Medical Council of India, Bar Council of India and others also maintain their own equivalence record. Consult them before you apply for a professional course, especially if you want to come back and practice in India.
Authenticity of the Educational Institution: The institution preferably should have been recognised for a substantial length of time and ideally should never lost its recognition by the government. British Council, USIEF, Australian High Commission all have Educational wings where it is possible to check, free of cost, the authenticity and accreditation of an institution. The history of an institution is a good indicator of past success.
Cost of the programme: If the vast majority of Universities are charging US$10,000 for a programme and there is an institution charging only US$2000 it is time to pause and think why? Quality unfortunately comes with a price. If something sounds too good to be true then probably it is not true.
Duration of the programme: If all universities in the USA take four years to complete and in the UK they take three years to complete then the newspaper advertisement for a one-year Bachelor’s needs to be examined very carefully and looked into with great care before putting your money into it.