Accreditation and ranking
There are a number of ways of quality-assuring the educational programmes offered by both Norwegian and foreign institutions.
Quality is a core aspect of the internationalisation of higher education.
In collaboration with the OECD, UNESCO has drawn up a set of Guidelines for Quality Provison in Cross-border Higher Education.
The aim of these guidelines is to support and encourage international cooperation in the field of cross-border quality in higher education, with the aim of protecting students against poor-quality education.
Accreditation of Norwegian institutions
Norwegian institutions are accredited by NOKUT. The accreditation process involves quality-assurance and recognition of an institution or a degree. NOKUT is a member of a number of European quality-assurance networks..
As far as Norwegian institutions are concerned, foreign accreditation cannot replace national accreditation, but may complement it for other purposes. Examples of Norwegian institutions that have applied for and been awarded accreditation by overseas professional organisations include the Norwegian School of Veterinary Science, which has been accredited by the European Association of Establishments of Veterinary Education, the Norwegian School of Management and Business Administration and BI Norwegian School of Management, which have been accredited by the European Quality Improvement System EQUIS.
It is not Norwegian policy to rank institutions of higher education. In Europe, only the UK authorities have introduced a national ranking system.
Institutions in the USA have stated that they respect the classification that has been drawn up by the Carnegie Foundation, in addition to the annual report entitled “Top American Research Universities” drawn up by The Center for Measuring University Performance.
Ranking lists are constantly being drawn up by newspapers all over the world. Although these arouse a great deal of interest among the general public, they are rarely taken very seriously by the institutions mentioned.