Whether you are considering opting for a private or public school, every prospective student chooses their university based on several criteria. Among many others, one such criteria that many students, unfortunately, skim past is the industrial accreditations of the institution.
In light of this, we have prepared a guide below to help students seeking to ensure that they are attending an accredited institution, and, hence, obtaining a degree which will have merit in the working world.
First things first
Founded in 2009, Singapore’s Committee for Private Education (CPE) is the regulating body of private institutions in Singapore, all of whom are required to register with it for monitoring, etc. Whether you are choosing to opt for a full-time or part-time degree, distance learning or twinning programmes, it is essential that the institution and course are registered with the CPE.
The CPE awards such institutions with the EduTrust certification status. The status recognises private institutions in Singapore which have achieved higher status in both management and academics, and urges them to work towards this status further.
In accordance with this, private institutions can earn 3 different levels of the EduTrust certification, ranging from the EduTrust Provisional with a 1 year validity awarded to institutions maintaining a minimum standard in their services and recognising the need for improvement; the EduTrust with a 4 year validity for private institutions achieving a satisfactory standard, and, finally, the EduTrust Star, too with a 4 year validity and awarded to institutions excelling in all areas of management and academics, as well as their continuing efforts.
Go down to industry
For the next step, you will need to look for accreditation by associations in the industry you are venturing into. Once you have shortlisted your institution and course, double, triple check that it is a course accredited by the corresponding association/group.
This information is usually available and displayed on institution’s websites, but to minimise risk, you may also click through to the society’s’ websites and ensure your course and institution are indeed accredited by them.
Listed below are some of the commonly known accrediting bodies worldwide, along with examples of courses available in Singapore where you can attain an accredited degree as such :
EA is the global home for engineering professionals renowned as leaders in shaping a sustainable world. It awards programs to highlight the dedication and accomplishments of engineers worldwide. As of 2013, it has over 100,000 members in nine geographic Divisions from all engineering disciplines, including 41,000 Students, 4,400 Engineering Technologists and Engineering Associates, 55,600 Professional Engineers, of which 20,000 are Chartered Engineers. In Singapore, degrees accredited by EA includes:
- PSB Academy’s Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical) awarded by University of Newcastle
- James Cook University’s Bachelor of IT
Dating back to 1871, the IET is one of the biggest accrediting bodies worldwide when it comes to engineering and technology, spanning 150 countries and over 167,000 members in total, from China to India, the USA and UK to Hong Kong. The IET accredits a range of programmes, inclusive of electrical, electronic, manufacturing, mechanical, systems and software engineering, as well as other programs including the likes of bioengineering, nanotechnology and renewable energy.
- IET accredited course in Singapore:
- Auston Institute of Management’s Bachelor of Engineering (Hons.) in Electrical and Electronic Engineering (Top-Up) awarded by De Montfort University
- TEG International College’s Bachelor of Engineering (Hons.) in Electronic & Electrical Engineering (Top-Up) awarded by University of Sunderland
Note: Membership to Industrial bodies is not akin to a professional accreditation. For example, achieving Chartered Engineer (CEng) or Incorporated Engineer (IEng) status requires professional experience on top of completion of degree programme. Check IET for more information.
Equipping over 40 tertiary level institutions expanding into Singapore and Malaysia, APAC has accredited more than 420 psychology courses since 1971. The council is responsible for the assurance of proper training and certification for all aspiring students who aim to practice psychology, as well as offering advice on quality improvement of all aspects of higher education and training to government and other organisations.
- APAC accredited course in Singapore:
With 188,000 qualified accountants and 480,000 students globally, the ACCA leads the way within the accounting profession. Although its most popular qualification remains the ACCA Qualification, the association too offers Foundation Level Qualifications, the Global MBA, and a Certificate and/or Diploma in International Financial Reporting.
For the main qualification, students are expected to complete 14 individual exams in order to refer to themselves as Chartered Certified Accountants, a process which usually takes an average of 4 years to complete.
Moreover, the ACCA also consists of the Approved Learning partner (ALP) programme, giving formal recognition to tuition providers who offer quality and support for students worldwide. This programme has 3 levels of approval: Silver, Gold and Platinum, with the Platinum Approved Learning partner status only available to those providers who fulfil several criteria such as practice statements and pass rate targets.
- ACCA accredited course in Singapore:
Of the 13,670 schools offering business degree programs worldwide, only 76 have triple accreditation as of July 2016. The Triple (Crown) accreditation is awarded by the three largest and most influential business school accreditation associations:
Out of the 3 accreditations, AACSB has the broadest scope, as it accredits management and accounting programs at the entire university. Since 1916, the association has accredited more than 785 business schools worldwide, with AACSB International’s headquarters spreading far and wide, from the USA to the Middle East, while Singapore itself is home to its Asia Pacific headquarters. The reaccreditation of institutions by AACSB takes place after 5 years – the longest period among the 3 associations.
o PSB Academy’s Bachelor of commerce awarded by The University of Newcastle Australia
o Manchester Business School’s Part-time Global MBA
|EQUIS (European Foundation for Management Development)
Unlike the other associations, EQUIS accredits the business school and not the whole university nor specific portfolios of programs. It assesses factors such as research, e-learning units, executive education provision and community outreach.
|AMBA (Association of MBAs)
Among the associations, AMBA has the most focused scope as it accredits only the business school’s portfolios of Master of Business Administration programs (full-time, part-time, executive, distance-learning), Master of Business Management programs (including MSc International Management) and Doctor of Business Administration (also known as DMgt in China).
- AACSB and EQUIS accredited course in Singapore:
- Triple accredited course in Singapore:
The Institute of Hospitality has a reputation for promoting the quality standards and education of students in the hospitality field for more than 70 years, with its members coming from more than 100 countries around the world. Accreditation is only awarded to institutions who are internationally recognised for their quality standard with regards to the needs of the hospitality and tourism industries. Accredited programmes have met the international benchmark for professional knowledge, skills and understanding.
- University of Hospitality accredited course in Singapore:
- PSB Academy’s Bachelor of Arts (HONOURS) Hospitality and Tourism Management awarded by Edinburgh Napier University, UK
- School D’ Hospitality
Since 2006, the Singapore Nursing Board (SNB) has set the standards for the education of both aspiring nurses and nurses in practice in Singapore. Not only that, the SNB regularly monitors and conduct site visits to universities with nursing programmes in order to ensure that the standards of nursing programmes are upheld.
- Singapore Nursing Board accredited course in Singapore:
There you go! These are some of the popular industrial associations in Singapore. If you are planning to pursue a course in a niche industry , be sure to do your due diligence in researching its industrial accreditation first.
As the saying goes, better safe than sorry. A few clicks online to find out if a potential university and course are accredited would do the trick for you, and entirely remove the risk of toiling all those years in university, only to be fruitless upon graduation. Your school teachers were right; do your homework before making any big decisions!