March 15, 2021

Acknowledged degrees: how to figure it out

by Jens Ischebeck

 Acknowledged degrees refer to degrees and diplomas that meet essential educational standards approved by recognized bodies.

Acknowledge refers to accepting that something is right. It means to recognize the essence and someone or something.

Subsequently, accredit means officially approving somebody or something as being of an acceptable quality / standard. On the other hand, accredited refers to recognized or authorized.

In this blog post we want to evaluate the often asked question if an online degree is acknowledged and accredited.

Especially in regards of the degrees of the Online Business School, which is our main partner for studying online.

The definition of recognized or accredited universities is higher learning institutions that have the power of awarding degrees. There are many higher learning institutions worldwide, but the major concern is to know if the degrees offered are valid.

Therefore any student needs to enquire for information on accredited Universities before enrolling.

This article will be discussing the accreditation of online degrees and their validity in African countries' recognized accreditation bodies and the best-accredited institutions offering acknowledged online degrees.

International Bodies for Approving Exams and Degrees

As stated above, it has to be acknowledged by the accepted bodies mandated by individual and international governments to accredit higher learning institutions and degrees offered for a degree to be recognized.

A student is better positioned to access accredited universities and avoid enrolling to study unrecognized courses by understanding these bodies.

Here are the internationally recognized bodies that ensure the quality of education and accredit higher education institutions.

  • The International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE). It is an international association consisting of government and non-governmental bodies overseeing the quality of higher education.
  • Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), a non-governmental organization based in the US, is mandated to retain a directory of more than 465 quality assurance and accreditation bodies in 175 countries.

These are the international organizations that guarantee the legitimacy and quality of various local/regional accreditation agencies.

Subsequently, some of the regions recognized accreditation bodies include;

  • The European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA) in Europe
  • Independent security Council (ISC) and Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (CTVET) in Ghana
  • Kenya Accreditation Service (KENAS) in Kenya
  • South Africa National Accreditation System (SANAS) in South Africa.

Different countries have set policies on what they accept as valid and transferable degrees when it comes to acknowledged degrees. This is highly influenced by the education system of each particular state.

For example, in Africa, many students believe that having their higher education studies abroad, like in the UK or the US, gives them a better chance in the job market. However, this is not always the case for some courses.

The idea is contributed by the perception that the education system in a country like the USA is superior in quality, and degrees offered there are internally recognized.

So, is the Education System in the US Superior?

The US higher education system has been perceived to be of world standards. According to the world education news reviews, the US is continually a top host country, especially online students.

Additionally, most of its accredited degrees are recognized globally. However, some fields may require you to do bridging courses or do further certification to enable you to practice in that particular country. This does not mean that the degree is not a recognized degree, only that it requires a further certification for professional purposes.

On the other hand, students from Africa may find it hard to relocate to the US to study.

This is where online studies "come in handy." A good example is Coursera.

Coursera degrees are accredited online degree programs that are approved and recognized globally.

The degrees are valid since accredited universities offer them through the platform.

A good example is the iMBA online degree offered by the University of Illinois.

Since these degrees are accredited, then they are valid in Africa.

Apart from Coursera, the other reputable and accredited online higher learning institution is Online Business School in the UK. OBS is an online university offering acknowledged online degrees across the globe.

The institution offers both on-campus and online studies and has been accepted by recognized accreditation bodies.

Approving Bodies for Online Business School.

The Online Business School (OBS) has been able to retain its reputation by offering internationally recognized degrees.

The institution is accredited, recognized, and regulated by various bodies. These are;

  • Awards for Training and Higher Education (ATHE) Has various qualifications but is not tied down to administration management, business tourism, law, and is well known for its' excellent customer service, best quality standards, and rewarding qualifications that have advanced gradually for university degrees.
  • Organization for Tourism and Hospitality Management (OTHM) Qualification Recognition Please have a great network of several delivery centers all over to deliver qualifications that they have approved.
  • Coventry and Warwickshire Chambers of Commerce. It is the largest British Chamber of Commerce. It is a very influential independent business in the UK that gives space entirely on behalf of its members and the business community at large on the most affected issues. Provides a friendly working environment that favors the business positively, thereby creating an improved business economy.
  • Qualifi Recognition. They are known by the UK awarding organization recognized in England by the Office of Qualification and Examinations Regulation (OFQUAL). Trustable by registered centers and consistent students for offering good quality standard degrees that promote learning.


In addition to the accreditation, OBS offers extra efforts to ensure that their students achieve their goals.

These include:

Partner University Qualifications 

This is where OBS enables students to acquire a wide range of prospects upon graduation through a top-up diploma. It's obtained from partner accredited universities where a student present the OFQUAL RQF validated documents for application and acceptance to the school.

Quality Monitoring Board

OBS has a board that checks on quality to ensure the accredited online degrees offered are accepted and recognized worldwide.

The board is made up of academic and business leaders. They assess quality issues, monitor assessment standards and material content offered by the institution.

This means that Online Business School is an accredited university. No matter the country they reside in, any student should take on the chance to grow and pursue their professional field.

Being awarded with an accredited degree, in the long run, increases your chances of getting that dream job.

The institution is ideal for African students due to its affordability and approval rate. Additionally, OBS accredited degrees are acknowledged in Africa and offer a great career path.

Online Business School in African Countries

Higher education is expensive, especially when one desires to study in international universities.
With online / distance learning, Africans can pursue their dreams at reasonable prices.

Sadly, online education has not realized its full potential in the African continent. Implementation of technology policies into the education system has been slow.

However, some accredited universities have significantly appreciated the importance of online studies.

This has encouraged African students to enroll in online institutions of higher learning.
Being one of the reputable online institutions, Online Business School has geared its efforts towards helping students from Africa access acknowledged higher education.

Although OBS provides an excellent platform for African students to acquire acknowledged online degrees, it is essential to note whether the accredited degrees are valid in various African countries.
From OBS statistics, students from Africa that enroll in the institution come from countries in the West, East, and South of Africa.

These include countries like Kenya, South Africa, and Nigeria.

Kenya has embraced Online Business School as technology has gradually improved in the country. Subsequently, accredited degrees from OBS are recognized in the country.

In Nigeria, there are mixed reactions to the acceptability of online degrees. In the recent past, employers did not recognize online acquired degrees.  However, this is slowly changing with local accredited universities appreciating online learning and compelling the local job market to appreciate online degrees. It's therefore advisable to research the validity of the online course before enrolling in OBS.

On the other hand, South Africa has embraced the Online Business School and recognizes the degrees awarded as valid degrees.

Conclusion

Online Education is relatively a new technology, and it is common for a new thing to receive a fair share of skepticism. This is because people fear change.

However, despite the slow implementation of technology in Africa, online accredited degrees have gradually gained popularity. More reputable and recognized universities and colleges have embraced online learning.

The growing number of students enrolling in online institutions such as Online Business School is a good trend that proves their credibility. Additionally, international accreditation bodies have accepted online degrees and acknowledged institutions to offer them, demonstrates that they are valid.

Significantly, online education helps solve congestion due to high number of students seeking to join higher learning institutions.

However, many students shy away from taking online degrees due to fear of unemployment. There are misconceptions that online degrees are of low quality; hence one cannot secure a job.

The truth is that the quality of an online education program from a reputable institution equips the learner with the fundamental knowledge and professional competencies, just as gained from a traditional on-campus program. Hence, whether you have an acquired an acknowledged degree online or through an on-campus program, you stand an equal chance in the job market, especially since technology is a crucial factor in any economy today.

It is also important to note that employers are looking for people who can work under minimum supervision, which is a skill you must have when taking an online course.

Similarly, completing an online course requires high persistence and commitment, essential skills in the job market.

Therefore, an accredited online degree proves that one has:

  • Good time management skills
  • High level of discipline
  • Commitment towards improvement
  • Admirable technological literacy

Additionally, the world is becoming a technological village, and everything is going digital, and education has not been left behind.

Therefore, do not be misguided on online education.

It promotes technology, which is where the world is at, and more advancements are coming.


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  1. Great insights there. Thank you Jens for this article.
    From reading it I am able to understand that online degrees are valid and of the same value as the on-campus ones. Before I was sceptical of whether any online degree will be recognised in Kenya but now that I have read your article, I can be confident to take an online course.
    The fact that they are cheap and you have explained how to identify accredited universities, I will definitely follow this.

  2. Nice piece…this article has really changed my view about online learning…am looking forward to joining the online education.

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