Accreditation board cracks down on dodgy universities

Foreign tertiary institutions and their representatives in Ghana who operate without accreditation, including online universities, have been warned by the National Accreditation Board, or NAB, to regularise their operations or close.

In a statement signed by Executive Secretary Kwame Dattey, the NAB said it had given affected institutions until 31 October 2014 “to take steps to regularise their operations with the board or be referred to the appropriate law enforcement agencies for the law to take its course”.

It also cautioned the public to check the legal status of any tertiary institutions they intended to enrol in with the NAB, “or have themselves to blame”.

The NAB had been forced to issue the warning because it had “noticed with concern the operation of foreign tertiary education institutions and their agents without the requisite registration-accreditation by the board as required by law”.

Under the NAB Act 744 of 2007, all foreign tertiary education institutions and their representatives or agents – including online institutions – are required to either register with or undergo assessment by the board for accreditation to operate legally in Ghana.

The board also warned that “certificates or credentials issued by institutions that fail to register or seek accreditation” would not be evaluated or handled by the NAB.

Unicorn unaccredited

Meanwhile, the board declared Unicorn University College, a private institution that has been operating in Ghana for some time, as an unaccredited institute.

“The NAB wishes to remind the general public that Unicorn University College or whatever name it presents itself as to the public, has not been accredited by the National Accreditation Board to operate as a tertiary education institution.”

It warned the public – and especially people in the Ashanti regional capital of Kumasi, where the college is based – “to desist from responding to advertisements enticing them to enrol in the unaccredited institution or the programmes it purports to run”.

Over the past few years, there has been growth in the creation of tertiary institutions all over the country, with some claiming to be affiliated to foreign universities.

Some have gone as far as using the names of American states to create the erroneous impression that they are off-campus colleges of universities with similar names in the United States.