What is accreditation?
Accreditation is “the mark indicating that the quality of the program of study is judged to be positive by an accreditation agency”. The bachelor-master structure (bama) was introduced in Europe in 2002 to enable comparability among the programs of higher education. To safeguard this, an accreditation framework was also introduced. The NVAO (Nederlands-Vlaamse Accreditatie Organizatie) was created to ensure that Dutch/Flemish programs of higher education adhered to basic international quality standards. In Holland accreditation now serves as a precondition for:
- government finance of a bachelor or master program
- the institutional right to hand out recognized degrees
- granting of study finance to students.
Three years later in 2005, the bama structure was introduced in the Faculty of Law at the University of Aruba. The Faculty of Law will be receiving a 1-day site visit for accreditation from the NVAO in November 2012. During this site visit a panel of at least 4 independent members conducts interviews with all key stakeholders (faculty, exam commission members, students, alumni, professional work field representatives, and management) of the educational program. Physical material and documentation of program processes and results are also examined during this time. At the end of this site visit, the panel pronounces a judgment of the program of either negative or positive.