I have found this document about European standards for higher education: https://www.enqa.eu/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/ESG_2015.pdf

The criteria are not as strict as I maybe expected, a lot of it sounds pretty reasonable like “you should have qualified staff” and “you should provide clear information”.

Does that mean a program gets certified as a Bachelor’s degree subjectively, by a reviewer observing its plan and execution, or is there a neater formula for what gets approved or not? For example, how do they decide that the curriculum is acceptable? What’s an example of an unacceptable curriculum and which guideline for certification does it violate?

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    Keep in mind that, in order to be broadly adopted, these European standards have to be reasonably compatible with a range of different systems of higher education. I suspect that you'll find more specific/strict criteria at the level of the registered regional and national agencies.
    – Anyon
    Dec 10, 2022 at 19:10
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    Accreditation is something happening at the national level, or in some countries even below that. So to answer your question you need to tell us which country or federal state you are interested in. Dec 10, 2022 at 19:48

1 Answer 1


Right from this document:

The ESG are not standards for quality, nor do they prescribe how the quality assurance processes are implemented, but they provide guidance, covering the areas which are vital for successful quality provision and learning environments in higher education.

There is no Compliance Committee (unlike something such as USB-IF). If a signatory goes rogue and starts claiming everyone there has a BSc now, they quickly lose credibility. ESG is there to help them build and maintain it, but the actual responsibility for proper implementation lies solemnly with whoever provides accreditation.

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