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I was wondering why some good European universities in the field of Computer Science and related careers, I mean:

  • Computer Science
  • Information Systems
  • Software Engineering

Their faculties do not really put information about if they are accredited by some entity like ABET for example. I know that these faculties rely more on research outcomes, quality of their staff and also to have a very dynamic curricular scheme that is not so fixed from time to time.

So is it that for these universities the accreditation is not important? and if one faculty has to choose an accreditation entity which one would be the best for the aforementioned careers?

I ask this because I found, for example, that some faculties are accredited by ACISCS or other entities, but according to what I found on the web there were a lot of rants against these accreditation types.

2 Answers 2

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I have not found much value in accreditation; it may serve to identify poor-quality schools, but most decently ranked departments sail through accreditation without any of their real deficiencies being exposed. The process is thus little more than a bureaucratic checkbox for government or company sponsors of students.

If you want to gauge the quality of a department ... look at where its graduates go. What companies hire them, what universities accept them for graduate school/academic positions, what are their successful graduates doing 10-15 years after graduation?

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European employers don't care, so students don't care, so universities don't care. A quick search on a leading UK IT job site finds about 100 mentions of BCS (the main British accreditation body), compared to "1000+" for mentions of specific skills (e.g. SQL, Java). The vast majority of the BCS mentions are actually about non-graduate technician registration, so the actual number of jobs that require degree accreditation is noise. Employers assess ability directly through skills tests, put a lot of value on student placements (the "year-long interview"), and/or rely on some shonky 20-year-out-of-date idea about which universities are the "top ones".

Furthermore, most European countries have a substantial (some would say excessive) quality assurance regimen coming from national or sub-national governments. To be allowed to award degrees at all, or call your organisation a university, requires vast amounts of checks and inspections. So, the role that accreditation plays in some parts of the world—distinguishing the substantive universities from the two-bit college in some rooms above a shop—just doesn't obtain.

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