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Association for Transnational Higher Education Accreditation (ATHEA) 

The foundation for ATHEA is its mission, vision, and values. These foundational concepts establish the operational context, scope, and governance of the association.


The Association for Transnational Higher Education Accreditation (ATHEA) is a voluntary, non-governmental, membership association that is dedicated to quality assurance and improvement through accreditation via peer evaluation. Accreditation by Board of Commissioners instils public confidence in the institutional mission, goals, performance, and resources through its rigorous accreditation standards and their enforcement of those standards. ATHEA standards for accreditation are based on the European Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance (ESG) required for recognition by the European Quality Assurance Register in Higher Education (EQAR).


The Association for Transnational Higher Education Accreditation (ATHEA) aspires to be the preeminent resource for institutions of higher education striving to achieve excellence in fulfilling their missions. ATHEA intends, through voluntary assessment and adherence to high standards for student learning outcomes and operational behaviour, to assure higher education’s publics that its accredited institutions are fulfilling their stated purposes and addressing the publics’ expectations.


The Association for Transnational Higher Education Accreditation (ATHEA) is guided by these Core Values:

    • Voluntary membership

    • Self-regulation and peer-review

    • A continuous and seamless relationship with member institutions to promote continuous self-evaluation and institutional improvement

    • Respect for the unique mission of each institution and evaluation within that context

    • Student learning and effective teaching

    • Transparency about the accreditation processes and the status held by each member institution

    • Commitment to the principles of cooperation, flexibility, and openness

    • Responsiveness to the needs of the higher education community and societal changes

    • Consideration of societal and institutional needs through attention to and emphasis on both improvement and compliance

    • Responsiveness to a diverse, dynamic, global higher education community that is continually evolving


ATHEA's Charter, Invitation to Start Public Activities, and Confirmation of the Organisation establish the legal basis for association.



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