Strategic Partners

Our Strategic Partners


THE-ICE is proud to be a full member of INQAAHE (International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education) since 2011 and has been actively engaging in its strategic activities since. INQAAHE was established in 1991 with only eight members – today the total membership exceeds 200.

Higher education has dramatically changed over the last two decades with distance education as well as vocational education having become increasingly more important, as is the need for recognition of prior learning. Higher education has become more global than ever before and professional accreditation has become more important as more higher education institutions, delivering programs in different modes, enter the market. All these have thrust the quality assurance agencies into ever expanding roles.

The main purpose of INQAAHE is to collect and distribute information on the current and developing theory and practice in the assessment, improvement and maintenance of quality in higher education. By means of this information-sharing and otherwise, it is intended that INQAAHE should:

  • promote good practices in the maintenance and improvement of quality in higher education;
  • facilitate research into the practice of quality management in higher education and its effectiveness;
  • be able to provide advice and expertise to assist the development of new quality assurance agencies;
  • facilitate links between accrediting bodies especially insofar as they operate across national borders;
  • assist members in determining the standards of institutions operating across national borders;
  • permit better-informed international recognition of qualifications;
  • be able to assist in the development and use of credit transfer schemes in order to enhance the mobility of students between institutions within and across national borders; and
  • enable members to be alert to dubious accrediting practices and organisations.

For more information please visit the INQAAHE website.


The 10th IPoE Forum 2016 marked an historic moment, with the signing of an MOU between NVAO (in Dutch: Nederlands-Vlaamse Accreditatieorganisatie) and THE-ICE, for mutual recognition of respective accreditation system. The agreement exceeded all expectations with the two QA agencies partnering in join accreditation of higher education programmes across all Dutch hotel schools.

Based in the Netherlands, NVAO is an accreditation organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders that was established by the Dutch and Flemish governments as an independent accreditation organisation, tasked with providing an expert and objective assessment of the quality of higher education in the Netherlands and Flanders.

The collaboration enables Dutch institutions with studies in the field of hotel management and tourism to be able to make use of a single procedure, enabling both the NVAO-accreditation and the THE-ICE to be achieved concurrently.

For more information please visit the NVAO website.


caa-logo-382wThe CAA (Commission for Academic Accreditation) of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research is the Federal Government’s Quality Assurance Agency charged with promoting educational excellence across diverse institutions of higher learning in the UAE (United Arab Emirates).

The colleges and universities of the United Arab Emirates, government-supported and private alike, play an essential role as we here in the UAE seek to realise the tremendous potential of a knowledge-based future. It is therefore of the utmost importance that institutions in the UAE offer the highest quality academic programs; programs that are recognised both within the country and internationally for their excellence. Through licensure of post-secondary educational institutions, and accreditation of individual programmes, the Commission strives to assure high quality education, consistent with international standards.

The CAA published a new edition of the Standards for Licensure and Accreditation in 2011; this edition continues the effort of the Commission for Academic Accreditation to refine its existing standards and procedures to ensure that newly established institutions and programs, as well as existing ones, meet high levels of quality. The eleven Standards provide measures of quality that all institutions must meet for licensure and program accreditation, and also reflect a consensus within the international higher education community on the essential characteristics required of institutions to achieve continuous improvement. As a result, students, graduates, their families, and the UAE public can be confident that licensed institutions and accredited programs will provide the quality of higher education that they expect and deserve.

CAA and THE-ICE have been cooperating in various higher education quality assurance assessment projects since 2013 and entered into a formal strategic partnership relationship on 10th June 2015, with the official signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the two organisations.

For more information please visit the CAA website

ECA eca_logo

The ECA (European Consortium for Accreditation) in higher education is an association of recognised accreditation and quality assurance agencies in Europe. The vision of ECA is to act as an internationally acknowledged driver of innovation in accreditation and quality assurance in higher education. With its expertise, networking and services ECA contributes to the implementation of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA), promotes internationalisation of higher education and “state of the art” activities of its members.

ECA was founded in 2003 and incorporated as an association in 2014 with the primary aim of mutual recognition of accreditation and quality assurance decisions. The objectives of the Association are:

  1. to achieve mutual recognition of accreditation and quality assurance decisions, to enhance the conditions for such mutual recognition, especially- for joint programmes;
  2. to provide a platform for mutual learning and disseminating experiences with accreditation and accreditation-like practises;
  3. to provide transparent information on quality; and
  4. to facilitate the internationalisation of institutions and students


FIBAAfibaa-logo-307w (Foundation for Inter­national Business Administration Accreditation) is an internationally-oriented agency for quality assurance and quality development in higher education, established in 1994 by the central associations of Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

FIBAA’s mission was to ensure the quality of MBA programmes on the basis of stringent quality criteria and make it transparent – even before the introduction of compatible national quality assurance systems in Europe in the course of the Bolog­na reform. Today, their task is even more relevant than ever in view of the advancing internationalisation and high require­ments for the quality of study programmes.

With over twenty years of experience, FIBAA accredit academic degree and non-degree courses in management, economics, law and social sciences, assess and accredit Higher Education Institutions and support their clients by providing advice on an individual basis. More importantly they regard themselves as a partner and generator of ideas on improving the quality of international Higher Education Institutions.

FIBAA & THE-ICE work in close collaboration in the field of quality assurance and quality development in higher education, particularly in the fields of tourism, hospitality and event management since 2014 through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding.

For more information please see the FIBAA website


The mission of AKKORK is to form and develop in Russia an independent system of education quality assessment and assurance that corresponds to the principles of the Bologna declaration and the world best practices.

Having similar objectives in the advancement of quality assurance in higher education, AKKORK and THE-ICE established an MOU to form closer relations for the purpose of creating cooperative and collaborative mechanisms for the mutual benefit of both parties, as well as for the benefit of higher education programmes in Russian Federation (where applicable).

For more information please see the AKKORK website

i-graduate International Insighti-graduate-tribal-logo-369w

i-graduate International Insight is an independent benchmarking and consultancy service, delivering comparative insights for the education sector worldwide.  i-graduate specialises in the delivery of world-class insight tools and studies for stakeholder in education, including THE-ICE annual ISB-SB (International Student Barometer and Student Barometer™) Student Satisfaction Survey.

More than 700 universities and colleges in 22 countries have adopted the ISB-SB™, collecting and comparing feedback from over 900,000 students to date. All levels and years of study are covered, from first year undergraduates to final year PhD students.

Since 2007 THE-ICE has been working in partnership with i-graduate using the ISB-SB™ unique tool to understand and enhance the whole student experience, and in 2010 in addition to tracking the perceptions of international students, THE-ICE has extended the process to include home students – extending the benefit of the most comprehensive survey instrument for confidential institutional feedback and external comparison to its member institutions.

For more information please see the i-graduate website