Executive Secretary of the National Accreditations Board, Kwame Dattey revealed to Pulse.com.gh, that the Swiss Management Centre is not accredited by the board, as the Board does not accredit foreign institutions who wish to operate in Ghana, instead registers them.
The National Accreditations Board has revealed to Pulse.com.gh that the Swiss Management Centre is not registered with it.
This is contrary to assertions made by the Alumni of the SMC in their reaction to a report by Ghanaian academics from the Valdosta University in Georgia U.S.A which identified SMC as one of the unaccredited tertiary institutions from which some prominent Ghanaians have acquired doctorate degrees.
Here is an excerpt of the response of the alumni of the Swiss Management Centre as published by Graphic.com.gh on Saturday, August 6, 2016:
"We want to put on record that the said publication is false, mischievous and highly defamatory. We hereby put on record that the school has an international accreditation, the ACBSP Accreditation. ACBSP is a globally recognized Accreditation for Business Schools and Programs.
The authors of the article make a claim that SMCU is not accredited by the Swiss Accreditation Council however they did not avert their mind to the fact that SAC does not monitor or accredit any private schools.
The SAC had no option for accreditation through to 2015. There is a new law that currently makes this option available in theory since 2015, but the standards are impossible to be met by the private institutions. Legally, private institutions are able to operate still in Switzerland.
Apart from the international accreditation, the School is accredited by National Accreditation Board of Ghana as a foreign University since 2012.
NAB has renewed SMC University's institutional Registration for another 3 years; August 2015 - July 2018. NAB recognized SMCU, along with many other national accreditation Boards like France, US, Canada, Brazil, China (as representative examples in each of the countries).
The alumni of SMC, in their response to the report titled “The Accreditation Challenges in Transnational Educational Ecology: The Ghanaian Experience An Investigative Report”, claimed that the SMC has been accredited by the National Accreditations Board(NAB).
SMC Not Found On National Accreditations Board's List Accredited Institutions"
However, Pulse.com.gh’s checks on the National Accreditations Board’s website revealed that SMC is not part of the NAB’s list of accredited distance learning institutions, or recognised foreign institutions operating in Ghana.
Executive Secretary of the National Accreditations Board, Kwame Dattey revealed to Pulse.com.gh, that the Swiss Management Centre is not accredited by the Board, as the Board does not accredit foreign institutions who wish to operate in Ghana, instead registers them.
When asked if registration is equal to accreditation, Mr Dattey said the preferred word is “Registration” and not accreditation, adding that the registration is done after the accreditations of the institutions are checked and authenticated.
“We have what we call registration for foreign Universities who want to operate in Ghana. What we normally do is to check what program they are going to run and whether they are accredited or not.”
Pulse.com.gh then asked, explicitly, what the status of the Swiss Management Centre was. Mr Dattey said, the Centre is currently not registered under the National Accreditations Board, as the Centre’s registration expired in 2015.
“Initially, when they came here, we had information from the Swiss Embassy that the school is recognised and is registered with the European accrediting body which is common to all the European countries, and they were accredited with it until 2015. It was based on these that we registered them in 2008.”
However, SMC’s registration with the NAB elapsed in 2015, and was not accredited in its home-country, Switzerland, neither did it have the required European accreditations. Based on these deficiencies, the National Accreditation Board has revoked the registration of the centre and asked them not to admit any new students.
“SMC’s registration was due for renewal last academic year. We asked them whether they were still accredited or not; that is if they were still accredited by their European body and whether they are accredited by their home country, Switzerland or not. We found out that those accreditations had expired and they did not renew them. Based on that the Board wrote to the school that they would have to obtain accreditation from their native Switzerland before the registration is renewed,” Mr Dattey said.
SMC's Registration Not Extended to 2018
The Executive Secretary of the National Accreditations Board also addressed the claim that SMC’s registration had been extended to 2018, again refuting the claim.
“It is not true. What we did was to give them three years for the students already enrolled in the institution to complete. That is not a renewal of the school’s registration.”
ACBSP Does Not Accredit Institutions
Again, the Alumni of SMC claim that the institution is still accredited by ACBSP. However, ACBSP have clearly stated on their official website (link: http://www.acbsp.org/?page=membership_list), as a caveat to employers and students, that they do not accredit institutions, and therefore raises doubts as to how SMC is legitimately authenticated by ACBSP.
This ignites the belief that the National Accreditation Board should have determined the authenticity of SMC on its own merit as an institution and should not have registered it in 2008 based on an alleged ACBSP accreditation.
Here is an excerpt of Dr Dotse and Dr. Tsikata’s report on SMC and evidence backing the assertion that ACBSP accreditation does not authenticate SMC:
A letter was sent to the NAB and its Executive Secretary by Dr A. Kobla Dotse, based on this observation. In his response, the Executive Secretary of the NAB, Mr Kwame Dattey, indicated that the NAB’s accreditation granted to the SMC is based on SMC’s accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), an accrediting body under the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) in the United States (see appendix for communication). Second, the information from the NAB triggered a further search on the link between the SMC, the ACBSP, the CHEA, and the OPE. The following facts were unravelled:
The ACBSP is not recognized by the OPE as one of its accreditation agencies (in other words, the ACBSP does not have the seal of authority from the US Department of Education). The ACBSP derives its accreditation powers from the CHEA which is a private organization and also not an agency of the OPE.
2. According to the ACBSP itself, it “does not accredit the institution, only the business programs at the institution” (ACBSP, 2016, June 10).
3. The ACBSP provides caveats to students. According to the ACBSP, “most businesses and universities reviewing transcripts and accepting degrees for employment or advanced degrees base their decisions on the existence of action by a local, regional or national authority regarding the institution and the authority to grant degrees” (ACBSP, 2016, June 10).
4. Specifically, the ACBSP points out that “for institutions located within the US, regional accreditation of the institution is required for membership accreditation eligibility” (so, instead of the NAB evaluating the SMC on its merit to determine the fit of the content of its P a g e 27 | 56 programs to local needs, it based its decision on that of the ACBSP which is not even recognized by the US Department of Education as one of its accrediting agencies. What is clear is that since the SMC may not operate in the US, the ACBSP does not really matter.
The investigative report by Dr. Dotse and Dr. Tsikata mentioned Dr. Goski Alabi and a host of lecturers from the University of Professional Studies, Accra, as well as Dr. John Gatsi of the University of Cape Coast, as influential individuals who have allegedly acquired doctorate degrees from the Swiss Management Centre. Does that mean their degrees are illegitimate?
The Executive Secretary of the National Accreditations Board says no. The degrees acquired from SMC in Ghana over the period in which they were legitimately registered with the National Accreditations Board are valid.
However, people like Dr. Dotse and Dr. Tsikata still challenge the authenticity of the degrees, given that the NAB’s earlier recognition of SMC was based on the notion that the centre had been accredited by ACBSP, a body that does not license institutions, coupled with the fact that SMC is not accredited by the Switzerland Accreditation Council.